Magazine

Archive: Simon Phillips

Date posted: 7 Sep 2016Author: STC Production: Muriel’s Wedding the Musical, A Flea in Her Ear

Simon Phillips
Simon Phillips

Simon Phillips is one of this country's most renowned and respected theatre directors.

In a familiar tale, he actually began his career in New Zealand before emigrating to Australia in 1984. Initially, he took up a position as lecturer and director at the West Australian Academy for Performing Arts (WAAPA). A few years later, he joined Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) as Associate Director, an appointment which eventually led Simon to work here, when STC and MTC co-produced the play Serious Money by Caryl Churchill in 1988.

Simon's next work with STC was another co-production with MTC, The Importance of Being Earnest featuring Ruth Cracknell and Geoffrey Rush. The incomparable Cracknell would later return in Simon's productions of Happy Days (1991) and Hotspur (1994).

Complementing his directing work, Simon has also been Artistic Director of two of the country's major companies: State Theatre Company of South Australia (STCSA) from 1990 to 1993; and MTC from 2000 to 2011.

During Simon's tenure at MTC, some of the shows he directed also made their way to the STC stage, including the musicals Urinetown (2006) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2007). Indeed, musicals have formed a core part of Simon's body of work. He directed the original production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert which had seasons on the West End and Broadway, as well as the new Australasian version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera sequel Love Never Dies.

Recently for STC, Simon directed Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, with Tim Minchin and Toby Schmitz in the titular roles. In 2017, he reunites with his frequent collaborator, designer Gabriela Tylesova, to bring us an iconic new Australian musical in Muriel's Wedding.

Here, we take a look back at the plays Simon has previously brought to the stages of STC – almost three decades of shared history.

 

 

SERIOUS MONEY (1988)

Kerry Walker, Jane Menelaus and Robert Menzies in Serious Money, 1988. Photo: Stephen Gower

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (1990)

Gordon Chater and Ruth Cracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, 1990. (Photo: Stuart Campbell)

 

HAPPY DAYS (1991)

Ruth Cracknell in Happy Days, 1991. (Photo: David Wilson)

 

THE THREEPENNY OPERA (1994)

Leigh Russell, William Zappa and Helen Buday in The Threepenny Opera, 1994. (Photo: Robert McFarlane)

 

HOTSPUR (1994)

Garry McDonald and Ruth Cracknell in Hotspur, 1994. (Photo: Branco Gaica)

 

DEAD FUNNY (1995)

Sarah Peirse and Jamie Jackson in Dead Funny, 1995. (Photo: Robert McFarlane)

 

LES PARENTS TERRIBLES (1995)

Kate Fitzpatrick and William Zappa in Les Parents Terribles. (Photo: Robert McFarlane)

 

AS YOU LIKE IT (1996)

Paul Livingston on the quill, with the cast of As You Like It, 1996. (Photo: Philip le Masurier)

 

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS (1997)

Ian McDonald (pianist) and Keith Robinson in The Comedy of Errors, 1997. (Photo: Tracey Schramm)

 

A DELICATE BALANCE (1998)

Michael Craig, Dinah Shearing and Maggie Kirkpatrick in A Delicate Balance, 1998. (Photo: Tracey Schramm)

 

TRELAWNEY OF THE WELLS (2000)

Travis McMahon and Rachael Tidd in Trelawney of the Wells, 2000. (Photo: Jeff Busby)

 

GREAT EXPECTATIONS (2002)

Benjamin Winspear in Great Expectations, 2002. (Photo: Jeff Busby)

 

INHERITANCE (2003)

Geraldine Turner in Inheritance, 2003. (Photo: Jeff Busby)

 

TWO BROTHERS (2005)

Garry McDonald and Nicholas Eadie in Two Brothers, 2005. (Photo: Jeff Busby)

 

URINETOWN (2006)

The cast of Urinetown, 2006. (Photo: Jeff Busby)
Colette Mann and Lisa McCune in Urinetown, 2006. (Photo: Tracey Schramm)

 

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (2007)

The cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, 2007. (Photo: Tracey Schramm)

 

ROCK 'N' ROLL (2008)

Genevieve Picot, Chloe Armstrong and Grant Cartwright in Rock 'n' Roll, 2008. (Photo: Jeff Busby)

 

POOR BOY - A PLAY WITH SONGS (2009)

Greg Stone, Linda Cropper, Nicholas Bakopoulos-Cooke and Sara Gleeson in Poor Boy - A Play with Songs, 2009 (Photo: Tracey Schramm)

 

ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD (2013)

Tim Minchin and Toby Schmitz in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, 2013. (Photo: Heidrun Löhr)
Heather Mitchell and Christopher Stollery in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, 2013. (Photo: Heidrun Löhr)

 

A FLEA IN HER EAR (2016)

Harriet Dyer, David Woods and Tim Walter in A Flea in Her Ear, 2016. (Photo: Brett Boardman)
Helen Christinson and Harriet Dyer in A Flea in Her Ear, 2016. (Photo: Heidrun Löhr)

 

Muriel’s Wedding, 6 Nov – 30 Dec 2017, Wharf 1 Theatre

Seeing the show? Let us know your thoughts. Tag @sydneytheatreco and #STCFlea or #STCMurielsWedding

 

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