Interview: Dan Phillips

You may have caught director Dan Phillips on the review already this year, having previously worked on ‘I Went to a Fabulous Party’ and ‘Richard the First’.  Now he returns with his company to the Edinburgh Fringe, with a new production of ‘The International Stud.’

AT: Tell us a little about ‘The International Stud’…

DP: It’s about two men as they struggle through discovering who they are. Arnold is a drag queen and has always been a drag queen and is desperate to find love, but modern love, with marriage and a picket fence. Ed is a lot younger and wants the same but  believes it can only happen with a woman and so when Arnold comes along, he is thrown into a spiral of confusion. Of course you can also expect incredible costumes!

AT: What were your reasons behind choosing this show for your Edinburgh Production?

DP: Well, I have been desperate to do the show for the best part of ten years when I first fell in love with Fierstein’s writing.  After Safe Sex and On Tidy Endings (we produced the UK premiere of Fierstein’s later trilogy exploring the AIDs crisis) last year both CJ and myself felt that it would be right to do Stud next. We initially began proceedings to hit the fringe last year but due to other commitments, it fell through. This year feels much more right with us both professionally at a point where we feel we can do it justice.
AT: What were your views on the Glasgow Pride Drag Queen ban last week?

DP: I will try not to swear but it was ******* disgusting. The community is small enough without causing or at least heightening the segregation within it. It is quite simply political correctness  gone mad,and as usual these rules are rarely made by the community it apparently tries to ‘protect’. 

AT: Will this be your first year at Edinburgh? I’m being really presumptuous, but I’m assuming you have been before…?

DP: Haha presume away. I first hit Edinburgh exactly years ago but as an actor. I had only just started directing properly at that point and the fringe just blew my mind. It took a few years but I then went back as a producer, director, writer and performer which taught me a lot, mainly never to go up with that much responsibility! Last year I returned as director on a new piece of writing which I am also taking back this year in a new version with new cast and new direction. This will be the first time having two productions up there at the same time…wish me luck!

AT: What Have you learned from Edinburgh in the past?

DP: Spend time apart from your company! Living and working together for a month can be stressful and claustrophobic so make sure you have some of your own time. 

AT:  What three bits of advice would you give to first timers at the Fringe?

DP:

1 – go with the flow. Don’t over plan.

2 – Be open to things you would not normally see.

3 – Don’t spend all your time in the theatre. There is a unique atmosphere, especially around the royal mile, soak it up.

AT: Describe The International Stud in six words…

DP: Funny, tragic, surprising, political, universal and dragtastic!

AT: Who is this show perfect for?

DP: Anyone! Well maybe not for the children, a few naughty words may be uttered. But what is important is this is not a ‘gay play’ for a gay audience. The themes of love and identity are universal. It is simply about a young man trying to discover who he is and how it affects those around him.

AT: Where and when can we find it in Edinburgh?

DP: We are on at C Cubed (just off the top of the Mile) everyday for the entire festival at 8.40pm.

AT: Where can we follow you on social media?

DP: Twitter: @StudOnTour

Facebook: www.facebook.com/internationalstud

web: www.dan-phillips.com/international-stud

You can book tickets here: https://edinburghfestival.list.co.uk/event/486749-the-international-stud/

SM image CJ

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