A Masterclass with the award winning actor Jessica Hynes who worked onstage with Masterclass members.

Jessica started by talking about improvised comedy and taking questions from Masterclass members. She then worked with everyone on exercises based around improvisation.

About Jessica Hynes


Jessica Hynes was born in Lewisham, London but grew up in Brighton, where she attended Dorothy Stringer High School. As both a writer and performer, Jessica has worked extensively in television, film and theatre.

From 1998-2000 she played the role of Cheryl in the hit sitcom The Royle Family. In 1999, she co-wrote and starred in Spaced establishing herself in the world of comedy along with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. She went on to star in many great British television shows such as Doctor Who, Skins, The Hour, Moone Boy and Blandings.

In the London Olympics centred satire, Twenty Twelve, Jessica appeared as a "right-on" PR person Siobhan Sharpe. The first series screened on BBC4 in 2011, moving to BBC2 in spring 2012, gathering a cult following and Bafta nominations. In 2012, Jessica played the role of Carol in the hugely popular One Night for BBC1 to great acclaim for her portrayal. And in 2013 Jessica wrote and starred in series one of BBC2’s successful show, Up The Women, a comical look at the Suffagette movement.  Jessica has also been in a wide range of films such as Shaun Of The Dead, Bridget Jones; The Edge of Reason, Son of Rambow, Harry Potter and Pudsey.

Jessica has won two British Comedy Awards, both for her performances in Spaced: Best Female Comedy Newcomer in 1999 and Best TV Comedy Actress in 2001. In 2009 she was nominated for a Tony award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a play for her role in Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests and in 2013 she won the Royal Television Society award for Best Comedy Performance for her role in Twenty Twelve.  

Last year Jessica reprised her role of Siobhan Sharpe in W1A, the hotly anticipated spin-off to Twenty Twelve and finished shooting the second series of Up The Women