Thursday, 22 November 2012

Phillip Perry

Philip Perry graduated from Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2009. He is Artistic Director of Gentleman Jack Theatre Co.  Phil also lectures at City of Bristol College and has lived in a pastel coloured house in Windmill Hill for the last seven years.

All's Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare 

Tuesday 27th-Saturday 8th of December 2012 @ Unitarian Chapel, Brunswick Square. Directed by Philip Perry.

Follow on twitter @GentJackTheatre

Phil Perry
November 12th 2012

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm working on All's Well That Ends Well...In spite of its alphabetical advantage over other Shakespeare plays it very rarely gets an outing, and it's a play that feels oddly familiar and perennial. It's about tension between generations, very recognisable human failings and is presented in a peculiarly modern way that feels more akin to social realist drama of the mid Twentieth Century than anything contemporaneous to Shakespeare.

Tell us a bit about Gentleman Jack and it's ethos/challenges/rewards?

Gentleman Jack's ethos is to take underloved and underperformed classical texts and present them in non-theatrical spaces in a non-worthy, immersive way, finding their humour or tragedy and underlying idiosyncracy and trying to make it relevant to where we find ourselves today.
The rewards are manifold...finding something new in something old, building a world to put the play in, but above all the greatest reward is working with a tremendously talented company of actors and creatives.
The challenges are huge, staging anything large scale with no money is hard. Having said that, there is nothing better than limitation to make you more creative...

Who or what inspires you?

In immediate terms it is the acting company itself, but more widely it can be anything. Theatrically, I had an amazing experience as a teenager watching De La Guarda in a Warehouse in East London, which has been a huge influence on how the company works within the audience. More recently, Filter's Twelfth Night at the Tobacco Factory was profoundly influential. Their approach to the text was full of love and trust in it's ability to withstand and transcend an irreverent approach to it...It reminded me that Shakespeare isn't made of glass.

What is best advice your ever been given?

After Twelfth Night, I asked Ollie how I could get his job. He said that I couldn't have it, but the best thing could do was start my own company. I have followed his advice to date, and here we are.

Dream projects?  Any budget, any locale?

The Chimes at Midnight. A Zillion Pounds...any one of the hundreds of beautiful unused buildings in the city...The Old Norwich Union Building is a particular favourite...

Best directorial note? 

"Just be a bit better..." To me...

Final question.  Is the director dead?

No. I think the director is fine. But, he needs actors to keep him in check...they've got a better nose for what's good than he has...

Thanks Phil for sharing your thoughts!

"The Art of Theatre is neither acting nor the play, it is not scene nor dance, but it consists of all the elements of which these things are composed" -Edward Gordon Craig