Profile

Phillip Simmons
Winter 1992

Pip Simmons has an impressive record in experimental theatre. In England he has worked primarily in the Fringe Theatre (similar to New York’s Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway), and he is equally well known for his avant-garde productions throughout Europe.

Simmons began his career with the Art Lab at Drury Lane Theatre in 1968, and went on to form his own company, the Pip Simmons Group, which became noted for its explosive performance style exemplified in such original works as Superman (1969), Do It (1971), the George Jackson Black and White Minstrel Show (1973), An Die Musik (1974), Dream of a Ridiculous Man (1977) and The Masque of the Red Death (1977). The company toured extensively, performing in England, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries.

Simmons has also directed regularly in Amsterdam at the well-known Mickery Theatre, and in France with a number of original projects. “Le Nouvel Observateur” called his production of An Die Musik the “sensation” of the 1975 Avignon Festival. In 1986, he directed his own adaptation of The Trojan Women at Krefeld, Germany.

Since 1987, Simmons has worked at the LIFT festival in London, where he directed Crossing the Water, a project with the Vietnamese Boat People (1987), and The Wapping Project (1990). In that time, he has also directed in Denmark (The Tempest, Lulu [after Wedekind], Peter Pan, and Per Gynt [after Ibsen]); France (Frankenstein [after Mary Shelley]); Spain (CeProhibide); and Switzerland (Frankenstien II).

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