In September 2017, after teaching drama for over 30 years in the North West of England, Suzanne Jeans took early retirement and moved to Knutsford to help care for her mother who has Alzheimer’s Disease.
She joined the Manchester Irish Writers’ Group and began tentatively to write about her experiences as a carer. This proved to be rather good therapy! With the encouragement of the writing group and her family, Suzanne finished the first draft of her semi-autobiographical play An Absence Of in February 2019. The play explores the impact of a diagnosis of dementia on a mother and her two daughters.
In the meantime, Suzanne wrote a 3000 word short story, a thriller entitled The Whiteout, which was published in an Anthology by Audio Arcadia in January 2019.
In the Spring of 2019, an abridged version of An Absence Of won the Joy Goun New Writing Award at the Arundel Theatre festival trail, culminating in a short run at the festival in August 2019.
In October 2019, out of over 266 entries from 23 countries, An Absence Of won the International Windsor Fringe Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing. A full-length version of the play was shortlisted for the Lancaster Play Writing Award in January 2020.
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