Rhondda born, Phil George is the co-founder and Co-Creative Director of BAFTA award winning Television Production Company, Green Bay Media Ltd in Cardiff. Phil was educated at Porth County Grammar School before going on to read English at Oxford University. Formerly Head of Arts, Music and Features for BBC Wales, Phil co-founded Green Bay Media Limited in 2001, where he will continue with his role as Creative Director.
Professor Dai Smith, Chair of the Arts Council of Wales, which was given the responsibility to manage the creation of the National English Language Theatre, was delighted with the standard of applicants for this prestigious position:
Phil emerged from an outstanding field of short-listed candidates. His track record in both public and private sectors gives him a unique perspective that will be invaluable and we’re delighted that a candidate of Phil’s calibre has been appointed to this non-remunerated position. Phil will now lead the appointment process of the Board and Artistic Director. His passion and commitment for the arts and drama in Wales will ensure his success in moving this challenging and exciting venture forward.
The proposals for developing a National English Language Theatre have been supported by the Welsh Assembly Government. Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM, Minister for Heritage, recently announced that the Welsh Assembly Government would invest an additional £2.25 million in establishing the new Theatre company, bringing the total investment to £4.5 million. In response to this new appointment Rhodri Glyn Thomas said
The appointment of Phil George means that the National English Language Theatre company will have an experienced and passionate advocate at its helm. I am delighted that the establishment of an English language theatre company for Wales is gathering momentum.
This long cherished development has been one of my early priorities as Heritage Minister and the Arts Council for Wales should be congratulated for the sterling work it has undertaken in driving this project forward.
The National English Language Theatre will introduce different styles and imaginative theatre choices as well as introducing more varied directorial voices and developing collaborative partnerships. It will feature star talent and will also nurture new talent in Wales.
The new company, once created, will not be building-based. This will give it the freedom to commission and create productions. The National English Language Theatre will work closely with the existing theatrical infrastructure to create high profile productions that will sometimes move outside the traditional theatre space.
Phil George will begin his new post immediately and has a clear vision of what his role will entail:
The National English Language Theatre will pursue the best for the most. It will encourage productions that are challenging and ambitious, but it will aim to reach wider audiences than currently go to the theatre. Sometimes that will take us to unexpected and unconventional spaces.
He is also extremely aware of the significance of creating this new theatre company for Wales:
This ambitious commissioning and producing structure will give a national focus to the theatre sector, keeping our stories, writers and questions to the fore. Civic life in Wales will be enriched; the cultural profile of Wales will be raised; and related art forms such as film, will also benefit.
Dai Smith added:
In welcoming Phil George’s appointment, I would like to thank Heritage Minister, Rhodri Glyn Thomas for making this institution for Wales and Welsh theatre possible.
3 December 2007