"Billie Piper is the most intense and exciting creature on any stage today"
Daily Mail Review of Yerma, 2016
Billie Piper became a household name after two years playing the nation’s favourite companion in the hit relaunch of ‘Doctor Who’. She has now established herself as one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and awarded actors.
Billie’s career kicked off at just 15 when she became the youngest artist to ever debut at number one, with her single ‘Because We Want To’ - a record she still holds to this day. Four Smash Hit Awards, two double-platinum albums, three number one, four top-five singles later and Piper decided it was time to hang up the microphone to turn to her original passion, acting.
Billie began her TV career with leading roles in the BBC’s adaptation of ‘The Miller’s Tale’, and ‘Bella and the Boys’, before taking on a role that would define science-fiction television forever.
Eleven million people tuned in to see the BBC relaunch of ‘Doctor Who’, with Billie Piper as the feisty companion, Rose Tyler. Despite initial predictions, the show was an enormous success, consistently pulling in record ratings and picking up countless awards. Billie was universally hailed; every poll placed her as the most popular Doctor Who companion of all time and ‘Best Actress’ awards began to pile up. After two series, Billie decided it was time to move on, but has returned frequently for special appearances such as the show’s 50th Anniversary - one of the most successful live events in cinema history, after selling out worldwide in more than 1,500 cinemas.
Not one to sit around, Billie went straight into the leading role in ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, ‘The Ruby in the Smoke’, ‘The Shadow in the North’ and ‘Mansfield Park’.
In 2007, Billie took on the role of a high-class escort in ITV’s popular yet highly controversial, ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’, based on the famous blog by Belle de Jour. The show became one of the channel’s biggest hits, earning further award recognition. After four series, the show came to an emotional climax, and Billie went on to leading parts in ‘A Passionate Woman’ opposite Sue Johnston, ‘True Love’ with Kaya Scodelario, Showtime’s international hit ‘Penny Dreadful’ and ‘Foxtrot’ for Sky Arts.
Billie’s first credited film role was in 2004’s ‘The Calcium Kid’, before leading roles in ‘Things To Do Before You’re 30’, ‘Spirit Trap’, ‘City of Tiny Lights’, ‘The Raven’ and voicing Bonnie in ‘Animals United’.
Deciding to take a step away from TV and film, Billie’s recent and most notable roles have been her performances on stage. In 2007, she played Ann in Christopher Hampton’s sold-out run of ‘Treats’ at the Garrick Theatre. This marked the beginning of a new path for Billie after she was recognised with her first nomination for ‘Best Actress’ at the Evening Standard Awards.
A heavily pregnant Billie played the part of Carly in Neil LaBute’s ‘Reasons to Be Pretty’ at the Almeida Theatre, which became a four-month sell-out, garnering several five-star reviews and a nomination for ‘Best Actress’ at the What’s On Stage Awards.
Less than a year later and Billie was back on stage playing Connie in the Headlong and National Theatre co-production of ‘The Effect, scripted by ‘ENRON’ writer, Lucy Prebble. The production, about a clinical drugs trial and its side effects, was a huge success. Selling out every show for the entire six-month run, and a public petition to have the show extended, it quickly became the most critically acclaimed new play of the year. Critics described Piper as ‘superb and utterly heart-wrenching’ (The Telegraph), ‘an unforgettable tour-de-force’ (BBC Front Row) and ‘extraordinary’ (The Guardian). But her success didn’t stop there, the What’s On Stage, Evening Standard, Critics Circle and Olivier Awards all praised her with a nomination for ‘Best Actress’.
Great Britain, a top-secret production by the National Theatre based on the then-recent phone hacking scandal, opened with Billie’s ‘distressingly accurate’ (BBC Front Row) and ‘marvellous’ (The Guardian) performance. Billie was again nominated for ‘Best Actress’ at the London Evening Standard Awards and won Best Actress at the What’s On Stage Theatre Awards.
This was still not to be Billie’s best yet though.
Audiences and critics were left stunned when, in 2016, Billie Piper stormed her way back on stage with what was described as “the performance of the decade.”
Baffled critics struggled to find words to describe her performance. Eventually, The Guardian picked “shattering, exhausting, earth-quaking”, The Arts Desk proclaimed she had “vaulted to the top rank of British theatre”, the Daily Mail named her “the most intense and exciting creature on any stage”, The Financial Times settled with “stunning, absolutely searing”, while the Metro found it “unbearably harrowing” and The Evening Standard, “devastating”.
It was a performance so intense that The Independent critic described it as “a force that left [him] visibly shaking” and The Telegraph warned audiences they would be left “broken, breathless and completely drained.”
Playing Her, a woman driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child, in Simon Stone’s adaptation of Lorca’s ‘Yerma’, Billie won ‘Best Actress’ at the Broadway UK, Glamour, Critics Circle, What’s On Stage, Evening Standard and Olivier Awards. She is the only actor to have won every one of the six available Best Actress awards for a single performance.
Due to unprecedented demand, the show was revived in the summer of 2017, with the finale being streamed live into thousands of sold-out cinemas across the world.
Amidst several TV shows; ‘Collateral’, ‘Two For Joy’ and ‘Beast’, in March 2018 Billie fulfilled her childhood dream and took ‘Yerma’ for a sell-out run in New York. Critics in America were left equally speechless, with the New York Times proclaiming her “an unconditional victory” and Vogue as "one of the finest talents of her generation".