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FIGHT DIRECTING

I’m a fight director working at the highest levels in the entertainment industry with over three hundred professional credits.


In 2002 I 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.


My 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.


My specialty is adding value to your production. No matter how simple the moment of violence, I will make it more interesting, both visually and as a story. My work covers everything from a push all the way up to a full battle.


Over my career, I have 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, I have worked with the following companies, amongst many others.


• The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC)

• 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:

https://www.rsc.org.uk/news/archive/q-a-with-fight-director-philip-d-orleans


I started as a stage manager before retraining as a theatre director. After a few years, my 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 me the practical skills to understand what the production team and stage management need to know, and when they need it. It also allows me to recognise the different stages of the director’s process, and how to communicate clearly with all members of the artistic team.

 
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TEACHING

I am 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.


I’ve been teaching stage combat for twenty-three years at a number of different UK drama schools and universities.


I currently teach 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)


I have 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’.


I have created and run teacher training programmes for the BASSC, Stage Combat Deutschland, and the Irish Dramatic Combat Academy.

 
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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 movement, 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.

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UNARMED STAGE COMBAT

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 movement, 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.

Key coverage includes:

  • Acting while you fight – maintaining an authentic character from the very beginning

  • How staging and sightlines affect the choice of technique

  • Vocal choreography and how to perform it safely

  • A detailed examination of pain

  • Knapping

  • Fighting for camera


Supported by stunning fight photos from professional productions, this indispensable handbook is equally as valuable for beginners at the start of their career or preparing for their fight performance exam as it will be for seasoned professionals seeking to refresh their knowledge.


This will be published in August 2020 by Crowood Press

by Philip d'Orléans

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ABOUT ME

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 CombatStage Combat Deutschland and the Irish Dramatic Combat Academy. He is currently the External Examiner for the East 15 Stage Combat B.A. course at the University of Essex.


He is also the author of Unarmed Stage Combat to be published August 2020 by Crowood Press.

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, Storyouse 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. He is currently writing his first stage combat book for Crowood Publishers