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Siân Phillips

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Photo: Nick James

Agent:

Simon Beresford

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Film

SELECTED FILM CREDITS

   
Miss Dali Dir: Ventura Pons
House Of America Dir: Marc Evans
Alice Through The Looking Glass Dir: John Henderson
My Old Lady Dir: David Esjornson
The Borrowers Dir: John Henderson
Heidi Dir: M Rhodes
Beckett Dir: Peter Glenville
Under Milk Wood Dir: Herb Ross
Clash Of The Titans Dir: Desmond Davis
The Doctor And The Devils Dir: Freddie Frances
The Age Of Innocence Dir: Martin Scorsese
Valmont Dir: Milos Forman
Murphy's War Dir: Peter Yates
Goodbye Mr Chips Dir: Herb Ross
Dune Dir: David Lynch
Ewoks II Dir: Ken Wheat

Theatre

RECENT THEATRE

Les Blancs Dir: Yael Farber
National Theatre
Playing For Time Dir: Richard Beecham
Sheffield Crucible Theatre
The Importance Of Being Earnest Dir: Lucy Bailey
Harold Pinter Theatre, West End & UK Tour
The importance Of Being Earnest Dir: Keith Baxter
Shakespeare Theatre, Washington
People Dir: Nicholas Hytner
National Theatre / UK Tour
This Is My Family Dir: Daniel Evans
Sheffield Crucible
Cabaret  Dir: Rufus Morris 
Bill Kenwright Limited 
UK Tour/ Savoy 
Little Dogs Dir. Steven Hoggett & Scott Graham
National Theatre of Wales & Frantic Assembly
Patti Pavilion, Swansea
Lovesong Dir: Steven Hoggett & Scott Graham
Frantic Assembly, Uk Tour &
Lyric Hammersmith
Bittersweet Dir: Michael Gieleta
Bard Summerscape, New York
Juliet And Her Romeo Dir: Tom Morris
Bristol Old Vic
Calendar Girls Dir: Hamish McColl
Chichester, Tour & West End
Les Liaisons Dangereuses Dir: Rufus Norris
American Airlines Theater, NY
Regrets Only Dir: Chris Ashley
Manhattan Theatre Club
Quartet Dir: Jack Hofkiss
Bay Street Theatre
Sag Harbour NY
Rockaby Dir: Loveday Ingram
Beckett Centenary Festival
Barbican & The Gate
The Unexpected Man Dir: Deborah Bruce
Theatre Royal Bath & Tour
Great Expectations Dir: Declan Donnelan
Royal Shakespeare Company
Divas At The Donmar Dir: Thierry Harcourt
Donmar Warehouse, London
Vagina Monologues Dir: Irina Brown
Arts Theatre London
Marlene Dir: Sean Mathias
Lyric, Shaftesbury Avenue, International Tour & Broadway
An Inspector Calls Dir: Stephen Daldry
Royal Theatre, New York
Ghosts
New Adaptation by Pam Gems
Dir: Sean Mathias
Royal National Theatre, London
Lettice & Lovage Dir: Loveday Ingram
Theatre Royal National Tour

OTHER LONDON THEATRE CREDITS

Brel Donmar Warehouse
Painting Churches The Playhouse Theatre
The Manchurian Candidate Lyric, Hammersmith
Vanilla Lyric Theatre
Paris Match Garrick Theatre
Hedda Gabler Duke of York Theatre &
National Theatre Oslo
The Duchess of Malfi RSC, Aldwych
Ondine RSC, Aldwych
The Lizard On The Rock Phoenix Theatre
Gentle Jack Queen's Theatre
Maxibules Queen's Theatre
The Night Of The Iguana Savoy Theatre
Ride A Cock Horse Piccadilly Theatre
Man And Superman Arts, Vaudeville &
Garrick Theatres
Man Of Destiny Mermaid Theatre
The Burglar Vaudeville Theatre
Epitaph For George Dillon Young Vic Theatre
A Nightingale In Bloomsbury Square Hampstead Theatre
Siwan Hampstead Theatre
The Gay Lord Quez Aldbury Theatre
Spinechiller Duke Of York's Theatre
You Never Can Tell Lyric, Hammersmith
Dear Liar Mermaid Theatre
Major Barbara National Theatre
Pal Joey Half Moon &
Albery Theatre
Peg Of My Heart Phoenix Theatre
Gigi Lyric Theatre
Thursday's Ladies Apollo Theatre
A Little Night Music National Theatre
 

