Knowing me, knowing you: Rebecca Peyton and Angela Peyton

 

Rebecca Peyton, 39, is an actress whose one-woman show, Sometimes I Laugh Like My Sister, is based on her experiences after her elder sister, Kate, a journalist and producer, was murdered in Somalia while posted there for the BBC in 2005.

We were always aware that home was Mum's domain; Dad was area sales manager for EMI so he was away a lot for work. When he died, when I was six, we were lucky in as much as our daily life continued as it had done; we had our primary carer. We lived in a small village in Suffolk, and had lots of friends.

After he died, I spent a lot of time out on my bike, hurtling around. We have always been very close, but became particularly so after Kate died. There was a noticeable change in Mum. It was only as an adult that I realised that hurtling round on my bike when I was younger was nerve-racking for her because Dad had died from being knocked off his bike.

She's a remarkable person. If there was something we wanted to do, she let us do it without letting her anxieties get in our way. She always said she didn't want to pass down her terror and fear to us and she didn't. The best way to describe how Kate's death affected the family was that we had always been a four-wheel vehicle – Mum, Kate, Charles, my older brother, and me – and suddenly there were only three wheels and we weren't designed for that. Losing somebody changes who you are and how you relate to the world and you have to get to know the new person who's left.

Mum was incredibly supportive about my doing the one-woman show, which really puts our ordeal on stage. But she was terrified that not only would I have had to deal with Kate's death but I would also get bad reviews or people would accuse me of whatever. I guess she finds it odd but I think she's proud now.

 

Angela Peyton, 71, worked for EMI, where she met her husband and Rebecca's father. They moved to Suffolk and had three children, Charles, Kate and Rebecca. After her husband died 33 years ago the family continued to live in Suffolk.

It is the hardest job in the world raising three children on your own and mine weren't even particularly troublesome. When your husband dies, you have no back-up, you have to make the rules and enforce them. I decided that I really had to fight for the things that matter and after that we could negotiate.

I treated them as adults from when they were quite young, I suppose. Often people comment on how we talk to one another.

I did find it hard when they all left home but I didn't sit weeping in their bedrooms like some people do. As Rebecca was the last to leave, I knew she would be worrying about me so I thought it was important not to shoulder her with that responsibility. After Kate's death, our relationship changed a lot; I think I became dependent on her for a while, possibly even a burden. We each dealt with Kate's death in our own way. One lesson I learnt after my husband died is that you never say to anybody that they ought to be doing something in particular after they lose someone. It is so individual and so personal. Rebecca and Kate were of a generation and were so close and Rebecca was bereft in a way I didn't experience, I couldn't. But losing your child is as bad as it gets.

I did worry that people would find her play unacceptable but I grew to understand why she needed to do it. And since it's been well received I've been able to relax a bit, I suppose.

'Sometimes I Laugh Like My Sister' transfers to the Finborough Theatre in Earls Court, London, from 8 January 2012. finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    .NET Developer / Web Developer / Software Developer - £37,000

    £30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...

    Biology Teacher

    Main Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Biology Teacher to A Level - Female...

    SAP Assessor

    £26000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: SAP Assessor Job T...

    KS1 and KS2 Primary NQT Job in Lancaster Area

    £85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...

    Day In a Page

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering