MOONLIGHT AND MAGNOLIAS
von Ron Hutchinson
Philip is currently a Director of Scene Three Creative, a theatre production company he set up two years ago to develop his freelance directing and writing work.
After gaining a degree in Drama at HullUniversity, Philip’s early directing career took him to the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, the Plymouth Theatre Company and the Soho Poly Theatre in London. He was a founder member of Channel Theatre Company and took over the position of Artistic Director in the late 1980s, beginning his appointment with two touring premieres: Larry Kramer’s pioneering play, The Normal Heart, and Anthony Minghella’s Made in Bangkok. There followed highly successful touring productions of The Woman in Black, Lettice and Lovage, The Kingfisher by William Douglas Home, Noel and Gertie, Michael Frayn’s Benefactors, Sleeping It Off (an adaptation of a Feydeau farce) and a revival of Terence Rattigan’s While the Sun Shines.
As well as working as a theatre director Philip is also a playwright who specialises in literary adaptations. He co-adapted The Mysteries at Canterbury Cathedral (published by Churchman) and adapted Jane Eyre (which toured nationally and was produced by Northampton Royal Theatre’s touring company). He also adapted and directed a new translation of Molière’s comedy The School for Wives (national tour); George Lillo’s play The London Merchant (national tour) and E Nesbit’s classic children’s novel The Phoenix and the Carpet, followed by Jane Austen’s Emma and Robert Tressell’s The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (national tour). His adaptation of Wilkie Collins’ The Haunted Hotel has twice toured to large scale venues in the UK.
More recently, Philip’s new adaptation of Erskine Childers’; The Riddle of the Sands was nominated in four categories by the prestigious Off West End awards and his production of Tom McGrath’s Laurel and Hardy embarked on a successful national tour having first been used to launch a brand new regional arts venue.
In 2012 he wrote and directed a new play, Running For Glory, about the 1922 Paris Olympics which received great critical success when it toured southern England. Last year he adapted and directed a tour of Anthony Hope’s swashbuckling 1894 novel The Prisoner of Zenda, worked as a guest director for the famous Frinton Repertory Company and directed Cinderella at Buxton Opera House.
In a freelance capacity he has directed two in-house productions for the Festival Theatre, Malvern: Shaw’s Arms and the Man and a reworking of the musical, Nightingale. He has also directed Noel Coward’s Fallen Angels for Pavilion Theatre, Charles Dickens’ Hard Times for The Courtyard Theatre Company and Junk for the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in London.
Philip is also a regular guest director at Vienna’s English Theatre, where productions have included Arms and the Man, Blithe Spirit, Charlie’s Aunt, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Importance of Being Earnest, Rough Crossing, Lend Me a Tenor and last year’s box office breaking production of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution.