Filed under: Staff | Tags: bouncers, Drama, graeme phillips, interiors, meet the staff, unity, Vanishing Point
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Graeme Phillips and I am the Artistic Director of Unity Theatre!
How did you come to be at Unity?
I was one of a small group of people who set up a lunchtime theatre company in the early 1980’s. Unity had not been open long, and we often rehearsed there or borrowed from their props and costume store. I was returning something one day when I heard that Unity was looking for a part time drama worker. I applied and got the job! Fast forward, two refurbishments and thousands of shows later and Unity is still here!
What’s the best thing about Unity?
Despite the fact that I book the programme, there is still the tingle caused by never quite knowing what is going to end up on the stage – there have been some great discoveries as well as a fair share of “whoops – how did that get there!” moments. I work with a great team of people who really focus on presenting the work and the venue in the best possible light. Also, all the local young artists and companies who have had, and continue to have contact with Unity at some stage in their careers.
Best show you’ve seen at Unity?
Difficult to choose just one as there are a few that are quite important to me. The original, mint-fresh production of “Bouncers” where Unity was transformed into a disco for one night, and the place was packed. Lumiere & Son’s production of “Paradise” where I sat transfixed for two nights excited by how thrilling theatre can be and in retrospect the cast were a veritable who’s who of contemporary theatre. The first night of “Fall From Grace” – a one-off, really special piece of epic theatre.
Bringing off, to great acclaim, seven hours of total theatre in the shape of “Angels in America”. More recently “Gold Mountain” our first international co-production, and Vanishing Point’s “Interiors”, where the concept of telling a series of stories through body language, should have failed but in fact worked magnificently
Best show you’ve seen elsewhere?
Anything directed by Robert Lepage from work at the Royal National Theatre to shows with Cirque du Soleil – when working at full steam he really knows how to create theatre that gets to your core.
What advice would you give to someone wanting a career in theatre?
Be prepared to put in the graft – probably for little reward at the beginning. Keep open minded – never stop learning your craft