Mr Flibble Talks To... Triangulations
Stephen Tiller takes time from acting and producing to talk Pythagoras, Meltdown and those damn triangles with Mr.F.
5 July, 2002
Stephen Tiller
Mr Flibble's right hand provided by
Andrew Ellard

Stephen Tiller's life has contained many blessings.

He's a mongrel. His father was a working class East End Jewish upholsterer whose family came originally from Russia via Romania. His mother was of Protestant Irish stock.

Stephen met his wife thirty years ago while they were both studying English Literature and Linguistics together at Newcastle University. They have lived together ever since and have two sons, Luke and Jamie. Both offspring are graduates themselves, have non-British girlfriends (currently Dutch and American) and plan to live in exotic locations. Steve hopes to visit.

He originally trained as a teacher and spent two years in a rough London comprehensive and, later, at an even rougher FE college where most of his students were mainly sheet metal workers, car mechanics or TV repairmen.

He auditioned for RADA. Won a scholarship and spent the next three years in tights and wigs.

Once he'd graduated, though, despite his classical training, most of his theatre work was with experimental companies or in works of new writing. His name appears on the cast list of a good number of original play scripts.

His theatre work he's always loved, vividly remembers details of most of the rehearsals and performances he's ever been involved in, and considers himself thankful to have been a colleague of so many good actors, directors and writers.

Over the years he's managed to garner the respect of his peers and reviews including epithets like 'excellent', 'wonderful', 'stunning' and 'best of all', otherwise he'd probably have given up years ago.

He wrote a play about the Women's Land Army, based on his mother-in-law's real life experiences in World War II which was awarded first prize in The National Youth Theatre/Texaco playwriting competition. It was performed at the at the Place in London. Thought, the £3000 cheque, presented by Paula Wilcox, was equally thrilling.

Any insecurities he used to feel in front of a film or TV camera, were cured by Ken Russell while working on his Treasure Island playing a hunchback with a metal hand and a sou'wester.

Steve's directed a number of off-West End productions. Usually plays with strong roles for women, social or political subjects, though often with quirky humour and irony involved. His favourite was a political farce with 25 actors.

He teaches actors, theatre professionals and student actors, not to mention running workshops for teachers, business people, lawyers and doctors who need 'acting' and 'people' skills. He has taught at all the major drama schools and also for the National Theatre.

He's kept his looks.

Five years ago Steve discovered a show called The Vagina Monologues in New York, brought it over to London and has produced it both as a fringe and a West End Show. This has occasionally permitted him to hang about with the likes of Jerry Hall, Dannii Minogue and Anita Dobson in places like The Ivy pretending he does it all the time.

He's acted at the National Theatre of Sarajevo with Glenn Close and Marisa Tomei, on top of a Mesa in the Arizona Desert with a hot air balloon and in the sea off the Isle of Wight with the ex artistic director of The Almeida Theatre. He's been set alight, thrown off a cliff, appeared bollock-naked, shaved his head, grown a Charles l beard and seen Las Vegas at dawn.

Has never had a serious illness, never owned a dishwasher and is frantically practising Tai Chi so he can live a long life.

He loves the internet. Email. Food and his bicycle.

His sister is a retired Canadian policewoman.

Two years ago he was proud to have played the lead in the gory but independent British movie Distant Shadow. It went on to be in competition at the Normandy Film festival and was released in the US last year.

He's just written a play called War Crimes which he will put on next year. It is based on two visits he made to Yugoslavia in 1999 and 2000, the last of which coincided with the election in which Milosevic lost power - a very exciting time to be in the country.

He hopes to go to Palestine later on in the summer.