Most famous for her chiselled Cleopatra-esque looks as Livia opposite Derek Jacobi in the BBC epic drama I, Cladius in the seventies, Sîan Phillips is today recognised as one of the classic British actresses of our age. Star of stage and screen with roles ranging from Chruchill’s wife to Reverend Mothers to Marlene Dietrich, Sian Phillips is to come to the University of York on 6 July to discuss her life and work.
The event, which will see Phillips in conversation with two academics from the University’s department of Theatre, Film and Television, is part of a one-day conference on acting in television with talks, tips and anecdotes from leading academics, actors and actor-trainers.
In discussion with Dr Tom Cantrell and Dr Christopher Hogg, Phillips is to put the spotlight on her acting journey from her London debut as ‘Hedda Gabler’ in 1957 through a host of landmark productions including Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy to her latest work in Juliet and her Romeo at the Bristol Old Vic which reworked Shakespeare’s tragedy into the tale of two star-crossed pensioners in a care home.
Born in Wales in 1934, Sîan Phillips could only speak Welsh for much of her childhood, only learning English from the radio. It was at the age of 11 that Sîan had her first taste of life in the limelight when she performed as a ginger tom cat on a Welsh radio station. From there, Phillips went on to read the news headlines for BBC Wales before making the jump to the stage.
Her work treading the boards of theatres, TV and film sets has, over her nearly 70 year career, earned her a CBE in 2000 and saw her win the 1997 BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress for I, Cladius.
For a valuable insight into the work of one our British acting treasures, Sîan Phillips in Conversation is taking place at the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television on Friday 6 July at 6-7pm. Tickets cost £5.00 and can be purchased here.