Search the Circa Theatre website:
1 Taranaki Street, Wellington | Box Office Ph: 04 801 7992

Penny Ashton has been performing since before she could walk. Her mother knew she was in for trouble from the moment Penny ate her first lipstick, pulled on her first tutu and declared herself a ballerina. Just some of her dance career highlights include playing Jeremy Fisher Frog, being a What Now Dancer and dancing as a mouse who inadvertently knocked over the mouse hole in the recital causing chaos and mayhem.

She briefly dabbled in shot put, winning a bronze medal at the Colgate Games in 1984, but gave that away as she thought she didn’t have the thighs for it… oh how wrong she was. Indeed Prima-ballerinhood was also eventually abandoned due to her pesky need to eat, and so Penny changed tack to completing a BA in Drama and Classics at Canterbury University. It was at University that Penny began performing comedy regularly and represented Canterbury at the NZ University Comedy Competitions in 93, 94 and 95. It was also at this point that her dad starting selling prophylactics from machines for “a buck a f**k.”

In Auckland Penny has become the full-time performer the little five-year-old in her always dreamed she’d be. She is a permanent member of the ConArtists Improv company, is a voice over artist,  MC, poet, actor, comedienne, has played such illustrious roles as ‘tampon girl’ in various commercials, and has even been seen in Shortland St’s corridors.


In 2003 she started performing her own Comedy Poetry and a whole new world of touring solo shows and poverty in different countries followed.  In 2007 she gestated and gave birth to her smash hit Hot Pink Bits which she has since performed all over the globe in excess of 200 times.

Penny Ashton has been touring the world for over 20 years, and in that time has performed over 1000 solo shows. She has sold out from Edinburgh to Edmonton to Mosgiel and has represented NZ both in Theatresports and Slam Poetry. She has performed at numerous international festivals including Glastonbury, The Bath Jane Austen Festival and in NYC’s Bowery Poetry Club. Her award winning solo musicals; Promise and Promiscuity (Austen inspired) and Olive Copperbottom (Dickens inspired) have gathered sparkling reviews and happy fans as they go and in 2023 the Court Theatre presented her adaptation of Sense and Sensibility to great acclaim. She is also an improviser, performance poet, voice over artist, social commentator (including on RNZ’s The Panel), Wedding Celebrant, menopause podcaster with Showy Ovaries, and all round jazz hand enthusiast. Her new Shakespearean solo show; The Tempestuous, debuted in June 2023 to critical success. Sense and Sensibility is her directorial debut.