From the Archive: BushGreen meets Penelope Skinner

What plays should we be reading, putting on and going to see?

I can’t answer for anyone else, but plays I will definitely be going to see are:

Kin by EV Crowe (Royal Court), Spur of the Moment by Anya Reiss (Royal Court) and Me As a Penguin by Tom Wells (Arcola) and anything by Dennis Kelly, Chloe Moss, Sarah Ruhl, Alia Bano, Amy Rosenthal, David Greig, Debbie Tucker-Green, Polly Stenham, Bola Agbaje, Roy Williams, Sarah Daniels, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Leo Butler, Jack Thorne, Martin Crimp, Kneehigh Theatre, Paper Birds Theatre Co, and lots of other people who will hopefully have plays on this year.

Something I will not be doing this year is:

Reading ‘The Canon’.


Describe your first theatrical epiphany

Probably when I was eleven and I went to see a children’s show of THE HOBBIT.  It was so good that afterwards I cried because the real world seemed very disappointing in comparison.


What are your career highlights so far?

I used to live in Shepherds Bush in a very different time in my life, so to have a play on at the Bush is something very special. It’s funny to see the same old places, but now with a completely different perspective. Also the Bush was the theatre which made me first want to actually sit down and write a play, so that makes it doubly amazing to have a play on here.


Who is the greatest influence on your career?

Noel Edmonds.


What’s the best thing you’ve ever seen at the theatre?

I need more than one. These aren’t even all of them, but ones I think of straight away which have been very inspirational, either in a personal way or in terms of the way they made me experience theatre:

When You Cure Me (Jack Thorne, Bush)

This Wide Night (Chloe Moss, Soho – both times)

Love and Money (Dennis Kelly, Young Vic)

In a Thousand Pieces (Paper Birds Theatre Company, Edinburgh Festival)

On the Rocks (Amy Rosenthal, Hampstead)

Cymbeline (Kneehigh)

Angels in America (Tony Kushner, Lyric Hammersmith)

Jerusalem (Jez Butterworth, Royal Court)

Dunsinane (David Greig, Hampstead)

The City (Martin Crimp, Royal Court)

Blasted (Sarah Kane, Soho)

Fallout (Roy Williams, Royal Court)


Penelope Skinner’s theatre includes: Midnight at the Hotel Beauregard (with Paines Plough for Rose Bruford); Scarlet’s Circus (Hampstead Theatre Heat & Light Company); F*cked (Old Red Lion/Edinburgh Assembly Rooms); 1 in 5 (Hampstead Theatre Upstart).

Radio includes: Scratch (Locative drama for Radio 3 Freethinking Festival); The Old Road (BBC 7 Man in Black series).

Other: The Art Room (a comic in 3 parts); The Nocturnal Adventures of Edwin D’Eath (graphic short story, Glasshouse Books).