in 1941 in Leamington as Susan Robertson, Sue Teers was a
member of the Earlsdon Village Players in the early 1950s,
and joined the Talisman as a young teenager.
talented youngster dismayed her teachers when she chose to
go to drama school instead of university, but spent 'a wonderful
three years' at Birmingham School of Speech and Drama before
teaching drama in schools around Warwickshire.
married first in the early 1960s, and later gave up teaching
to have two daughters, Emma and Rebecca. She separated from
her first husband in the 1970s and began livingwith her future
husband Bob Teers in 1980. The couple married in 2001. Bob
said: "She was vibrant, full of energy, witty and fun to be
with. She just glowed."
background for Side by Side began in the 1980s, when she started
a business as a voice coach, teaching public speaking and later
presentation skills at Warwickshire College.
1988 she was asked to give drama classes for adults with learning
difficulties at Weston Hospital. When she arrived she was told
the hospital already 'did' drama - the patients would assemble
in the hall and be entertained. But Sue decided the patients,
many of whom had severe disabilities, should be given a chance
to perform. She later told her friends that she had the idea
and even the name for Side by Side by the time she returned
to her car.
Her carefully-scripted musical and comedy pieces were designed
to show the talents, not the limitations of the performers.
1999 the groupís achievements were formally recognized when
Sue was honoured with an MBE, an award she wanted to share
with the whole company.
also continued to work at the Talisman, where she was director
of productions for five years. She tried to put on little-known
but "well-made" plays that audiences would not be able to see
in professional theatres.
loved working with actors and directed several plays, including
Terence Rattigan's The Deep Blue Sea and Noel Coward's
Design for Living and Relative Values.
last production was The Linden Tree, by her favourite
writer JB Priestley. Sue had been cleared of breast cancer
in the early 1990s, but in 2005 secondary tumours in her spine
began to affect her walking.
had two operations in autumn 2005, and finished radiotherapy
and chemotherapy two weeks before rehearsals were due to begin,
but the illness returned soon after the production ended.
died on June 21 2006 aged 65.