BSN Alumna Rosalie Minnitt, class of 2016, is a rising comedy star, delighting audiences and critics alike with her performances. This is her Q&A (Question & Answer) on BSN life and beyond!
Rosalie Minnitt has that incredible and rare talent of being able to make other people laugh. Since 2022, she’s been performing at various comedy shows and developing her character creation: Lady Clementine, an unhinged yet glamourous lady of leisure with an entourage of Sylvanian Families. Rosalie has performed at Underbelly at the 2023 Edinburg Festival Fringe and most recently, at the Soho Theatre in London: a dream come true!
Rosalie began writing and performing her own comedy at Durham University, where she was a member of the Durham Revue, a well-established comedy sketch group. After graduating from Durham in 2018 with a first class degree in History, she struggled to find long-term work that allowed her to use her creative talents. The pandemic did not help. Rosalie then decided to create something of her own. Through daring, determination, hard work and resilience, her decision is paying off.
Rosalie now lives in London. She has one sister, Claire. Their parents are both former BSN teachers; Mrs Minnitt was a teacher in Reception and taught EAL, and Mr Minnitt was a Deputy Headteacher and taught History.
What kind of a student were you?
Very hard working! I really would love to claim that I had an air of brilliant nonchalance, but in truth, I really cared about my grades and worked very hard.
Did you ever get in trouble?
Very rarely! I got detention once in Year 7 and cried through the whole thing. I wasn’t exactly a troublemaker.
What were your favourite subjects at school?
I loved Drama, Art, English and History and went on to do them for A Level at the British School of Brussels.
Who was your favourite teacher?
This is such a hard question. I was at BSN for over ten years, so I was taught by some real legends. I think Mr Blackford, Miss Wright and Madame Chantal were my favourites!
What co-curricular interests did you have?
I did all sorts! Everything from basketball to school plays, my schedule was always jam-packed.
What is a standout memory or proud moment from your school days?
When I was in Years 5 and 6, I was cast in the school play, and I think that’s where my love of performing really began. I loved getting costumes, learning lines and being onstage. I thought the whole thing was simply fabulous and am so grateful that the school put so much love and time into those brilliant productions.
How would you describe your overall experience of the BSN?
I absolutely loved BSN, and I made some lifelong friends there. I had such a happy childhood at that school and am so grateful to have been nurtured creatively.
What was it like having BSN teachers as parents when you were at school?
I actually loved it at BSN! It was harder in some of my other schools (the British International School of Bratislava for GCSEs and the British School of Brussels), and there was the odd comment, but when I was in Junior School Vlaskamp, my mum worked right across the road and never missed a sports day or school trip. She was a class mum and took such an active role in my primary years – I have some really happy memories of those years and am so grateful I can share them with her.
Tell us about Clementine.
I conjured this deranged character in lockdown while slowly but surely losing my mind in the rolling hills of Wiltshire. Like a lot of other people, I lost a lot of self-belief and confidence during those long pandemic months, so I decided to throw my bonnet in the ring, write a comedy show, and, with the help of some ridiculously talented humans, bring her to life.
Do you get nervous before a show? How do you prepare for a show?
I always get really nervous, but I also love it and know how much work it takes to get any stage time. Whenever I’m nervous or stressed, I always think that this could be the last time I ever get to perform, so whatever happens, I need to enjoy it.
How did you decide what you wanted to do after Secondary School?
I actually found the post-graduation period really tough, and after I left university, it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do. Most people I went to Durham University with had a really clear vision of what they wanted to do and where they were headed, so as most of my friends headed to the city to start internships and grad schemes, I found myself a little bit lost and left behind.
I ended up working in hospitality and then spent a few months travelling. I knew I wanted to write and create something but had no idea where to start. I didn’t have many contacts and seemed to be surrounded by closed doors.
During covid, I worked for charity and picked freelance work where I could before getting into TV work. During lockdown, I lost my job and had to move in with my parents, and I really struggled to figure out what to do next. I just decided to write something and put it on, no matter what. I was sick of waiting around for someone to give me an opportunity or permission to be creative, so I decided to make my own opportunities instead, leading me to do my 5 minutes of stand-up.
What do you wish someone had told you before you left school?
It doesn’t matter what other people think! We often let the pressure of what’s expected of us dictate our career paths and life choices, but the most important thing is that you’re happy and curious.
Do you still keep in touch with anyone from school?
I do! Even after moving around to different countries and schools after the BSN, I still see my old friends in London.
Rosalie performed at the Soho Theatre from November to December 2023.
It’s always been my dream to bring a show to Soho, and I can’t quite believe I got a transfer to play at one of London’s biggest comedy venues.