Philip Hedley


Other Services Rendered

For all he was sometimes an outspoken critic of the Arts Council, at times he supported it whole-heartedly and much admired what many of its staff achieved. Hedley spent a great deal of time serving on ten different committees at the Arts Council including the Drama panel and the Diversity panel which changed its name three times while he served on it. He served as chair of the Young People’s Theatre panel and chair of the Young Director’s Training panel.

Hedley enjoyed hugely being involved with the training of actors and directors. He served at different times as chair of the board of East 15 Acting School and ALRA. He was part of the original discussions, along with Peter Cheeseman, Clare Venables, Andrew McKinnon and Rob Swain, which led to the founding of Birkbeck University’s Theatre Director’s Course, which has played a galvanising role in the development of British theatre for the last twenty years.

He has directed several productions at the Drama Centre, and has served on several of their recruitment panels over the years. He is, along with hundreds of other theatre professionals, deeply aggrieved that very special school with its irreplaceable originality will close in July 2022, because of its unfortunate alliance with a university some years ago.

He was honoured to be co-chair of the board of Boy Blue, a multi-award winning, hip hop performance group founded by Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy MBE and Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, currently Barbican Artistic Associates.

Hedley served for six years as a board member of the Geffrye Museum of the Home, which is housed in alms houses built in Hoxton in 1714.

To honour Joan Littlewood, in what would have been her Centenary Year, Hedley toured fifteen British universities doing a talk and demonstrating with the students some of her rehearsal methods.

Hedley’s ability to knock a show together with a day’s rehearsal, with professional actors, has led to him being called upon to do so to celebrate the lives of Avis Bunnage, Calvin Simpson, Joanne Campbell and Philip Sayer.

At the Royal Court Theatre he staged a variety show to raise money for the George Devine Award, given to writers. The event featured Joan Plowright, Wayne Sleep and Sylvester McCoy, and it finished with the last appearance together on-stage of Peggy Ashcroft, John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier.

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