"Dan Gordon's brilliant two-man play....they constructed a picture of boat-building, male friendship, hardship, humour and heroism as carefully as the men they portrayed built the Titanic"
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Born in Belfast, Philip is a graduate of Queen's University and later trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. He has been based in England for the past 12 years.
He returned to Northern Ireland in 2008 to set up Happenstance Theatre Company and then directed their first production: a World War 1 drama by Stephen MacDonald, based on the lives of poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. Not About Heroes played in 10 venues across the Province, with companion workshops in schools and a lecture by Sassoon's friend, Dennis Silk CBE, which was hosted by the Linen Hall Library, poignantly on 11th November.
For the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, Philip is the Project Director for Pat & Plain, a series of plays written by Dan Gordon and commissioned by the Ulster-Scots Agency for Key Stage 2 children. Six primary schools in the greater Belfast area performed The Boat Factory last year, the success of which has led to a further twelve signing up to present 2 new plays in this current academic year.
As a qualified teacher with 15 years experience, Philip rates education work as a hugely important part of what he now does. This year, he directed two summer school projects for the Ulster-Scots Agency and the South Eastern Education & Library Board in Ballywalter and Banbridge, in association with writer/historian Philip Orr. Wae a heart an a half was a devised piece for young people, exploring the local history of WW1, in which over 50 young people had the opportunity to work with professional theatre directors and musicians. In July, he taught Theatre Arts to a group of international students at St Clare's College, Oxford and earlier in the year, directed a project on Euripides' Medea for undergraduates at Queen's University, Belfast.
Philip's directing work in the UK includes Brian Friel's Translations, Frank McGuinness' Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good , Bernard Shaw's Androcles and the Lion and Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady. In the US, he directed Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa and in Italy, a promenade performance of Francis by Julian Mitchell. The play was presented at the Abbadia Celestina - a 1000 year old Abbey in Umbria and filmed, in association with the author and brothers from the Sacro Convento at the Basilica di San Francesco d'Assisi.
In Belfast, he has worked as Associate Director with Dan Gordon on Marie Jones' Women on the Verge of HRT, which has had runs in two consecutive years at the Grand Opera House, Belfast. He has also been Assistant Director to Mark Lambert on Martin Lynch's play The Interrogation of Ambrose Fogarty, again at the Grand Opera House, Belfast.
For over 5 years, Philip was a newsreader for Downtown Radio/Cool FM and is now a voiceover artist, with work currently on various websites and corporate training material.
As part of Happenstance's involvement with Arts & Business, Philip works with Mastek UK: a division of an international software company based in London. This training in Presentation Skills has also led to work with the legal profession in Northern Ireland and a number of other bodies throughout England.