Philip d’Orléans is a member of the Equity Register of Fight Directors with twenty years of professional experience. He has worked throughout Europe and America, alongside being the Physical Skills instructor at RADA for seventeen years. He is a fight test examiner with the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat, Stage Combat Deutschland and the Irish Dramatic Combat Academy. He has just completed four years as the External Examiner for the East 15 Stage Combat B.A. course at the University of Essex.
As an Equity Register fight director Philip has worked with the RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe, Royal Opera House, Korea National Opera, Royal Court, English National Opera, Nottingham Playhouse, New Vic Theatre, Storyhouse Chester, Nuffield Theatre Southampton, Wyndham's Theatre, Theatre Royal Bath, Aldwych Theatre, Theatre Royal York, Vienna English Theatre, Guildford Shakespeare Company, Buxton Opera Festival, Queen’s Theatre, Hull Truck Theatre, Northern Broadsides, Theatr Clywd and Theatre Royal Northampton.
Philip's screen work includes films for Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures and documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4.
Philip is a fight director working at the highest levels in the entertainment industry with over three hundred professional credits.
In 2002 he was invited to join Equity’s Register of fight directors, after completing the rigorous training process. This is the highest professional qualification in the UK.
His job is to create fights which are safe and easy for performers to recreate precisely, but which tell a great story and look completely real.
His specialty is adding value to the production. No matter how simple the moment of violence, Philip will make it more interesting, both visually and as a story. His work covers everything from a push all the way up to a full battle.
Over his career, he has choreographed fights for every weapon you can think of, from snowballs, pillows and food, through every bladed weapon, firearms, and different martial arts systems, through to using furniture and literally anything which could come to hand in a domestic environment.
In the last five years, he has worked with the following companies, amongst many others.
• Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
• The National Theatre of Norway
• The Korean National Opera
• The Greek National Opera
• Glyndebourne Opera
• The Royal Opera House (ROH)
• The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
• Vienna’s English Theatre
• The English Theatre Frankfurt
Full CV available on request.
To read an interview with the RSC click:
He started as a stage manager before retraining as a theatre director. After a few years, his growing interest in stage combat led to further training and a developing career as both a teacher and a fight director. This background has given him the practical skills to understand what the production team and stage management need to know, and when they need it. It also allows him to recognise the different stages of the director’s process, and how to communicate clearly with all members of the artistic team.
Philip is a Master Teacher with the British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat. This is the highest possible teaching qualification in the BASSC, only achieved after many years of exacting work.
He has been teaching stage combat for twenty-three years at a number of different UK drama schools and universities.
Philip currently teaches at these institutions.
• The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art [RADA] (since 2005 )
• Drama Studio London [University of West London] (since 2004)
• The British American Drama Academy [BADA] (since 2009)
He has taught at more than thirty international workshops, all over Europe and in the States. These have ranged from weekend to full two-week workshops, covering not only a variety of weapons, but subjects as diverse as ‘Filming on Location’, ‘Violence in Opera’, and Introduction to Fight Directing’.
He created and run the teacher training programmes for the BASSC, Stage Combat Deutschland, and the Irish Dramatic Combat Academy.
Book "Unarmed Stage Combat"
by Philip d'Orléans
Unarmed Stage Combat explores the fundamental performance principles of violence on stage before a dedicated series of chapters focus on over forty specific unarmed combat techniques, including non-contact slaps, punches, kicks and chokes as well as controlled contact and the illusion of falling. Each technique is beautifully illustrated with step-by-step photos and detailed practical guidance through the preparation, action and reaction to the attack, as well as the key safety principles, common pitfalls and staging variables.
Packed with a career’s worth of industry experience, this is far more than a simple book on technique – this is a master class in how to create a unique fight performance, allowing performers to reach their full fight potential, safely.