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Phelim McDermott


Phelim McDermott is a founder member of Improbable and the company’s co-artistic director.

Previously for ENO: SatyagrahaAida, The Perfect American, Così fan tutte.

Career Highlights

Improbable credits include: 70 Hill Lane; Lifegame; Animo; Coma; Spirit; Sticky; Cinderella; The Hanging Man; Theatre of Blood (in collaboration with the National Theatre); PanicBeauty and the Beast (in co-production with ONEOFUS); The Tempest (a co-production with Northern Stage and Oxford Playhouse); Opening Skinners Box (a co-production with Northern Stage and West Yorkshire Playhouse); Lost Without Words (a co-production with the National Theatre); and BambinO, an opera for babies (co-produced with Manchester International Festival and Scottish Opera).

Opera credits include: Philip Glass’s Satyagraha, The Perfect American, the Olivier Award-winning Akhnaten, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, in collaboration with ENO and the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and, most recently Aida, in collaboration with ENO.

Other productions as director include: the Olivier Award-winning Shockheaded Peter; Alex (The Arts Theatre); The Ghost Downstairs (Leicester Haymarket); Dr Faustus, Improbable Tales (Nottingham Playhouse); The Servant of Two Masters, The Hunchback of Notre Dame; The Government Inspector (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Artistic Collaborator on She’s Leaving Home (Produced by 20 Stories High).

Awards and achievements: In 2003 he was awarded a NESTA fellowship to research new ways of rehearsing and creating theatre using improvisation and process-oriented conflict facilitation techniques. As part of this work he has facilitated many Open Space Technology events. He was made an Honorary Doctor of Middlesex University in 2007.

Last updated: 11th July 2018