‘Lady Penelope & Parker’ gain Hollywood and USA recognition

By Duane Ranger

Hollywood film recognition has left Australian producer and actor, Wendy Spencer, stunned.

The 65-year-old Redcliffe resident who directs, produces, and stars in the Australian version of ‘Lady Penelope and Parker’, said she didn’t expect any international acknowledgement considering the skits had only a ‘fair’ reception Down Under.

“We have just finished filming our 71st ‘Lady Penelope & Parker’ skit, and to think we are being noticed in the United States, especially Hollywood, is absolutely mind-blowing.

“We are not everyone’s cup of tea, but we enjoy making the skits, and our friends and relations love them. It’s just a matter of getting more exposure. If anyone needs to laugh it’s now during these sad Covid and Ukraine days,” Spencer said.

The acclaimed Australian actress, who has starred in dozens of movies, short films and advertisements since the 1970s, said the mid-2022 production of ‘Sand Witch’ was the only Australian (or Down Under) entry to make the final of Indiex Film Festival in Los Angeles.

“We were up against 14 other short films from throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and France entry to have a Los Angeles Film Festival recognise us is brilliant. The Festival Screening will be in June.

Australian actress and the managing director of Cast Me A Shadow Productions – Brisbane-based Wendy Spencer.

“We were also recognised by Hollywood’s Raleigh Studios ‘Film Freeway Independent Shorts Film Festival as well. Many other countries entered these awards as well and we were the only Australian/New Zealanders to make the official screening in Raleigh Studios Hollywood in June as well.”

These were ‘Ticket To The Moon’ and ‘Moon Return’ in the short comedy film section and included countries from China, UK, USA, India, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Canada, Belgium, and Brazil.

The Finalists against ‘Sand Witch’ are: Love 4 Britland by Jaritza Lopez (USA); Mrs. Halloway by Connor Morley (USA); Nightmare by Seth Jarrett (USA); PTSD by Adam Babu (USA); Rent a Grandpa by Ed Vela (USA); Sand Witch by Wendy Lorelei Spencer (Australia); Shiva by Rex Dane (USA); SpiderSteve by Evan Chacon (USA); Sufi by Faranak Sahafian (USA)’; The Book of Half-Opened Lotuses by François Juszezak; Annie Korach (France); The Fortune Cookie by Norma Marcus (USA); The Real Housewives of the Bible by Theresa V. Wilson (USA); Vendetta On Her Birthday by Aristote John Boyo and Lee Admassie (UK); and Who Wants to Live Forever by Jack Crowley Pochop (USA).

“We have appeared on Radio 4ZZZ in Brisbane, but I think more people know about ‘Parker’ in the Northern Hemisphere than what they do Down Under. Hopefully these awards might lure a few more viewers… and even a sponsor or two,” she added.

“We are based loosely on the 1960s English TV version of Thunderbirds, except Parker is more of a bumbling idiot than a spy,” she added.

‘Lady Penelope & Parker’ work under the umbrella of the Spencer-owned and managed ‘Cast Me A Shadow Productions Ltd,’ – an acting and counselling company, which was originally set up on the Gold Coast, and is now based in Redcliffe.

“I’m a counsellor with a twist. Some of the actors in our ‘Parker’ skits have needed something fulfilling to lift their spirits in life, especially post-Covid.

“We have had one actor who had only suffered a stroke a few months prior to his first ‘Parker’ appearance. Now he’s had three cameo roles, just like Agent 61 – who is my intellectually and physically challenged younger sister, Gail.

“She always saw me acting and dreamed of being on film one day. Now we have made it possible. We have also had two actors in their 80s and one aged 99 ½ (Lady Audrey). One of the men in his 80s beat prostate cancer,” Spencer said.

Parker with Gold Coast-based Lady Audrey, who is in her 100th year.

“Then there’s ‘Parker’. He’s a blithering idiot. If he can star in all 71 skits so far, then anyone can,” the great-grandmother, added.

She said the filming industry could be quite therapeutic, and that’s why more than 80 people have used ‘Cast Me A Shadow Productions’ since its inception in 2012.

“It’s just a unique platform of counselling that I’ve been working hard at over the last five years. Having a lifetime’s experience in both was an obvious marriage for me.

“’Parker’ makes acting accessible to everyone of all ages, race and religion. It’s all about lifting spirits and laughing lots. Filming is usually all over within an hour,” Spencer said.

Wendy Spencer’s younger sister Gail (Agent 61), who has starred in three ‘Parker’ skits despite being intellectually and physically disabled.

The ‘Lady Penelope & Parker’ website:

The ‘Cast Me A Shadow Productions’ website:

More about Wendy Spencer:

Another Cast Me A Shadow Productions award.


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