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Pippa Bennett-Warner

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Title: Pippa Bennett-Warner  
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Subject: Black British actresses, Colour-blind casting, Gaynor Macfarlane, July 23
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Pippa Bennett-Warner

Pippa Bennett-Warner
Born (1988-07-23) 23 July 1988
Banbury, UK
Occupation actress
Years active 1999–present

Philippa "Pippa" Bennett-Warner (born 23 July 1988) is a RADA trained British actress.[1]


Pippa Bennett-Warner was brought up in Northamptonshire and was educated at St Edward's School in Oxford, where she boarded from the age of 13 to 18. She started her acting career in 1999, beating over 3,000 other hopefuls to be cast as one of the original young Nalas in Julie Taymor's production of The Lion King when it first came to London. Her appearance in the show was followed by roles on Holby City and playing Lenny Henry's daughter in his television show Lenny Henry in Pieces followed.

After deciding to take a short break from acting to concentrate on studying, she secured a place at RADA and also got the role of Emmie Thibodeaux in the musical Caroline, or Change,[2] for which she was nominated for the Stuart Phillips London Newcomer of the Year award for 2007, alongside Andrew Garfield and Chris New. Not being able to dip in and out of the RADA course, Bennett-Warner took the job at the National Theatre and went to RADA the following year. Once finished on the South Bank she starred as the lead role in Athol Fugard's UK premiere of Victory for the Peter Hall Company.

Bennett-Warner graduated from RADA in the summer of 2010, but left early in April to take on the role of Sophie in Lynn Nottage's play Ruined at the Almeida Theatre. Before completing the course she was awarded the prestigious Carleton Hobbs Radio Award. However, due to another job commitment she was unable to join the radio rep.

After finishing Ruined she went on to star in a two-hander with Sinéad Cusack for Sky Arts. Called Crocodile, the play was written by Frank McGuinness. During this time Bennett-Warner was cast in Michael Grandage's award-winning King Lear as Cordelia, with Derek Jacobi in the title role. Before rehearsals started for King Lear in October, she filmed small parts in Come Fly With Me with David Walliams and Matt Lucas and also in Case Histories alongside Jason Isaacs.

After having played Cordelia for almost eight months and receiving an Ian Charleson commendation, she was then offered a role in D. C. Moore's play The Swan — a role that had been written for her — at the National Theatre,[3] which was followed by a role in Lewis. She then played Queen Isabel in Michael Grandage's swan song Richard II at the Donmar Warehouse with Eddie Redmayne in the title role and Andrew Buchan as Bolingbroke.[4] She received positive reviews from the critics, with Kate Bassett from The Independent saying: "Both of them (Redmayne and Buchan) are, in fact, outshone by Pippa Bennett-Warner in the cameo role of Isabel, Richard’s devoted, fiery queen."[5]

In 2012 Bennett-Warner played the lead role in Vivienne Franzmann's second play The Witness, which was staged at the Royal Court Theatre. She received rave reviews and went on to secure a nomination for Best Actress at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2012, alongside Cate Blanchett and Dame Eileen Atkins.

Bennett-Warner has been named by The Evening Standard as one of the 1000 Most Influential Londoners for 2012 in the category "Generation Next".



Year Title Character Production Director/Notes
2011 Richard II[6]
by William Shakespeare
Queen Isabel Donmar Warehouse Michael Grandage
2011 The Swan[7]
by D. C. Moore
Denise National Theatre Polly Findlay
2010–2011 King Lear[8]
by William Shakespeare
Cordelia Donmar Warehouse Michael Grandage
Nominated for Ian Charleson award.
2010 Crocodile
by Frank McGuinness
Girl Riverside Studios Toby Frow
2010 Ruined[9]
by Lynn Nottage
Sophie Almeida Theatre Indhu Rubasingham
2007 Victory
by Athol Fugard
Vicky Theatre Royal Bath Cordelia Monsey
2006 Caroline, or Change[10]
by Tony Kushner
Emmie Thibodeaux National Theatre George C. Wolfe
Nominated for The Stuart Phillips London Newcomer of the Year award for 2007 from
1999 The Lion King Young Nala Lyceum Theatre Julie Taymor


Year Title Character Production
2014 Doctor Who Saibra BBC
A Caribbean Mystery Victoria
2014 The Secrets Lorna BBC
2014 The Smoke Ziggy Sky1
2012 Inspector George Gently Delores Kenny BBC
2012 Lewis Nina Clemens ITV
2011 Case Histories Emma Drake Ruby Films/BBC
2011 Come Fly With Me Lisa BBC
2011 Lewis Female Reporter ITV
2011 National Theatre Live Cordelia National Theatre
2003 Lenny Henry in Pieces Jessica Tiger Aspect Productions
2002 Holby City Gemma Webber BBC


Year Title Character Production
2012 The Great Gatsby Daisy Buchanan BBC Radio 4
2011 Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie BBC World Service
2010 The White Devil Zanche BBC World Service


  1. ^ "Pippa Bennett-Warner Profile". RADA. 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Watch out for…".  
  3. ^ (15 December 2011). "Interview with Pippa Bennett-Warner". Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  4. ^  
  5. ^ Bassett, Kate (11 December 2011). "Richard II, Donmar Warehouse, London Company, Crucible, Sheffield The Ladykillers, Gielgud, London".  
  6. ^ "Richard II". Donmar Warehouse. 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Double Feature 1". National Theatre. 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "King Lear". Donmar Warehouse. 2010–2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Ruined". Almeida Theatre. 2010. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "Caroline, or Change". National Theatre. 2006. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 

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