Meet the team: Phil Edgerly

12 August, 2021

ICTheatre has some of the best faculty at its heart, student blogger, Charley Morgan is here to introduce you to some of them.

Phil joined the ICTheatre team in 2018 and has become a core member of our wonderful acting faculty.  ICTheatre take pride in being more financially inclusive than some top London drama schools, this ethos is something that drew Phil to joining the team.

With a solid script analysis technique partnered with the desire to play and explore, Phil is a wonderful actor and teacher and feeds wonderfully into the school’s dynamic.

Phil grew up in a theatrical family, so acting and performance have always been one of his passions. His grandmother was a professional actress, working with the BBC and in London theatres in the 40s, 50’s and 60’s.

His mother was also well established amongst semi-professional companies such as Questor’s Theatre, meaning theatre was always involved in his life.

“It was one of the things I thought I was quite good at!”. Phil got into drama college at 17, but that year they cut all grants for theatre education, meaning Phil couldn’t go.

“I decided instead to go to university and study Mental Health Nursing. That came out of the blue a little bit, and if I’m honest it really happened because I had a girlfriend who was doing nurse training in Bristol, and I thought the parties were great!

So I found myself going to Portsmouth University doing mental health studies because I quite liked parties. I graduated and I got a job, and soon I started doing both acting and nursing – I used my night shifts as a psychiatric nurse to pay for formal acting training”.

It wasn’t until one night when Phil was performing at The Royal Court that he realised he couldn’t do both. “I was on stage and I got a call from my clinical manager because a big incident had happened at work, and I had to go and start writing reports.

I realised it wasn’t fair to those patients or some of my colleagues to try and manage both. So I left, and luckily got a three-year contract with the RSC and haven’t looked back since.”

I asked Phil what lessons he’d learnt through his work, both as a Psychiatric Nurse and an Actor.

“I just wish someone had told me – although my ego may not have listened – that acting is a part-time job, not a full-time job.”

“I remember years of thinking ‘I should be working every minute of every day’ and of course, acting doesn’t work like that. Not even the top paid actors in the world work like that.

I think it would have helped take the heat out of all the angst that I felt in the early days of not working.”

Phil also mentioned considering the longevity of your career, and how the roles you play will develop and change as you get older.

“If you have longevity, if you have played the long game, things usually change and therefore casting changes, and that opens up lots of possibilities that you just can’t predict.”

Now of course we all love theatre talk, but there is more to life than performing and I wanted to hear about Phil’s perfect Sunday – I don’t think there’s anything more telling than how a person spends their Sunday.

“Well, my absolute favourite way to relax is to get the hammock out, lie under our apple tree, listen to music and read.”


“Yesterday was one of those days actually. I was out there much longer than I really should have been, like most of the day. I felt particularly lazy but it was really nice.”

Usually Sundays are for R&R and family time, and Phil’s perfect Sunday was no exception to this.

“I think, you know, a lazy family breakfast or brunch to start the day, then maybe a walk, or maybe a trip down to the beach. During lockdown we started doing a lot of family walks together, which was really lovely. We’ve always done bits of that.

Then just hang out down there, with the occasional glass of wine or beer. Basically, munching and drinking our way through the day. Oh, and snoozing a lot.

So just a really easy day, I still get Sunday dread for Mondays and everything starting up again, so I try to put that off as long as possible!”

There are many wonderful things about ICTheatre, I asked Phil his favourite things about the job.

“We’re very fortunate at ICTheatre with all the things that we’re aiming for, which is to open up access to the industry to people who normally would not get a chance.”

I was incredibly frustrated when I worked at other places, and I got bored of teaching at them because it was just the same thing every year.

That’s not to say there weren’t some very talented students, that’s not the point. It’s just doing the same thing, there’s no interesting stuff that makes it reflect society.

So I think that focus on trying to open up access is something I find really exciting.”

“Also, the Team. The staff are brilliant, very funny and really lovely to work with. I think it’s the best team of people I’ve ever worked with, which of course makes it all even better”

My favourite question to ask is, what’s something the students at ICTheatre don’t know about you, that you’d like them to know. It really unearths the best bits about a person.

“I have a horrible feeling that I’ve self-disclosed far too many times for there to be anything”

“Okay, so secretly, I really like musicals, but I think people think that I really don’t like musicals.”

“They think I go ‘ugh, musical theatre’ and roll my eyes, that sort of thing. The first professional show I ever saw with my grandmother was the original London version of Sweeney Todd, and I was mesmerised by it.

So I suppose there is a sense that originally I wanted to sing and dance on stage, and that’s where it started. I think that’s probably something people don’t know, it’s definitely something my colleagues don’t know!”

Well, the secret’s out now Phil, Amanda and Jules will get you belting out a show tune in no time! I think you would make a great Javert in Les Mis.

As always, the best place to finish is with some advice for our current and future Training Professionals.

“So this might make me sound a bit grumpy, but training isn’t about entertainment. You don’t have to like it, in fact, you don’t even have to enjoy it in some senses, because training and the job aren’t necessarily geared to be entertaining.”

“I think if something is challenging and if something is difficult, or if you don’t want to do it- that’s the one. Those are the things you need to throw yourself at”.

“Also, training is full-on. it takes all of your focus and attention and it’s intense. So be prepared that it’s just going to dominate your life for a while! I wish I had something wise and witty to say, but I think it’s good to be practical.”

Wise words from a very wise man. Phil is a wonderful teacher, who’s attention to detail in his work translates to his attention to detail when teaching, and it’s a privilege to have him be a part of the ICTheatre team.

I can only hope we do get to see him in a musical one day…

If Phil’s  advice has won you over, and you’re ready to join the #ICTheatreMovement? Head over to our courses page to choose your dream pathway.



Author: Charley Morgan, ICTheatre Graduate 2020

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