Eden Phillips

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Eden Phillips
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Born (1949-07-11) July 11, 1949 (age 74)
Alma materManchester University
  • Lyricist
  • writer
  • editor
  • publisher
  • former actor
  • Frank Phillips (father)
  • Barbara (mother)
RelativesJonathan (brother)

Eden Phillips (born July 11, 1949) is an English lyricist, writer, editor, publisher and former actor. He has been editorial director of publishers Marshall Cavendish and DeAgostini UK and currently runs the agency Edenco Creative[1]. He has written musicals with composers including Julian Slade, John Cameron and Michael Jeffrey, as well as hundreds of children’s songs. As an actor, his TV credits include Potter’s Picture Palace, Doctor Who and Crown Court[2]. His stage appearances include over 1,000 performances of Rice and Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Early life

Phillips was born in London, to Frank Phillips, a singer and BBC announcer, and his wife Barbara (née Holmes). His brother, Jonathan, was born in 1954. While at school and university and after graduating, Eden worked regularly as a stagehand in West End theatres, and while at the Victoria Palace was reputed to be the youngest head flyman in London. He graduated from Manchester University, where he was chairman of the university’s Drama Group, with an Honours degree in Drama in 1971.


Before graduating, Phillips had acting roles at Theatre Royal Lincoln and in the professional production of Peter Terson’s National Youth Theatre hit Zigger Zagger (Strand Theatre, 1968). Later he worked extensively in repertory theatres at Oldham, Chesterfield, Swindon, Chelmsford, Harrogate, Belfast and on tour. He played a brother and then Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat opposite lyricist Tim Rice, who played Pharaoh for six weeks on tour. In the West End, Phillips played Young Scrooge in an adaptation by Peter Denyer of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol starring Alan Curtis (Victoria Palace, 1976). In Ireland, Phillips was part of the Interplay company, directed by Denis Smyth, which took theatre to all regions of Ulster during the Troubles of 1972-73. Roles included Richard III, Sergius in Arms and the Man, and Mr Pickwick, in which he took over from Richard Griffiths. He played opposite Ken Stott and Ann Hasson in Shaw’s Saint Joan (Lyric, Belfast, 1972) and played Chewlips in the Abbey Theatre’s production of Brendan Behan’s Borstal Boy, directed by Tomás Mac Anna and starring Neil Tóibín (Dublin and tour, 1973). In 1978 he played opposite Harry H. Corbett and Kate O’Mara in the UK national tour of Charles Dyer’s play Rattle of a Simple Man, directed by Simon Williams, and returned to Joseph/Dreamcoat, playing the Narrator at the Harrogate Theatre.[3][4]

TV and radio

In the early 1970s, Phillips appeared in early episodes of Crown Court and Castle Haven (1969-70), played small parts in Coronation Street, A Family at War, Doctor Who, and also appeared in several television plays at Yorkshire TV and in the sitcom Dear Mother, Love Albert, starring Rodney Bewes. In 1976 Phillips was cast as Peter Potter in the sitcom Potter’s Picture Palace (BBC, 1976-78), co-starring with Melvyn Hayes, John Comer, David Lodge, Angela Crow and Colin Edwynn. On radio he was heard in the serial Rogue Herries (Radio 4, 1971) and narrated Tolstoy and Music (Radio 3, 1972).


Between 1976 and 1988, Phillips worked as a runner, then editor and editorial director at partwork publishers Marshall Cavendish.[5] [6] He was responsible for editorial operations in the UK and Germany, launching several successful magazine series including Murder Casebook, which sold over one million copies at part 1. From 1989 to 1998 he was editorial director at DeAgostini, overseeing creative operations in the UK, Germany and Japan. Successful launches included: The Classical Collection, Dinosaurs! [7] [8] [9]Talking Classics and Play Guitar. In 1998 he left DeAgostini to found his own company, Edenco, a creative services agency providing content to partwork publishers and direct mail companies such as IMP card sets, Laithwaite’s Wine, The Folio Society, Dogs Trust and Riviera Travel. Edenco also created successful fund-raising brochures for arts organizations such as the Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal Albert Hall.


From 1982 – 89 Phillips wrote a monthly column, ‘Men’, for Woman’s Journal magazine (IPC) [10][11][12][13][14]. From New York he reported on Broadway theatre, meeting stars and directors including Tammy Grimes, Mary Tyler Moore, Tommy Tune and Peter Bogdanovich, and persuaded the reclusive Estée Lauder to be interviewed.[15][16][17] [18]ref>https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0490744/fullcredits/?ref_=tt_ov_st_sm</ref>[19] [20][21][22]

With David Kernan, Phillips created and wrote Dorothy Fields Forever (Jermyn Street and King’s Head theatres, 2001-02.) He wrote book and lyrics for the musicals Love in a Cold Climate (music by Julian Slade, 1995) and Alfie the Musical (music by John Cameron, 1997, revised [23]<refTwo for the Pot, 1980's</ref>[24][25][26][27]2005). He wrote lyrics for the song cycle Remember When (music by Charles Miller, 1998). With composer Michael Jeffrey he is developing the musical The Postman and the Poet, based on the novel that inspired the film Il Postino, Ardiente Paciencia by Chilean writer Antonio Skármeta. Also in development is Six Nights in Naples, a musical based on an original idea (music by Richard Link). With Tim Cross, Phillips wrote children’s songs for the CD/magazine series Little Story Teller and The Guzunder Gang. [28] [29] [30] Ireland – north and south [31] [32] [33] [34]


Eden Phillips lives in London. He has been a supporter of Chelsea Football Club since 1959.[35]


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