THEATRE OUTSIDE LONDON

Twelfth Night Viola
Candida Candida
Taming Of The Shrew Kate
St Joan St Joan
Siwan Siwan
The Glass Menagerie Amanda
A Woman Of No Importance Mrs Arbuthnotg
Lion In Winter Eleanor
Othello Desdamona
Hedda Gabler Hedda Gabler
Uncle Vanya Elena
Three Sisters Masha
The Inconstant Couple Countress
A Midsummer Night's Dream Helena
A Midsummer Night's Dream Titania
 
ALSO: In Welsh: The Bear, The Proposal, Le Medecin Malgre Lui
ALSO: In French: Huis Clos, Les Precieuses Ridicules

TV

The Cuckoo's Calling Dir: Michael Keilor
Bronté Film & Television
Casualty Dir: Dafydd Llewelyn
Lewis: Wild Justice Dir: Hettie McDonald
New Tricks Dir: Stewart Svassand
BBC
Missing Dir: Ashley Pearce
ITV
Holby City Dir: Rob Evans
BBC One
Kitchen Dir: Kieron J Walsh
CB Films Productions Ltd
Midsomer Murders Dir: Peter Smith
ITV
La Femme Nikita Dir: Various
US Television
The Murder Room Dir: Diarmuid Lawrence
US Television
Aristocrats Dir: Michael Caffrey
Madikell Prods
Ivanhoe Dir: Stuart Orme
BBC Television
The Scold's Bridle Dir: David Thacker
BBC Screen One
A Mind To Kill Dir: Peter Edwards
Lluniau Lliw Prods
Nearest And Dearest HTV
The Garden of Lonliness Granada
The Achurch Letters BBC
Don Juan In Hell Granada
Shoulder to Shoulder BBC
I' Claudius BBC
Smiley's People BBC
Barriers (Series) Tyne Tees
The Carpathian Eagle BBC
How Many Miles To Babylon BBC
George Borrow Welsh Language TV Film
A Killing On The Exchange Anglia
Emlyn's Moon HTV
Platonov BBC
Out Of Time Strongbow Films Ireland
The Tortoise And The Hare ATV
Freddie And Max Thames
Hands Across The Sea BBC
Ways And Means BBC
Treason BBC Wales
Off To Philadelphia In The Morning BBC Wales
Heartbreak House BBC
The Quiet Man Granada
The Sex Games Granada
How Green Was My Valley BBC
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy BBC
Crime And Punishment BBC
Sean (Series) RTE
The Wilderness Years BBC
A Painful Case Irish TV Film
Siwan BBC Wales
Vanity Fair BBC Classic Serial
The Snow Spider BBC
Lady Windermere's Fan BBC
The Oresteia BBC
Home For Xmas Anglia
Perfect Scoundrels TVS
The Black Candle Worldwide TV
The Astonished Heart BBC
The Chestnut Soldier HTV
Summer Silence TV Wales
The Two Mrs Grenvilles (Mini Series) Lorimar Productions
Ballykissangel RTE

Radio

Miss Phillips has made countless radio broadcasts in major roles of a variety of plays, including: PERICLES, BEQUEST TO THE NATION, SKIRMISHES, ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA, ALL’S WELL THAT END’S WELL, THE MAIDS, OEDIPUS REX, PHEDRE,etc.

Her many speaking book recordings include: THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, MEASURE FOR MEASURE, AN OMLETTE AND A GLASS OF WINE, THE CAMOMILE LAWN.

Her musical recordings include: PAL JOEY, GIGI, MARLENE, A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (two versions), AND SO IT GOES(to be released), BENITCHED(single).

