Membership: Individual Artists
Number of shows
I came into this mad business rather late in life, when I was just 45 years old. I had no training or CV and yet I was positive that it would only be a matter of time before my genius was discovered. After a while I realised that it might be a matter of rather a long time. In 1994 to speed up my progress a friend (Jeremy Towler) and I decided we would write a play and take the Edinburgh Fringe by storm. But the Fringe was not ready for us that year, nor the next unfortunately and so we held on to our day jobs (temporarily you understand). But then I had a hit playing Tony Hancock in ‘Hancock’s Last Half Hour.’ With my five star reviews lighting the way to fame and fortune, I gave up my day job and waited for the phone to ring. I waited patiently for the next 18 months for the phone to ring. Pip Utton Theatre Co is the outcome of deciding that I had been patient enough. If no one else was going to discover me, I would do it myself. In 1997 I wrote Adolf, a short 35-minute piece that premiered at Southside Laboratory and was an instant sell out smash hit (capacity was only 24 I admit, but a full house is a full house!). The proceeding years saw the play transform into 80 minutes long and become one of the most worldwide successful one man shows of recent years. Adolf launched me on to the touring circuit. Produced and re-directed by Guy Masterson I toured under his banner until Guy and I decided I was old enough to go out by myself. I took a leaf out of his book and put my name at the top of the poster. It was going to be Pip Utton Productions, but PUP is not an acronym foretelling fame and fortune. Calling the company after myself, and being credited as the writer and as the performer ensured that my name was prominent on all posters and flyers. Things might change. In the future there may be plays written by other writers and performed by other actors but my name will still be at the top – I’ll make sure of that. I have now toured my performances in over 21 countries and had my work translated into six languages! I now try to produce a new piece each year. Some remain in the repertoire for several years and others are laid to rest sooner. Currently [November 2015], there are eight shows in the repertoire: Adolf, Bacon, Casanova (which features wonderful contemporary dancing by Marguerite Chaigne), Chaplin, Dickens, Hunchback of Notre Dame, A Christmas Carol, Churchill, and my new show, Playing Maggie which premiered in the Netherlands 2015 and took the Edinburgh Fringe 2015 by storm, selling out and winning major awards. In addition, I am also writing a new play entitled ‘Popes’, due to premiere in Holland in 2016, and a solo performance based on an adaptation of Nabukov’s Lolita. I am an Associate Artist of The Merlin Theatre, Frome, Somerset, and of Trowbridge Arts, Trowbridge, Wiltshire. I am a long standing Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. I have two grown sons and a dog and live with my wife in the calm of Somerset in a wonderful town called Frome.