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Distinguished Guest Artists and Projects
Phelim McDermott     [Lab Activities]

Shela Burnett

Phelim McDermott, an actor, writer and director, has been directing and performing since 1984. He co-founded dereck dereck Productions with Julia Bardsley, and productions include Cupboard Man, as solo performer (Fringe First), Gaudete, as co-director and performer (Time Out Director's Award), and The Vinegar Works, The Glass Hill and The Sweet Shop Owner, all as director. Other directing includes Alex (The Arts Theatre), The Ghost Downstairs (Leicester Haymarket); Dr Faustus and Improbable Tales (an entirely improvised two-hour play at Nottingham Playhouse); The Servant of Two Masters, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Government Inspector (West Yorkshire Playhouse); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (English Shakespeare Company in 1996/97, TMA Award for Best Touring Production). He co-wrote with Lee Simpson and appeared in Get Off My Foot. He directed Shockheaded Peter (London and Little Schubert Theatre Off Broadway) with Julian Crouch and a junk opera collaboration with The Tiger Lilies for Cultural Industry (Olivier Award for Best Entertainment, TMA Best Director Award and Critics Circle Best Designer Award). Productions with Improbable include the multi award-winning 70 Hill Lane, Lifegame, Animo, Coma, Spirit, Sticky, Cinderella, The Hanging Man and Theatre of Blood (a collaboration with The National Theatre). A regular improvising guest with the Comedy Store Players, Phelim McDermott has also worked as an actor in radio, film, TV and theatre, including: Too Clever By Half, A Flea in Her Ear, The Illusion (Old Vic, also assistant director), and The Nose (Nottingham Playhouse and Bucharest). Film appearances include Robin Hood, Peter Greenaway's The Baby of Macon, Tomorrow La Scala! and Home Road Movies (BAFTA winner). Radio appearances include The Masterson Inheritance, an improvised series co-created with Lee Simpson. He has just appeared in Animo with Julian Crouch at the Walker Arts Centre in Minneapolis. In 2003 he was awarded a NESTA fellowship to research new ways of rehearsing and creating theatre using Improvisation and Process Oriented Conflict Facilitation Techniques. As part of this work he recently facilitated the second Open Space Technology event called "Devoted and Disgruntled: What are we going to do about theatre?" He is developing a new film, Dull Margaret, with Jim Broadbent and the rest of Improbable, as well as a musical version of The Addams Family for Broadway with Julian Crouch and Elephant Eye Productions. He was made an Honorary Doctor of Middlesex University in 2007. He recently finished Satyagraha for English National Opera which also opened at The Met, New York in April 2008.

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