I was born in Birmingham to a playwright and a horse transporter and grew up in Lichfield: the only bit of the West Midlands that doesn't really have an accent. As a child, my mother was concerned I might grow up to be a giant. She wasn't too far off.
I spent a large portion of my childhood playing needy children for BBC Radio 4 followed by a particularly chatty tree, a princess in danger and then a six year stint as Pip's inappropriate best friend Izzy Blake, on The Archers. I've generally forgotten the rest of my childhood as quite frankly, I wasn't very good at being a child.
Up until the age of 11, I was fairly convinced I was going to be a dancer, taking classes in Modern, Jazz, Ballet, Irish Dance, Tap and National Dance. As I turned 12, I hit 5'6" and finally came to terms with the fact that dancing probably wasn't a viable option. Thanks to my childhood dance education, however, I am extremely well versed in the technicalities of Morris Dancing as well as medieval french reels and social dance.
At my second school, I used to sing and play the piano as I figured out that singing was a good cover up for the fact that I wasn't exactly Marguerite Wolff. That didn't stop me, however, from singing and playing in New York, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, San Francisco as well performing a rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" in concert for Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Pele (Yes, Pele the footballer... and no, I'm not entirely sure why he was there either...) I also joined my local youth theatre (The Lichfield Garrick Youth) appearing as "Girl 5" (A.K.A the one who gets Fantine fired) in Les Miserables, "Wise Man with Strange Hat" in Jesus Christ Superstar and ultimately, Joanne in Rent. I also joined the Garrick Young Rep Company: a decision that eventually resulted in a 17 year old me, (playing the devil in a medieval play adapted by my mother) singing "Highway to Hell" in a red corset in the middle of Lichfield Cathedral. My finest hour.
I had decided I was going to be a barrister but still applied for the National Youth Music Theatre (NYMT) and three years after my first audition with them, at the age of 18, I got into their production of Sweeney Todd playing the role of Mrs Lovett. It was in a warehouse, there were corsets, there were axes and secateurs, neon lights, a mishap involving a mouldy pie, a children's slide and regardless of an unfortunately timed broken foot, it was ultimately this extraordinary experience that made me want to become an actress.
It was, however, a fairly successful all-female school production of Thoroughly Modern Millie that inspired me to apply to drama school. I got into the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) at the end of 2009 and started on their B.A. Acting course in 2010. I spent a great year in South London training in their spectacular gothic buildings but eventually decided I wanted to work more on my singing voice alongside my acting training.
After being nominated for the Andrew Lloyd Webber award, I decided to move North of the river to the less salubrious buildings of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. For what it lacks in aesthetic loveliness, it makes up for in strong triple threat training. I spent three years shunning make up and removing all signs of colour from my wardrobe for the sake of art. It was an amazing and traumatic experience and as a result, I have come away with a degree from a University in Norwich...
After graduating I found myself playing a food critic in her thirties with London Theatre Workshop swiftly followed by a combination of a nun, an irritating knitting woman on a train, a juggling circus performer and an extremely enthusiastic wedding guest all at the Finborough Theatre and all at some point during the same two hour slot. I then took the thirty something food critic into the St James Theatre in the latest re-write of Apartment 40c.
I have worked as a drama and singing teacher at various schools and academies teaching all ages from 3-18 in anything from film and television, acting and comedy, singing, musical theatre, radio, humming and bimbling. I play a fiercely competitive version of Zip Zap Boing although I've had no injuries yet.
I can also be found wandering around the Bishopsgate Institute. Sometimes I can be found on their box office desk although more often than not, I'm caught and told to sit on a chair like a proper grown up. Sometimes I'm singing in their gorgeous great hall with the London Musical Theatre Orchestra at both their monthly play-throughs and their professional public events. I play the ukulele when I'm sad, recommend the novel The Bees, cycle enormous distances for fun and am obsessed with Bill Hader, Kristin Wiig and Monty Python.
I finished Wonderful Town in another pub theatre playing a terrible writer. The show wasn't terrible. It was Bernstein. It was lovely. And bonkers. And we were nominated for Offies which was also lovely. I then spent a lot of my time at Christmas driving a Sköda around the country (but predominantly Woolwich... I spent most of my time in Woolwich...) and attempting to save the soul of Eberneezer Scrooge. I did a lot of voices, goofed about constantly and learned the power of a well timed fart noise. I also did a show with Robert Lindsay. I played various characters in The Remarkable Adventures of The Owl and The Pussycat at the Coventry Belgrade. It was written by Dougal Irvine and was based on a novel by Eric Idle. All of my characters died. Thanks Eric.
In 2016, we took a one woman show about Syphilis, the Music Hall and Gin to Birmingham Fest where we won show and performance of the festival. Fanny went to Tring at the end of March 2017 and subsequently came home to the Lichfield Garrick at the end of June. I then had to learn another one-woman show about 1920s lesbian jewel heists. This won best new show and performance of the festival at Birmingham. The next day I cycled 46 miles for charity with my stepdad. It was mental.
I then decided to go travelling for a month. So I did. I spent a lot of time by lakes, climbing mountains, drinking wine and doing potentially dangerous things all for the sake of fun.
At the end of 2017, I did a play where I had to run on a treadmill for the entirety of the first act. As a cyclist, that was my idea of hell, but watching me suffer could be considered art, so plenty of people came along. And now I do Parkrun on a Saturday Morning... so something rubbed off.
I then finished off the year covered in glitter, singing Defying Gravity and fanning myself with fire whilst playing the Spirit of the Ring in Evolution's co-production of Aladdin with the Lichfield Garrick. I didn't manage set myself on fire during the run although there was a close shave involving a fire sword and a 8ft pantomime elephant...
According to Quentin Letts, I honk terrifically.