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GEORGE DILLON
C.V. (Acting)
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George Dillon
Dates
Productions
Workshops
VITAL THEATRE
Current Shows
Dostoevsky's Heaven & Berkoff's Hell
Graft - Tales of an Actor
Stunning the Punters
The Gospel of Matthew
The Gospel of Matthew by Candlelight
The Man Who Was Hamlet
Past Shows
Against the Odds
Dostoevsky's Dream of a Ridiculous Man
Decadence
Ecce Homo
Hamlet
Hell & Other Tales
Judgement
The Remembrance of Edgar Allan Poe
More info
Past Gigs List
Workshops


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Magic Lamp, (Short Film) 2012

A short film, written and directed by the hugely talented Dino Kazamia for Concrete Rose Productions.


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Kemble's Riot, (Theatre) 2012

Early in 2011 I was contacted by Adrian Bunting who wanted me to play John Philip Kemble in his play about the 'Old Price Riots' at the Brighton Fringe in May. I was really tempted by the script, which not only offered a meaty central role but also included audience participation in scenes of rioting! But I was in the middle of a gruelling tour of my own solo shows and didn't really fancy committing to three or four weeks of rehearsing for a low paid fringe show, so I declined. But Adrian was insistent and called me again two weeks later suggesting we could rehearse the play in just one week, for which he would pay a proper wage. So I did it and it was a fantastic experience.

This footage was filmed by my friend Paul Light of Bite Size movies at the Old Market Arts Centre in Brighton in January 2012, for a promo prior to the show's run in Edinburgh that year (which, in the event, happened without me in the cast). (The promo is also on Youtube here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bluTys83NGY)

In early 2013 Adrian was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given 4 weeks to live. Before he died he gathered some of his friends together and set up a trust to establish the B.O.A.T. (Brighton Open Air Theatre).


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The Man Who Was Hamlet, (Theatre) 2010

A teaser...


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Medea, (Theatre) 2004

I'd worked with Denise Evans touring Decadence and Greek for three years between 1983 and 1986 and we also revived Decadence in 1997, so it was a joy to play Jason (and Creon and Aegeus) opposite her Medea on a mini tour of ancient theatres in Cyprus in 2004 (and again in Albania in 2007) in a production directed by Tanushka Marah, whose Frankenstein had so impressed me at Edinburgh in 2000.


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The Gospel of Matthew, (Theatre/TV) 2004

At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2003 the BBC's flagship religious affairs program Songs of Praise featured an extract of The Gospel of Matthew filmed during a live performance, and George was also interviewed by the show's presenter, Aled ('The Showman') Jones. The producer of that program was so impressed he persuaded Grampian TV to commission the filming of the whole show for their Sunday Service program, and the result was broadcast in 2 parts on 11th and 18th July 2004.


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Graft - Tales of an Actor, (Theatre) 2000

Filmed live at The Gantry in Southampton back in September 2000, this trailer for my award-winning Berkoff solo show 'Graft - Tales of an Actor' has remained unseen for over a decade! It was an early performance (only the 27th out of the current total of over 150 performances I have given of this show) and filmed in front of a small audience in the days before cheap HD cameras made video trailers for theatre productions cheap and ubiquitous, but I think it represents the show quite well. 'Berkoff's Graft - Tales of an Actor' is still available for bookings.


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Hell, (Theatre) 1993

Filmed live at The Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh, August 1993, under very dim theatrical stage lighting, the video quality is horrible, and not helped by being stored on VHS for years - but the audio is good - I was wearing a radio mike which allowed me to use my voice in a different way on stage and created a very disembodied impression.

After Berkoff saw me performing his story 'Master of Cafe Society' at the Young Vic as part of my triple bill 'Stunning the Punters' in 1990, he gave me the manuscript of his (then) unpublished short story 'Hell', which instantly prompted my vision of staging it naked in a dim red light with a mournful cello playing. (I also imagined clouds of smoke and dry ice, but these never materialised.)

One day I walked into a shop and I heard this music playing which sounded just like what was playing in my head. The shop assistant told me it was from 'By the Dawn's Early Light' by Harold Budd. I immediately went to the nearest record store and bought it, and then dropped everything and plunged myself into a therapeutic creative frenzy, spending the next three days fitting the words of Berkoff's story to the music (or vice versa).

The technique of matching pre-existing words and music (which I used in all of my subsequent solo shows, reaching a peak in The Gospel of Matthew, where the whole 90 minute show is one single track!) was partly a spin-off from my experience of playing Dostoevsky's 'Dream of a Ridiculous Man' and partly inspired by this passage in Berkoff's early theatre manifesto:

"Music was (and is) an integral part of the rehearsal process, not as a background but as a vital component structuring the scenes, providing infinite inspiration, making us aware of moods sometimes in opposition to the text, sometimes provoking new thoughts, often creating the thought in the first place. It makes us aware of motion and space, and it takes us more into the unconscious world when it is coupled with the text. They marry and produce strange offspring." Extract from "Three Theatre Manifestos" by Steven Berkoff. (1978) Gambit vol.32


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Stunning the Punters, (Theatre) 1991

The opening 'darts' sequence from Stunning the Punters by Robert Sproat, the title piece of my 1990 solo show which kicked off 23+ years of solo touring!

Shot on a bog standard VHS camcorder live at West End Centre, Aldershot on 24th January 1991, and now somewhat degraded I've replaced the dropped frames with stills, and added surtitles since the sound is very poor. The performance itself would have been spoiled by noises coming through from the adjacent workshop if I hadn't casually gone over and slammed the door shut (which is why I walk off-stage and there's a few crashes at around 2.10)

Sadly, Robert Sproat died in 2011, and I was recently contacted by the BBC to do an interview about him for their programme 'Heir Hunters', which prompted me to revisit this and upload it to Youtube.


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NB on Stunning the Punters, (TV) 1990

In 1990 I took a triple bill to Edinburgh called Stunning the Punters (and Other Stories), comprising Steven Berkoff's Master of Cafe Society, the title story by Glaswegian writer, Robert Sproat, and my own adaptation of The Dream of a Ridiculous Man by Fyodor Dostoevsky. The show was a huge critical success, attracting rave reviews from all the national newspapers (except the Daily Telegraph who, I'm delighted to say, hated it) and was nominated for the Independent Theatre Award.

Scottish Television's "NB" guide to the Edinburgh Fringe interviewed me and filmed clips from each of the stories for this short piece, which I saved on VHS.
 
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[Updated - 11 June 2016]
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