Agent: Sarah McNair
Penny trained at drama school in Vienna and worked initially as an actor in Austria, returning to the UK in 1984. After a break to bring up her son, she started translating. In 1992 she was awarded a bursary by the British Centre for Literary Translation, UEA, to finish translating DEATH AND THE DEVIL (Peter Turrini). This was followed by YES, MY FUEHRER*, INCONVENIENCE* and THE GALITZIAN JEWESS* (Brigitte Schwaiger), CIGGIE AND SWIGGIE and AS NIGHT FOLLOWS DAY (Christian Martin), the latter for the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill. The Arts Council commissioned her to translate SLAUGHTERING THE PIG (Peter Turrini), which was produced at the White Bear in 1995 (Time Out Critic’s Choice). The 1995 Arts Council Theatre Translation Bursary enabled her to translate Erwin Reiss's HAWKING’S DREAM* and she was commissioned by the Goethe Institute to translate the 1995 Mulheim Festival runner-up YOU SHALL GIVE ME GRANDSONS (Thomas Jonigk), which premièred in Los Angeles in 1996. Three further translations of children’s plays were published as MADE IN GERMANY - NINE CONTEMPORARY PLAYS. In 1997 Penny translated THE RECKLESS ARE DYING OUT (Peter Handke) for 606 at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith (Time Out Critic’s Choice) and MALARIA (Simone Schneider) for the Royal Court, published by Nick Hern Books. In 1999 again for the Royal Court, she translated KING KONG’S DAUGHTERS by Theresia Walser. Her translations of Ödön von Horváth's SLADEK* and RUND UM DEN KONGRESS* received readings at the RNT in 2001. She was commissioned by the National Theatre Connections to translate Christian Martin's STARSTONE for summer 2002 and by the Arcola Theatre to translate Helminger's VENEZUELA which they produced in 2003. Her first original play MAKING BABIES was premièred at Heilbronn's Komoedie Teater (Germany) in 2004 and her second play SUDDEN SILENCE received a rehearsed reading at the Arcola Theatre.
Her adaptation of Leea Klemola's MAMMOTH is currently running at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Pleasance Dome).
Her translation of Elfriede Jelinek's SPORTS PLAY was recently produced by Just a Must Theatre Co and toured the UK in 2012.
She received an award from the Austrian Ministry of Culture for her contribution to the translation of Austrian literature.
*published by Oberon Books