Name Philip Ridley
Education Central Saint Martins
|Born 1964 (age 50–51)East London, England|
Alma mater St Martins School of Art
Occupation Writer, artist, film director
Plays Mercury Fur, The Pitchfork Disney, Tender Napalm
Movies The Reflecting Skin, Heartless, The Passion of Darkly Noon, The Krays, The Universe of Dermot Finn
Awards Nestle Smarties Book Prize, Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright
Books Krindlekrax, Scribbleboy, Dakota of the White Flats, Shivered, Mighty Fizz Chilla
Similar People Dominic Anciano, Jim Sturgess, Chris Riddell, Ray Burdis, Viggo Mortensen
INTERVIEW PHILIP RIDLEY
Philip Ridley (born 1964 in East London) is an English storyteller working in a wide range of artistic media.
- INTERVIEW PHILIP RIDLEY
- Savage Cinema QA with PHILIP RIDLEY NICK BICAT
- Radio plays
- Performance Art
- Selected works in anthologies
- In media
- Notable awards won
- Notable award nominations
In the visual arts he has been cited as a contemporary to the 'Young British Artists', and has exhibited his work internationally.
As a novelist he has created fiction for both children and adults, and has had particular success and recognition as a children's author.
In the world of cinema he is perhaps best known for his award-winning screenplay for the 1990 film The Krays, a biopic about the Kray twins which was directed by Peter Medak. As a film-maker in his own right he is recognised for creating a loose trilogy of horror films; The Reflecting Skin, The Passion of Darkly Noon and Heartless for which he has acquired a cult following.
As a playwright he has been cited as a pioneer of 'In-yer-face theatre', with his debut play The Pitchfork Disney considered by many to be a seminal work in the development of the style, with one critic even dubbing it "the key play" of the 1990s. A great number of his plays for adults have been perceived as controversial, being met with both condemnation and high acclaim upon their initial reception. As a writer for the stage he is also recognised for creating an ongoing series of plays for young people (The Storyteller Sequence) and has written theatrical works for children and family audiences.
As a songwriter he has created songs for his cinematic and theatrical works, frequently collaborating with composer Nick Bicât. He and Bicât have also formed a music group called Dreamskin Cradle with singer Mary Leay. Ridley has also written songs for composer Anna Meredith, particularly operatic work.
Ridley is also a poet, photographer, and performance artist and has written drama for radio.
Although Ridley creates stories through a wide range of media he dislikes his work being categorised by the medium in which it is told, often referring to them belonging to each other as "different peaks of the same mountain."
Savage Cinema Q&A with PHILIP RIDLEY & NICK BICAT
Ridley was born in Bethnal Green, in the East End of London, where he lived and worked for the majority of his life until moving to Ilford. Ridley studied painting at Saint Martin's School of Art and his work has been exhibited throughout Europe and Japan. He started as both a performance artist and the creator of a long sequence of charcoal drawings called The Epic of Oracle Foster. One drawing from this sequence, "Corvus Cum", portraying a man ejaculating a black bird, was exhibited at the ICA in London while Ridley was still a student and – with calls for it to be displayed behind a curtain – became a cause célèbre. Ridley also started his own theatre group as a student, acting in many of the productions, and made several short art films, including Visiting Mr Beak which starred the veteran actor Guy Rolfe. His short film for Channel 4, The Universe of Dermot Finn, was officially selected for the Cannes Film Festival, where it was a critical success and went on to receive theatrical distribution.
Ridley has written three books for adults, Crocodilia, In the Eyes of Mr. Fury, and Flamingoes in Orbit; the screenplay for The Krays feature film; 13 adult stage plays: The Pitchfork Disney, the multi-award-winning The Fastest Clock in the Universe, Ghost from a Perfect Place, Vincent River, the controversial Mercury Fur, Leaves of Glass, Piranha Heights, Tender Napalm, Shivered, Dark Vanilla Jungle, Radiant Vermin, Tonight with Donny Stixx and Karagula; plus a further five plays for young people (known collectively as The Storyteller Sequence): Karamazoo, Fairytaleheart, Moonfleece, Sparkleshark and Brokenville as well as a play for the whole family Feathers in the Snow.
He has also directed three feature films from his own screenplays: The Reflecting Skin (winner of 11 international award), – The Passion of Darkly Noon (winner of the Best Director Prize at the Porto Film Festival), and Heartless. He also created two short films, Visiting Mr Beak and The Universe of Dermot Finn.
His children's books include Scribbleboy (shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal), Kasper in the Glitter (nominated for the Whitbread Prize), Mighty Fizz Chilla (shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award) and Krindlekrax (winner of both the Smarties Prize and the WH Smith Mind-Boggling Book Award). The stage play of Krindlekrax – adapted by Ridley himself – premiered at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in the summer of 2002.
He is also a photographer – he created the cover images for Ridley: Plays 1 and Ridley: Plays 2, (published by Methuen) and regularly exhibits portraits of friends and images of East London, the two main themes of his photographic output – and a poet (his work has appeared in several collections). He co-wrote, with Nick Bicât, two songs that appeared in his film The Passion of Darkly Noon, ("Who Will Love Me Now?", sung by PJ Harvey – later covered by Sunscream – and "Look What You've Done" sung by Gavin Friday). In 2010 Ridley and Bicât formed the music group 'Dreamskin Cradle' and released their first album Songs from Grimm on all major download sites. Ridley has won both the Evening Standard's Most Promising Newcomer to British Film and Most Promising Playwright Awards. He is the only person ever to receive both prizes.
Ridley's third film as writer-director, Heartless, premiered at the Frightfest horror film festival in London in August 2009. The film stars Jim Sturgess, Clémence Poésy, Noel Clarke, Eddie Marsan, Luke Treadaway, Ruth Sheen and Timothy Spall, and was released in the UK in May 2010. It was the first mainstream British film to be released across all platforms (theatrical, DVD, Blu-ray, download) at the same time. In addition, a new collection of his adult plays was published by Methuen (including Vincent River, Mercury Fur, Leaves of Glass and Piranha Heights, with a new introduction by Ridley). An opera for teenagers titled Tarantula in Petrol Blue by Aldeburgh Music also premiered in 2009.
He was featured on BBC 2's flagship arts programme The Culture Show on 2 March 2012.
Monologues (sometimes performed as theatrical pieces)
Monologues from Vault Zero: