With Brighton being a playground for artists of all genres, types and skill, it is unsurprising that the University of Sussex has a multitude of notable alumni involved in the arts. ‘Badgers centre stage’ is a new section to The Badger, so to kick start off this column I decided to pay homage to a handful previous Sussex students who have graced the arts with their presence.
Bob Mortimer: Previously studying Law at Sussex and graduating in 1980, Bob Mortimer is a comedian and actor. A firm favourite on Would I Lie to You on the BBC, whenever I see he’s a guest panellist for that episode I know I’m in for an entertaining half hour. Being half of the iconic partnership of ‘Reeves and Mortimer, Mortimer has had a colourful career embarking on numerous comedic adventures. Personally, I would say his performance on the Great British Bake Off in 2013 for Comic Relief has been one of his most stand out performances, notably when he got a handshake of Paul Hollywood.
Frankie Boyle: A student of English and graduating in 1994, any fan of Mock the Week will have seen Boyle have the audience and panellists alike in hysterics with his brutal one liners. Coupled with this, this Scottish star is a familiar face on 8 Out of 10 cats, where he has also been a writer. An utterly brutal and dark comic who shocks my mother, Boyle is hilarious.
Ophelia Lovibond: A 2008 graduate of English some of you may recognise her from Guardians of the Galaxy where she played Carina. Alongside this she was Elizabeth Barry in The Libertine at London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2016. Lovibond has had numerous roles throughout her career, with a favourite being Kitty Winter in season 3 of Elementary.
Hattie Hayridge: Graduating in 1983 and a previous student of Politics and International Relations, Hayridge was said to be ‘renowned and applauded by so many’ in The Independent, 2007. As well as stand-up, Hayridge appeared as ‘Hilly’ in the BBC’s Red Dwarf. A renowned comedian with a history of amusing anecdotes, should you wish to learn anymore about here and read about anything she got up to at Sussex, pick up her autobiography ‘Random Abstract Memory’.
Bertie Carvel: Performing as Bamatabois in Les Misérables, Simon Foster in Doctor Foster and Nick Clegg in Coalition, Carvel graduated from Sussex in 2000 after studying English. He has mastered film, television and theatre throughout his career. One notable performance was when he played Miss Trunchbull in the west end musical of Matilda – where he won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a nomination for a Tony. Yet, my favourite performance of his would have to be in the classic CBBC program Just William, a good show that really did do the books justice.