Awards

New York Critics Award Goodbye Mr Chips
Critics Circle Award Goodbye Mr Chips
Royal Television Society Awards I, Claudius
BAFTA I, Claudius
BAFTA How Green Was My Valley
Lifetime Achievement Bafta - Wales I, Claudius

AWARD NOMINATIONS

BAFTA Wales, Olivier Award, Tony Award The Chestnut Soldier
Drama Desk Award Marlene
Olivier Award A Little Light Music
BAFTA The Snow Spider
Welsh Artist Of The Year Ghosts
Society of West End Theatre Award Pal Joey
BAFTA Shoulder To Shoulder
Society Of West End Theatre Award Man And Superman
Society Of West End Theatre Award Night Of The Iguana
BAFTA Wales House Of America

Honorary Awards And Degrees

Miss Phillips is:
Commander of the British Empire for her Services to Drama
Honorary Fellow, Cardiff University
Honorary Doctor of Literature, University of Wales
Honorary Fellow, National Polytechnic of Wales
Former Governor St David’s Trust
Vice President Welsh College of Music and Drama
Honorary Fellow University of Swansea
Honorary Fellow, Welsh College of Music and Drama
Member of the Gorsedd of Bards, Great Britain
Five Years Arts Council Drama Committee
Graduate (Hons) Cardiff University
Honorary Fellow Trinity College Camarthen
Former Governor Welsh College of Music and Drama (8 years)

Download

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Reviews

LES BLANCS
“And there are fine, alert contributions from…glorious Siân Phillips as the surviving spirit of the mission.” - Michael Coveney (www.whatsonstage.com)

PLAYING FOR TIME

“Fénelon is depicted by the outstanding Siân Phillips as a frail, fallible figure surrounded by the youthful women of her remembrance.

It’s hard to pay sufficient tribute to an actor in her 80s prepared to be so physically and psychologically abused. Nor does it matter that Phillips rasps through selections from Madam Butterfly practically in a baritone register, as Fénelon couldn’t sing Puccini properly either. And the tension in her throat suggests the effects of agonised complicity with the camp commanders, who commend the orchestra for “strengthening us in this difficult work of ours”. - Alfred Hickling (The Guardian)

“A superb production led by Sian Phillips’ devastatingly honest central performance. Magnificently melancholic as Fania, with her head shaven and looking all skin and bone, Sian Phillips gives a peerless portrayal of a woman looking back in wonder while still wrestling with the existential lunacy of collaboration through music, her formidable acting technique and sure theatrical instincts invisibly linking remembrance of horrors past with our own troubled times.

At the end, when Fania and two other survivors meet in a restaurant, her request to a waiter is for “something absolutely extraordinary”. But Phillips and the ensemble have already delivered it.” - Roger Foss (THE STAGE)

“Hard to overstate the impact, the sense of event, commemoration and bleak grandeur in this extraordinary evening. But add to that a central performance as Fania from Sian Phillips: eighty-one now, a war-baby with early memories of being taken outside at night to watch Swansea burning. We use some words too lightly in the arts, but Phillips’ wholly committed gently controlled performance is a marvel of fearlessness, sorrow and sincerity. It is one of those rare memorable nights when you come to believe you are not watching acting at all, but remembered experience: a necessary ritual. Sian Phillips is the powerful centre.” - Libby Purves (Theatre Cat)


THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST

“Phillips is one of the best Lady Bracknells I have ever seen; skirting caricature without embracing it, she encapsulates the low venality of the high born.” - Neil Norman (The Daily Express)

“Lady Bracknell, that gorgon of social propriety, is embodied by the redoubtable Sian Phillips, who is 81. She looks more glamorous than any Lady Bracknell has a right to, but any occasion to gaze upon Ms. Phillips’s bone structure is not to be discounted.” - Ben Brantley (New York Times)

“Phillips is one of the best Lady Bracknells I have ever seen; skirting caricature without embracing it, she encapsulates the low venality of the high born.”
- Neil Norman (Daily Express)

“Sian Phillips’s stately Lavinia apprehensively practices the line “A handbag?”.  She has no need worry; she carries off the part of Lady Bracknell with imperious aplomb.” - Paul Taylor (The Independent)

“Siân Phillips is much more than that, capturing not only Lady Bracknell’s corseted hauteur but also her mercenary nature, as she avidly sizes up Cecily’s financial potential.” - Michel Billington (The Guardian)

“Siân Phillips as a vulture-like Lady Bracknell whose voice swoops and soars to tremendous effect.” - Charles Spencer (The Daily Telegraph)

