Since May 1990 George Dillon's Vital Theatre has produced seven acclaimed solo shows: Judgement, Stunning the Punters, Hell & Other Tales, The Remembrance of Edgar Allan Poe, the award-winning Graft - Tales of an Actor, The Gospel of Matthew and The Man Who Was Hamlet plus a revival of Decadence and a production of Hamlet.

The Man Who Was Hamlet The Gospel of Matthew Hell & Dream of a Ridiculous Man Graft - Tales of an Actor Hamlet
The Remembrance of Edgar Allan Poe Hell Stunning the Punters Judgement Decadence

"George Dillon has become famous for his highly theatrical and intriguing portrayals of crazed individuals and their bleak existences. Influenced by his long-term collaboration with Steven Berkoff, Dillon has over the last ten years given a series of virtuoso solo performances of immense physical control and energy." Sally Cowling, Head of Drama at the British Council

Vital Theatre is avowedly anti-naturalistic. The main influence is the theatre of Steven Berkoff. From both aesthetic principle and a shortage of financial resources, Vital Theatre is a 'poor' theatre, minimising the use of set and props and focusing on the actor.

From 2000, Vital Theatre will be touring permanently. Enquiries from promoters are always welcome, and any of the solo productions can be revived at short notice.

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The Man Who Was Hamlet

The Man Who Was Hamlet

by George Dillon

Who really wrote Hamlet? That is the question! Was it the work of a barely literate grain merchant and moneylender from Stratford? Or was it the dramatic autobiography of a disgraced and disgraceful nobleman? With a brilliant script and a five-star performance, award-winning actor George Dillon reveals the comical, tragical and utterly scandalous history of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, who many believe was the true 'William Shake-speare'.

"This actor, on the stage for an hour and a half, gave one of the most compelling performances I have seen at the festival. I've known George for many years and this performance is amongst the best I have seen - a lesson in the art of acting for any up and coming thespians."
Steven Berkoff

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The Gospel of Matthew

The Gospel of Matthew

translated by George Dillon

"Don't think I came to bring peace to the world..."

The earliest account of the life of Jesus is vivid and shocking. Performed solo on a bare stage with a computer-generated video backdrop and a new musical score, Dillon's dramatic new translation and his passionate portrayal of the angry Messiah is as inspiring, surprising and as challenging as the message at the heart of this two-thousand-year-old clash between ancient and modern, and brings to life the most vital story ever told.

"Dillon has taken the intense drama of the Gospel, maximised the emotional impact, pumped up the intensity and created a mesmerizing one-man show of sheer brilliance."
The Argus

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Hell & Dream of a Ridiculous Man

Hell & Dream of a Ridiculous Man

by Steven Berkoff & Fyodor Dostoevsky

Two journeys into other worlds... an emotional roller-coaster of despair and salvation... Steven Berkoff's ever-failing alter-ego Harry gives his last ever ever-lasting performance in Hell, and Dostoevsky dreams of a febrile Paradise in The Dream of a Ridiculous Man.

"This is one-man theatre at its most intelligent and most powerful. Don't wait to be told about it, or to read another critical paean - go and see for yourself."
What's On In London

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Graft - Tales of an Actor

Graft - Tales of an Actor

by Steven Berkoff

George Dillon, gives an award-winning performance in this frequently hilarious, ultimately devastating WORLD PREMIERE staging of Steven Berkoff's sketches from the life of an ever-struggling actor.

"Dillon's performance holds the audience so rapt that at points I am convinced we collectively stopped breathing. Dillon clowns as much as he grimaces, strutting and fretting his hour upon the stage in a way that is intuitive and inventive - the most compelling storytelling you will see."
The Herald

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by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's greatest tragedy stripped bare. Two hours of sex, comedy, murder & madness! An ensemble of seven performers, two musicians and a talking dog use minimal settings and maximum imagination to create a players' Hamlet; a feast of raw acting power. Hamlet, often misconceived as a delicate melancholic, is here revealed as Shakespearean audiences saw him - the assured and angry avenger, disguising his true intentions behind the mask of insanity - a classic Man of Action.

"Scintillatingly Shakespearean, feverish and compelling.. Dillon's Hamlet, already hyperactive, is, when feigning madness, absolutely barking. Behind all this simmers a restless, constrained maverick, a natural fighter contemptuous of his fellow man and finally brought low by cool, malign authority. You can't take your eyes off it for a second. Dillon's performance bursts with swaggering vitality. It is never less than idiosyncratic, and alternately perverse, virile, willful, illuminating and extravagant, and sometimes all five at once. His vocal control is astonishing."
The Scotsman

The Remembrance of Edgar Allan Poe

The Remembrance of Edgar Allan Poe

by Poe/Dillon

In his own words, the life and soul of the arch priest of Gothic horror, and a vision of a love that lives beyond the grave.

"In this brilliant monologue Dillon's performance is astonishingly versatile, a tour de force, driving together the passions, concerns and torments of this monomaniac genius with a determination and vigour that is exhausting to watch, let alone perform."
The Scotsman

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Hell & Other Tales

by Steven Berkoff

Three savagely funny, intensely intimate stories by the maverick genius of British theatre. An actor takes stock of his world in The Secret of Capitalism, both sides of a sordid brief encounter are exposed in Say a Prayer for Me, and Hell is the ultimate appeal for a little sympathy and company.

