Comedy. By Chris Weikel.
Cast: 2m., 2w. Penny Penniworth is a labyrinthine romp through 19th-century English literature as presented by a severely short-staffed theatre troupe with Royal Shakespeare Company pretensions that decides to produce a "lost" Dickens epic. The eponymous Penny, a down-on-her-luck Dickensian waif, deprived of her fortune and her country estate by the untimely death of her hapless father (her father's name is actually Hapless, as it happens), must go off to London and navigate her way among unscrupulous suitors, incorrigible urchins and anonymous benefactors. After throwing herself on the mercy of the family solicitor, Mr. Bunting (of the firm Bunting, Bunting and Swagg, naturally), Penny and her mother are sent to live with the slightly deranged Miss Havasnort to cater to her every whim. Penny soon becomes prey to the roguish Rupert Stryfe, heir to the House of Stryfe. What is an innocent young girl to do? The play is a tour de force for four actors who portray a cavalcade of comic characters in a gender-bending tale of true love thwarted, wealth, deception, abduction and true love regained. Unit set. Approximate running time: 75 minutes.