“Phillips is, meanwhile, pure arsenic in old lace as Lady Bracknell and she delivers the play’s most celebrated line – “a handbag!” – with tremendous relish.”
- Tim Walker (Sunday Telegraph)

“Phillips admirably conveying the calculating little mind behind Lady Bracknell’s stentorian pronouncements.” - Sarah Hemming (Financial Times)

“Special mention has to be given to Sian Phillips who plays a fantastically spiky Lady Bracknell. In fact, Phillips is so brilliant at the role that you can imagine her in one of the original casts, except for when she breaks character to tell her husband to straighten up.” - Joanne Byrne (The Upcoming)

“Otherwise there’s plenty of mounting hysteria – Phillips is consummate at sewing in a more or less throwaway “handbag”, which we’ve seen Lavinia rehearse near the start, within a crescendo of growing horror at Jack’s railway-station narrative. Flawless.” - Tim Nice (The Arts Desk)

“Siân Phillips is an exquisite Lady Bracknell, the veteran performer on scintillating form as she delivers quotable line after quotable line of Wilde’s words to comic perfection.” - Matthew Amer (Official London Theatre)


PEOPLE
“Sian Phillips is superb as Dorothy Stacpoole. the impoverished elderly aristocrat and former model who has inherited a crumbling South Yorkshire pile, her lifelong home which she fears she’ll be forced to turn over to cagoule-wearing, camera-clutching hordes of National Trust day trippers. With her razor cheekbones, wasp waist and cool hauteur, Phillips is the epitome of dilapidated elegence.” - Sam Marlowe (The Times)

THIS IS MY FAMILY
“And Granny May, infinitely touching, is the great Sian Phillips.” - Libby Purves (The Times)

“Best of all is the venerable May, played by the peerless Siân Phillips, who combines religious conviction with erotic memories.” - Michael Billington (The Guardian)

CABARET
“Indeed the relationship between the old landlady, Fraulein Schneider, and her Jewish admirer Herr Schultz proves far more touching thanks to lovely autumnal performances from Sian Phillips and Linal Haf” - Charles Spencer (The Daily Telegraph)

“The show is still worth seeing for its bold imaginative sweep and for Sian Phillips’s deeply touching Fraulein Schneider” - Paul Taylor (The Independent)

“Siân Phillips is on typically scene-stealing form as Fräulein Schneider” - Tim Walker (The Sunday Telegraph)

LITTLE DOGS (National Theatre of Wales / Frantic Assembly)

“Good as everything and everyone else is, it is Phillips who commands the show – and this is the greatest strength of the conception of the piece. Her understated presence counterbalances the wild exuberances of the teenage characters that surround her. By reminding us that youth is a thing that does not last, she induces in us a Thomas-like compassion for this turbulence of teenage self-obsession.” - Clare Brennan (The Observer)

“Siân Phillips, whose grandmotherly figure presides over many of the scenes with a benign but saddened presence, gives a wonderfully strident monologue at the play’s finale.” - Dylan Moore (The Arts Desk)

“Quieter moments, back in that sitting room, or at a rain-soaked bus-stop, reveal the anxious, lonely reality beyond the displays of sexual bravado. Despite the hugely watchable Phillips appearing in these, and stealing the show in a jaw-dropping finale, there remains a nagging sense of disjunction between the two worlds” - Elisabeth Mahoney (The Guardian)

LOVESONG
“Phillips is mesmerising as a woman facing up to her inevitable demise.” - Karen Price (Western Mail)

“What this beautiful 90-minute show has in glorious quantities, though, is skill and richness in theatrical presentation; in the poetry of Morgan’s text, in the powerful use of video and sound, and above all in Siân Phillips’s stunning central performance as Maggie…” - Joyce McMillan (The Scotsman)

Stats

Literary Agent: Mark Lucas (Law Ltd)
Training: RADA (Bancroft Medal)

Eyes: Blue   
Hair: Fair   
Height: 5'8"

Publications

Private Places Hodder and Stoughton, London
Public Faces Hodder and Stoughton, London
SIAN PHILLIPS’ NEEDLEPOINT and general Journalism Elm Tree Books
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