Penny trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. For many years she performed in The West End, as well as on the fringes of London, Brighton and Edinburgh. She also has plenty of touring experience playing leading roles such as Gwendoline in The Importance of Being Earnest, Helena in A Midsummer Nights Dream and Olivia in Twelfth Night.
However, she is at her happiest in the recording studio and has had the pleasure of recording dozens of audiobooks, podcasts and radio dramas.
TO1%: When did you know you first wanted to be actor?
PSA: When I was about 7, after playing Clara in a school play of The Nutcracker.
TO1%: What was your first professional gig?
PSA: A short indy film, shot in my last term at Drama School. I can’t remember what it was called, but I can remember I had a massive gun!
TO1%: Some people practice in front of a mirror some people think that’s really artificial? What’s your take?
PSA: I think it has a purpose as long as you remain objective about the differences in what you self critically see, to what an audience would see.
TO1%: How did you get involved with The Other 1%?
PSA: I met Simon when I played several roles in Extraordinary Tales. I then had the pleasure of working with him on the stage production of Protect and Survive
TO1%: If you could play any film, tv, stage or literary character, who would it be and why?
PSA: Queen Margaret in Henry VI. I’ve wanted to play her since I was 16. I admire her strength and relentlessness
TO1%: Do you practice your craft when you’re ‘resting’ and how?
PSA: I am lucky enough to record Audiobooks everyday, which keeps me well practiced with playing hundreds of roles (from humans to elves and everything in-between) of all ages and a wide array of accents. This is a great flex of the acting muscles.
TO1%: How much of your acting would you say is craft and how much instinct?
PSA: I think it’s mostly instinct, reinforced with craft
TO1%: In the States Method Acting is often seen as the Holy Grail, how do you feel about that?
PSA: I think it’s fine, but it would be a little dull to not explore other approaches.
TO1%: Do you ever find you start to become the characters you play when you’re off stage or off set? Has anyone ever noticed?
PSA: I played Regan in King Lear, and shared accommodation with the other two actresses playing the sisters. The tension at home became horrendous as rehearsals progressed. We had to take a moment to look at the situation, and consciously leave work at the theatre!!
TO1%: It’s a hard one, but if you had to choose and could only do pre-recorded OR live performance for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?
PSA: Pre-recorded. I love the freedom of being in the studio where there are no preconceptions based on appearance. The roles are endless, rather than just playing my age or look. Though I would miss the adrenaline of performing live.
TO1%: What’s your trick for learning lines?
PSA: I go over them in my head whilst running. I think the feet are a metronome and the lines slowly sink in,
TO1%: Do you read your reviews and at what stage in a run of a play?
PSA: I never want to, but can’t help myself. If they are good I think they must be lying, and if they are bad I worry endlessly. Lose lose!
TO1%: Do you have any superstitions other than not whistling in the stage wings and calling that Shakespeare play The Scottish Play?
TO1%: If you could have a masterclass from one director and one actor who would they be?
PSA: My dream job would be a regular role in The Archers, so any director or actor who could help point me in the right direction to get the skills for this!
TO1%: If you become a superstar, will you demand specific bottled water and go on a paleo diet?
PSA: Absolutely!! 😉
Based on the South Coast of England, THE OTHER 1% was created by award-winning producer SIMON MOORHEAD, whose production company TBC AUDIO creates and distributes original, full-cast audiobooks with the aim of promoting local actors and writers to a global audience.