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Phil Stringer

Phil Stringer

Married to Lynne. Father of Amber. Grandfather of Bethany and Lottie.

Phil was a committee member as well as Social Secretary for Ockley Dramatic Society, where he was been a member for over 30 years. He has been an acting member of 5 different Drama Societies located in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Herefordshire, Kent and Surrey. The main offices he has held have included chairman, secretary, treasurer and committee member.

He started his "acting career" at school, when at the tender age of 16 was invited to appear in the chorus of Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado, mainly to make up the numbers. He enjoyed it so much that he joined the school dramatic society and later helped back stage with lights and sound effects for George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. The lighting board was so dusty that it set on fire in the middle of one performance, but he kept his head and the show carried on uninterrupted, illuminated only by footlights!

In one production, for the New Seasons Players in Oldham, Phil had his leg in plaster through rehearsals and it was only removed a few hours before his first night performance (Hero or fool? Whatever, the show had to go on).

In another production in Herefordshire, he became so involved in his portrayal of the pantomime Dame, he tripped over his skirt and fell off the stage! (Now we know, FOOL!)

He has enjoyed major roles in such productions as Hot and Cold in All Rooms, Spring and Port Wine, Simon & Laura, Albert's Bridge, Who Says Murder, Big Bad Mouse and with Ockley Half an Idea, Ring Round the Moon, Habeas Corpus, Easy Stages and many Pantomimes.

A great lover of pantomime, Phil has played the differing roles of Giant Snufflegobbler in Jack and the Beanstalk, Dame Dolly Diddlum the school mistress in Goody Two Shoes, Colonel Fogy in Little Red Riding Hood and for Ockley, Aladdin's Uncle Abanazer and the infamous King Rat in Dick Whittington. He has also directed Red Riding Hood (appearing as Simple Simon) and Cindy Ella, ancient and modern potted pantomimes, for Ockley and frequently took on the ‘elder statesman’ roles in pantomimes (King Cedric, Baron Hickory, King Conrad, Alderman Fitzwarren) as well as playing the Fool/Knaves.

Phil enjoys directing, but would rather be on stage (he says he feels more in control). Spring and Port Wine, Untimely Ripp'd and Low Comedy Woman are amongst some of the plays he has directed.

Phil is happy to do anything connected with a production but much prefers to be on stage. Unfortunately, over the past few years, business commitments have dictated that he has been unable to take as many roles as he would like. He nevertheless, tries to be available backstage during a production and attends as many social events as he can.

He's even managed to get his wife and daughter on stage, though his wife has never forgiven him for casting her as a French maid in one production and then invited her to reveal all! She thinks that he was trying to get his own back for a play they appeared in together 25 years ago. Phil encouraged her, for her first ever stage appearance, to audition for one of the Chester Mystery Plays. She was eventually cast as Mary opposite Phil's Joseph in the Nativity. She got all the lines to say and Phil was silent for the whole of the production. Needless to say, he hasn't let that happen again!

For the Society's 70th anniversary, Phil directed Bob Larbey's 'Half an Idea', recreating the play written especially for ODS, originally performed in 1992. More recently, Phil suffered ill health and his last fifteen months were in some discomfort. A much needed heart operation was given in June 2023 but alas he never fully recovered from this. He passed away peacefully on Sunday 9th July 2023. Phil was the initial driving force behind the Society’s pantomimes and we will forever be indebted to him for this, his boundless enthusiasm, his great sense of humour and his fantastic abilities as an actor. We would like to think that if there is an after-life then he has found a new stage on which to appear.

Last updated 11th July 2023.

Productions participated in

The Boundary
Easy Stages
Nov 1991 Effects
Ring Round the Moon May 1992 Patrice Bombelles
Half an Idea Nov 1992 Mr. Dicks / Mr Wilson
Rave no more
Low Comedy Woman
Jul 1993 Philip Harris
Habeas Corpus Autumn 1993 Mr. Shanks / Publicity
Untimely Ripp'd
Curses, Foiled Again!
Spring 1994 Director / Publicity
Cindy Ella
Red Riding Hood
Dec 1994 Director / Publicity
Director / Simple Simon / Publicity
Beyond a Joke Nov 1995 Lighting
Last Tango in Ockley
Distracted Globe
May 1996 Lighting / Sound
From here to the Library
The Walking Dead
May 1997 Publicity / Programme
Sweet Caroline Sweet
Caught on the hop
Nov 1997 Lighting and Sound
Aladdin Jan 1998 Abanazer, the Magician
Dick Whittington Dec 1999 King Rat
Anyone for Drama? Nov 2000 Stage Manager
Sand Castles Nov 2001 Doug / Set
Sleeping Beauty Feb 2003 King Cedric VII of Entertainia
Say it with Flowers
Much ado about Woman
Jul 2003 Lighting and Sound
Abigail's party Jun 2005 Laurence / Programme
Hickory Dickory Dock Feb 2010 Barron Hickory
Captain Hook's Revenge Jan 2014 Splice
Once Upon a Time Feb 2015 Nack
Snowdon White and the Seven Dwarves Jan 2017 Voice Over artist
Conrad the Terrible (the ruler of Amazonia)
Dick Whittington Jan 2018 Alderman Fitzwarren
Half an Idea Jun 2018 Director