Philip Franks - Swanson

Philip has played many leading roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company, including Bertram in All’s Well That Ends Well directed by Trevor Nunn and the title role in Hamlet directed by Roger Michell.


Other theatre work includes: The Prince in Schippel the Plumber (Greenwich), Orphuls in The Europeans for the Wrestling School (Greenwich and tour), Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest (Birmingham and Old Vic), Jacques Roux in Marat/Sade (Royal National Theatre), Yvan in Art (Whitehall Theatre and tour), Lloyd in Noises Off (tour and Piccadilly Theatre), Alan Turing in Breaking the Code (Royal Theatre Northampton), Osborne in Journey’s End (Comedy Theatre and national tour), Sir Peter Teazle in School for Scandal (Salisbury Playhouse), Dr Watson in The Hound of the Baskervilles (Colchester, Windsor and tour),  Mr Winslow in The Winslow Boy  (Salisbury Playhouse), and 66 Books – A Response to Numbers at the Bush Theatre.  Tours include:  Our Man in Havana, The Secret of Sherlock Holmes , The History Boys, The Rocky Horror Show and Journey to the Centre of the Earth.


On television includes: Charlie in The Darling Buds of May (three series) and Sergeant Craddock in Heartbeat (four series). He also appeared as Tom Pinch in Martin Chuzzlewit, Richard in Bleak House, Giles Dutton in Pie in the Sky, Patsy’s father in Absolutely Fabulous and in episodes of My Dad’s the Prime Minister, Foyle’s War and Casualty.


Philip is also a director.  His many productions include Kafka’s Dick and The Kiss of the Spider Woman (Nottingham Playhouse), The Cocktail Party (Edinburgh Festival) which won the Scotsman/Hamada Foundation Prize for the best production of 1997, Rebecca (Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh), Hamlet (Greenwich/tour), Macbeth (Sheffield Crucible) The Duchess of Malfi (Greenwich/West End), Private Lives and The Heiress (Royal National Theatre), The White Devil (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), The Tempest (Liverpool Playhouse), The Duchess of Malfi (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Comedy of Errors at Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park and Sixty Six Books at the Bush Theatre as part of the celebrations for the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible.


Philip was an Associate Director at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2007/12.   Nicholas Nickleby  which he co-directed with Jonathan Church, toured the UK, played at the Gielgud Theatre in London, then The Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto.  Other Productions for Chichester include Twelfth Night (2007)  The Cherry Orchard.(2008)  Taking Sides and Collaboration by Ronald Harwood which both transferred to the Duchess Theatre  (2008/09). Separate Tables (2009), The Master Builder  (2010). Rattigan’s Nijinsky and The Deep Blue Sea (2011) and A Marvellous Year For Plums  (2012).  


Philip is also a regular voice on radio and recently directed Blithe Spirit  and An English Tragedy for BBC Radio 4 and Iain Burnside's play about Ivor Gurney, A Soldier and a Maker for BBC Radio 3.


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