Josie Lawrence

Josie Lawrence enjoys a wonderfully diverse career. She is an actress, singer, and improviser.

Her many theatre credits include ‘Kate’ in “The Taming Of The Shrew” at the RSC for which she was awarded The Dame Peggy Ashcroft Award for best actress presented to her by Sir Peter Hall. Other classic plays include ‘Madame Ranyevskaya’ in “The Cherry Orchard”; ‘Beatrice’ in “Much Ado About Nothing” at the Royal exchange – winner of Manchester Evening News Award for Best Actress; ‘Eliza’ in “Pygmalion”; the title role in “Mother Courage”; ‘Benedict’ in “Much Ado…” at Shakespeare’s Globe and the title role in the revival of Tom Stoppard’s “Hapgood”.

Theatre premieres include Bryony Lavery’s “Frozen” (National Theatre); Michael Frayn’s “Alarms and Excursions” (Gielgud Theatre); “Acorn Antiques the Musical” (Haymarket); the UK premiere of “Love Lies Bleeding” (Coronet) and most recently ‘Sylvie’ in Jonathan Harvey’s “Our Lady Of Blundellsands” at Liverpool Everyman.

She took over the role of ‘Mrs Anna’ from Elaine Paige in “The King and I” ( London Palladium) and enjoyed a highly successful nine month run.

Films include “Enchanted April”, “Bonobo”, “Finding Her Feet” and the soon to be released, “A Clever Woman”.

Television includes her own show “Josie”; “The Green Man” playing Albert Finney’s daughter; “Outside Edge”; “Skins”; “Humans” and most recently she played the iconic witch ‘Agnes Nutter’ in Neil Gaiman’s “Good Omens” – a role she also played in the radio version.

Josie is known as ‘The Queen of Improvisation’ and can still be seen at The Comedy Store on Sunday nights improvising with The Comedy Store Players. She also founded an all female improv group The Glenda J Collective. For nine seasons she was a regular on “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”.  With the American team she performed “Whose Line…?” live shows at both London Palladium and most recently three nights at the Royal Albert Hall – one of the most scariest but wonderful events of her career! In 2022 Josie helped create an improvised theatre show with Improbable – a show that allows her to explore the darker and more moving aspects of this genre.

Josie works extensively in radio and is a regular on “Just A Minute”.

As herself she has appeared on many shows including “QI”, “Would I Lie To You” and “Never Mind The Buzzcocks”.

Josie has been awarded the Freedom Of Sandwell. She was also given an Honorary Doctor of Arts at both Plymouth and Wolverhampton Universities and Honorary Doctor Of Letters at Aston University.

Josie has a council grit truck named after her which grits the streets of her childhood hometown Old Hill in the Winter months – its called Frozie Lawrence.

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