"The best example of someone to watch how to perform is George Dillon...
Physical theatre suggests working with the body and not with the voice, but the uniqueness with George is that he's an excellent speaker with a wide vocal range and is able to marry the two parts...
George sniffs out what's underneath the surface, but he's gone much further than I ever did; areas into which I just gently dipped my toe he has plunged from the cliffs headfirst."
On graduating from Manchester University, where he first acted in Berkoff's East and worked with Laurence Boswell and Ben Elton, George Dillon formed No Alternative with Denise Evans and toured Berkoff's Decadence and Greek for the next 3 years before working with Steven Berkoff for the first time in 1986, appearing in Sink The Belgrano! He was assistant director to Steven Berkoff for Oscar Wilde's Salomé (in which he also performed) at the National Theatre in 1989 and has, to date, been assistant director and/or performer with Berkoff four times. Including his own productions, Dillon has worked on a total of 13 productions of Berkoff's work.
When George Dillon did his first solo show, after a long period out of acting work, the main objective was to attract an agent. However, Stunning the Punters (and Other Stories) was one of the critical hits of the 1990 Edinburgh Fringe and while it succeeded in getting George an agent, it was actually the start of a twenty year career as a solo performer. Over the next three years George created and extensively toured three more solo shows - Judgement, Berkoff's Hell and Other Tales, and The Remembrance of Edgar Allan Poe.
In 1995, with jobbing work still elusive, Dillon produced, directed and starred in a controversial Kurosawa/Tarantino inspired Hamlet with 7 actors, 2 musicians and a talking dog! Fatherhood, family and financial troubles were the main features of the next five years until in 2000 his fifth solo show, Graft - Tales of an Actor (adapted from Steven Berkoff's short story collection) won a Herald 'Angel' Award and a nomination for The Stage's 'Best Actor' award at Edinburgh and went on to tour in the UK and Europe.
Dillon realised a long held vision when he translated, directed and performed in a solo multimedia production of The Gospel of Matthew for the Brighton Festival in 2002. The show went on to earn him a second nomination for the Stage's 'Best Actor' award at Edinburgh in 2003, was filmed for Scottish TV in 2004 and has been touring intermittently ever since (in repertoire with Graft). Dillon restaged The Gospel of Matthew by Candlelight in 2007, an experiment which proved successful and freed the show from the technical requirements of a studio theatre, enabling him to accept invitations to perform the work in churches from 2008.
Inspired by Hamlet's dying words - "What a wounded name I leave behind me, things standing thus unknown" - Dillon's seventh solo show, The Man Who Was Hamlet, tells the story of Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, who was identified in the early 20th century as the most likely author of the works usually attributed to a semi-literate grain merchant from Stratford.
George Dillon's acting career has also included films, TV, fringe and repertory theatre and voice-overs. He made his film debut in 1987 in Hannah's War, has twice played the drug dealer of the week on ITV's The Bill and his most recent screen appearance was in The Deaths of Ian Stone.
Other theatre work includes appearances as Gregor Samsa in Metamorphosis at the Royal National Theatre, Victor Frankenstein at York's Theatre Royal, Johnny Rotten in Pistols for Hanover Productions, Charlie Chaplin in The Secret Life of Charlie Chaplin at Edinburgh and Jason/Creon/Aegeus in Medea for Company:Collisions for the Young Vic and in Cyprus and Albania. As a voice over artist he has worked regularly on The Late Show, and has voiced a CD-Rom for Dyslexia Action and the UK version of the documentary The True Curse of the Mummy .
Besides Hamlet and 5 of his own solo shows, Dillon has also directed Guy Masterson's internationally acclaimed solo Under Milk Wood, Jade Blue's solo To Break a Man and the world premiere of Berkoff’s Brighton Beach Scumbags.
George Dillon is also an experienced teacher and workshop leader. He trained in TEFL in 1987 and then taught for 18-months at language schools in Brighton and London. In 1989 he was invited by the National Theatre Education Department to perform in and later to give workshops on Berkoff's Metamorphosis, and since then he has led nearly 200 workshops with professionals and students of various age groups, in schools and arts centres both in the U.K. and abroad.
As well as touring three solo shows and leading workshops, George has lately been developing an original actor's training programme Out of the Beehive which may one day see the light as a production - Ecce Homo.
George Dillon's Tour Dates
(as of Monday, 26 January 2015)
||TOWN, Venue |
||Tue 10th Feb
Beechwood Sacred Heart School