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Ockley Dramatic Society - Phil Stringer

Phil Stringer

Phil is currently Social Secretary for Ockley Dramatic Society, where he has been a member for 10 years. He has been an acting member of 5 different Drama Societies located in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Herefordshire, Kent and Surrey. The main offices he has held have included chairman, secretary, treasurer and committee member.

He started his "acting career" at school, when at the tender age of 16 was invited to appear in the chorus of Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado, mainly to make up the numbers. He enjoyed it so much that he joined the school dramatic society and later helped back stage with lights and sound effects for George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. The lighting board was so dusty that it set on fire in the middle of one performance, but he kept his head and the show carried on uninterrupted, illuminated only by footlights!

In one production, for the New Seasons Players in Oldham, Phil had his leg in plaster through rehearsals and it was only removed a few hours before his first night performance (Hero or fool? Whatever, the show had to go on).

In another production in Herefordshire, he became so involved in his portrayal of the pantomime Dame, he tripped over his skirt and fell off the stage! (Now we know, FOOL!)

He has enjoyed major roles in such productions as Hot and Cold in All Rooms, Spring and Port Wine, Simon & Laura, Albert's Bridge, Who Says Murder, Big Bad Mouse and with Ockley Half an Idea, Ring Round the Moon, Habeas Corpus, Easy Stages and two Christmas Pantomimes.

A great lover of pantomime, Phil has played the differing roles of Giant Snufflegobbler in Jack and the Beanstalk, Dame Dolly Diddlum the school mistress in Goody Two Shoes, Colonel Fogy in Little Red Riding Hood and for Ockley, Aladdin's Uncle Abanazer and the infamous King Rat in Dick Whittington. He has also directed Red Riding Hood (appearing as Simple Simon) and Cindy Ella, ancient and modern potted pantomimes, for Ockley.

Phil enjoys directing, but would rather be on stage (he says he feels more in control). Spring and Port Wine, Untimely Ripp'd and Low Comedy Woman are amongst some of the plays he has directed.

Phil is happy to do anything connected with a production but much prefers to be on stage. Unfortunately, over the past few years, business commitments have dictated that he has been unable to take as many roles as he would like. He nevertheless, tries to be available backstage during a production and attends as many social events as he can.

He's even managed to get his wife and daughter on stage, though his wife has never forgiven him for casting her as a French maid in one production and then invited her to reveal all! She thinks that he was trying to get his own back for a play they appeared in together 25 years ago. Phil encouraged her, for her first ever stage appearance, to audition for one of the Chester Mystery Plays. She was eventually cast as Mary opposite Phil's Joseph in the Nativity. She got all the lines to say and Phil was silent for the whole of the production. Needless to say, he hasn't let that happen again!

Last updated 5th August 2001.


Productions participated in

Last Tango in Ockley May 1996 Lighting / Sound
Distracted Globe
From here to the Library May 1997 Publicity / Programme
The Walking Dead
Sweet Caroline Sweet Nov 1997 Lighting and Sound
Caught on the hop
Aladdin Jan 1998 Abanazer, the Magician
Dick Whittington Dec 1999 King Rat
Anyone for Drama? Nov 2000 Stage Manager
Sand Castles Nov 2001 Doug / Set
Sleeping Beauty Feb 2003 King Cedric VII of Entertainia
Say it with Flowers
Much ado about Woman
Jul 2003 Lighting and Sound
Abigail's party Jun 2005 Laurence / Programme