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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Tommi Bryson

Photo by George Oliver

Tommi Bryson is a Sheffield theatremaker specialising in solo performances and comedy songs, and co-founder of monthly variety night Sounds Queer. Her production A Princess Could Work, described as "a modern, queer reaction to the Disney Princesses of the early 90s", is a satirical musical about transgender representation in mass media.

We caught up with Tommi to find out more about her work and what she has in store for the future.

How would you describe your work?
The work I do falls into three broad spaces: community, representation, and comedy. I get to do all kinds of amazing things (stand-up, composing, facilitation, producing) but primarily I am a theatremaker. I direct, perform, and write whenever and whatever I can; though I admit my home turf is comedy songs.

What's your workspace like?
The priority has always been engagement. The ability to support, platform and celebrate other creators is the greatest privilege of my career. I love working with young people and students; facilitating the discovery of a passion for theatre is so rewarding.

What, who or where should be better known in Sheffield?
The theatres and performance venues we have. At last count we had at least ten, which is bloody wonderful. Sheffield is an unparalleled bastion of theatre and we should all be very proud; especially as we’ve been experiencing a citywide renaissance in exceptional theatre.

I’d also say more people should know about Sounds Queer, a monthly variety night with a passion for platforming underrepresented voices, which I co-produce and host with the immeasurably talented Talya Stitcher.

What would you change about the city?
Two things right off the bat. More novelty tram designs; and more wheelchair accessibility.

What are you working on at the moment?
My current project A Princess Could Work, a performance pitch for a musical about a trans Disney princess, has recently finished a week of research and development as part of Third Angel’s BOOST Mentoring Scheme; the feedback has been exceptional and I can’t wait to finish it, and bring it to even more audiences.

I’m also currently part of Sheffield Theatres' Young Company, and theRoyal Court Introductory Writer’s Group; so there’s plenty on the horizon!

The next Sounds Queer event will be on 12th December in the Cellar Theatre at DINA..

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