Our founders

David Parton. Co-founder

David Parton (co-founder)
David was born a long time ago - in Leicester, home of Walkers crisps and Gary Lineker. Not a bad place to be born from an acting/directing/literary perspective since its famous sons and daughters include Sue Townsend, Joe Orton and Richard and David Attenborough – not that David (Parton, that is) claims any degree of reflected glory from these luminaries – that is something he reserves for having shared a flat with Donald Sutherland (he, for those below the age of 50 or thereabout, is the father of Kiefer) when they were both students at LAMDA.

Prior to LAMDA, David sold his soul at a repertory company in High Wycombe as an ASM, actor, scenic designer, props master, prompt and lighting technician for the princely sum of £2.15.3 net (that’s £2.76 in today’s money) for an approximately 90 hour week.  Moving on to the London Children’s Theatre Company under Brian Way, he completed two tours before sandwiching his course at LAMDA between those and the ensuing tours, by which time he had risen to the dizzy heights of Stage Director (and actor).

A move to Norway then followed where he enjoyed exclusive access to the oldest baroque theatre in Scandinavia – Frederikshalds Teater – in the small town of Halden.  This laid the foundations for an almost obsessive interest in all things Ibsenesque and the translation of many of the ‘Father of Modern Drama’s’ plays.

Back in the UK the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd had loosened its hold on him in terms of earning an honest crust on the boards, and a succession of careers followed, including journalism, language consultancy and PR.  However, since moving to Sussex, the lure of the proscenium arch again proved irresistible and led inexorably to the founding of what has now become an established part of the Eastbourne theatre scene – open-air Shakespeare in the beautiful Italian Gardens overlooking the rocky western beaches of that seaside resort.

Economic imperatives, however, gradually narrowed the parameters of choice open to him with regard to the kind of plays that he was able to undertake under the aegis of local drama companies. The solution, having discovered a commonality of ambition and direction in the co-founder of The Synergy Theatre, was a simple one.  Cut costs, cut out the fripperies and excesses that relate to scenery and staging and cock a snook at the financial difficulties facing all theatre companies of whatever persuasion or standing.  Attract a coterie of outstanding actors from the ever-widening catchment area that the company became able to call its own, with but one goal: doing plays that were challenging, that would hone their already considerable skills still further and present a discerning public with the kind of theatre that would rise above all fads and fashions by virtue of its innate quality.

Charlotte Tayler. Co-founder

Charlotte Tayler (co-founder)
Charlotte was part of the cast for David’s production of Ibsen’s The Masterbuilder in 2008 and, while at rehearsal one evening, volunteered to make the tea. The next thing she knew she was being referred to as a ‘co-founder’ of Synergy Theatre and asked for her opinion on costumes…  Having got over the initial shock, she found that Synergy was actually a pretty nice company to work with – David was even brave enough to agree to her directing one of the pieces in the company’s 2008 double bill (Suzannah by contemporary Norwegian playwright, Jon Fosse). She belongs to several other Sussex-based companies and spends what spare time she has doing a bit of singing. Charlotte has been involved in all sorts of productions from the sublime to the ridiculous (seagull costume, anyone?) and is pleased that Synergy Theatre exists to provide something a bit different for local actors where the power of the text is allowed to speak for itself. And yes, she still makes the tea at rehearsals…