"Combining the precision and timing of the practised story-teller with the physical expressiveness of the accomplished actor, Dillon brings measured delivery, carefully stylised visual imagery and the degree of physical and emotional vulnerability needed to translate powerful prose into disturbing, dangerous theatre."
The Guardian

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Stunning the Punters

Stunning the Punters (& Other Stories)

by Sproat, Berkoff & Dostoevsky

An out-of-work actor's frustration explodes over breakfast in Steven Berkoff's Master of Cafe Society, an ex-skinhead tells a tale with a ghostly twist in the title story by Glaswegian writer, Robert Sproat, and a would-be suicide dreams of paradise in Dillon's own adaptation of The Dream of a Ridiculous Man by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

"Nowhere in the world will you hear a sharper sermon about human frailty this Sabbath... This is the craft of acting carried to a pinnacle of virtuosity."
Scotland On Sunday

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by Barry Collins

An epic monologue (three hours with no interval) telling a true story of murder and cannibalism...

"A performance of rare concentration - this is theatre red in tooth and claw, but an unforgettable play presented by a player approaching the peak of his power. A superb virtuoso performance of rare concentration."
The Independent



by Steven Berkoff

An ex-public school lout mauls his kept mistress in their luxury pied-a-terre while his wife entertains herself at home with a hired private dick! Berkoff's savagely funny play explodes onto the stage in this searing indictment of the English upper classes.

"Not to be missed on any account... Decadence is an absolute breath of fresh air, a tonic, a joy... and this production is exceptional... the two of them together are overwhelming."
The Guardian

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George Dillon

"The best example of someone to watch how to perform is George Dillon...
Physical theatre suggests working with the body and not with the voice, but the uniqueness with George is that he's an excellent speaker with a wide vocal range and is able to marry the two parts...
George sniffs out what's underneath the surface, but he's gone much further than I ever did; areas into which I just gently dipped my toe he has plunged from the cliffs headfirst.


George Dillon (2018)

On graduating from Manchester University, where he first acted in Berkoff's East and worked with Laurence Boswell and Ben Elton, George Dillon formed No Alternative with Denise Evans and toured Berkoff's Decadence and Greek for the next 3 years before working with Steven Berkoff for the first time in 1986, appearing in Sink The Belgrano! He was assistant director to Steven Berkoff for Oscar Wilde's Salomé (in which he also performed) at the National Theatre in 1989 and has, to date, been assistant director and/or performer with Berkoff four times. Including his own productions, Dillon has worked on a total of 13 productions of Berkoff's work.

When George Dillon did his first solo show, after a long period out of acting work, the main objective was to attract an agent. However, Stunning the Punters (and Other Stories) was one of the critical hits of the 1990 Edinburgh Fringe and while it succeeded in getting George an agent, it was actually the start of a twenty year career as a solo performer. Over the next three years George created and extensively toured three more solo shows - Judgement, Berkoff's Hell and Other Tales, and The Remembrance of Edgar Allan Poe.

In 1995, with jobbing work still elusive, Dillon produced, directed and starred in a controversial Kurosawa/Tarantino inspired Hamlet with 7 actors, 2 musicians and a talking dog! Fatherhood, family and financial troubles were the main features of the next five years until in 2000 his fifth solo show, Graft - Tales of an Actor (adapted from Steven Berkoff's short story collection) won a Herald 'Angel' Award and a nomination for The Stage's 'Best Actor' award at Edinburgh and went on to tour in the UK and Europe.

Dillon realised a long held vision when he translated, directed and performed in a solo multimedia production of The Gospel of Matthew for the Brighton Festival in 2002. The show went on to earn him a second nomination for the Stage's 'Best Actor' award at Edinburgh in 2003, was filmed for Scottish TV in 2004 and has been touring intermittently ever since (in repertoire with Graft). Dillon restaged The Gospel of Matthew by Candlelight in 2007, an experiment which proved successful and freed the show from the technical requirements of a studio theatre, enabling him to accept invitations to perform the work in churches from 2008.

Inspired by Hamlet's dying words - "What a wounded name I leave behind me, things standing thus unknown" - Dillon's seventh solo show, The Man Who Was Hamlet, tells the story of Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, who was identified in the early 20th century as the most likely author of the works usually attributed to a semi-literate grain merchant from Stratford.

George Dillon's acting career has also included films, TV, fringe and repertory theatre and voice-overs. He made his film debut in 1987 in Hannah's War, has twice played the drug dealer of the week on ITV's The Bill and his most recent screen appearance was in The Deaths of Ian Stone.

Other theatre work includes appearances as Gregor Samsa in Metamorphosis at the Royal National Theatre, Victor Frankenstein at York's Theatre Royal, Johnny Rotten in Pistols for Hanover Productions, Charlie Chaplin in The Secret Life of Charlie Chaplin at Edinburgh and Jason/Creon/Aegeus in Medea for Company:Collisions for the Young Vic and in Cyprus and Albania. As a voice over artist he has worked regularly on The Late Show, and has voiced a CD-Rom for Dyslexia Action and the UK version of the documentary The True Curse of the Mummy .

Besides Hamlet and 5 of his own solo shows, Dillon has also directed Guy Masterson's internationally acclaimed solo Under Milk Wood, Jade Blue's solo To Break a Man and the world premiere of Berkoff’s Brighton Beach Scumbags.

George Dillon is also an experienced teacher and workshop leader. He trained in TEFL in 1987 and then taught for 18-months at language schools in Brighton and London. In 1989 he was invited by the National Theatre Education Department to perform in and later to give workshops on Berkoff's Metamorphosis, and since then he has led over 200 workshops with professionals and students of various age groups, in schools and arts centres both in the U.K. and abroad.

As well as touring three solo shows and leading workshops, George has lately been developing an original actor's training programme Out of the Beehive which may one day see the light as a production - Ecce Homo.

George Dillon's Tour Dates

(as of Friday, 24 January 2020)

Show              Date                     TOWN, Venue               


Workshop Friday
24th January 2020
Henley College


Workshop Monday
2nd March 2020
Churchers College
{Printed from on Fri, 24 Jan, 2020 @ 09:22:55}