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How a top director handles the big shows, stars and criticism

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Simon Phillips is one of Australia’s top theatre directors, having worked with stars such as Geoffrey Rush, Rachel Griffiths and Guy Pearce, but he still hasn’t developed a thick enough skin to deal with the barb of criticism.

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During his career, Phillips has held the role of artistic director with the State Theatre Company of SA and Melbourne Theatre Company, and directed everything from contemporary works and Shakespearean classics, to opera and major musicals, including the original stage production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. His next production will be the new musical version of Muriel’s Wedding.

During a wide-ranging interview with Rooster Radio, Phillips talks about his early theatre influences, the secrets of a memorable performance, what he believes separates the stars from other actors, and why he doesn’t read press reviews.

He also reveals one particular scene – witnessed in an Adelaide theatre – that left him gobsmacked …

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