Philip Marvin, a former Financial Times and Reuters journalist, has run a wide variety of Shakespeare workshops for over 25 years. Working quietly outside the mainstream he has given talks and taken study groups in the light of a spiritual background and training begun some 40 plus years ago centred on the non-dualistic philosophy of India, also echoed in other traditions.
His approach, among other things, involves looking at Shakespeare in terms of different levels of meaning and exploring how certain disciplines can help create the conditions for anyone to penetrate beyond the outer forms of the plays and poetry. This can result in the discovery of what can only be described as an immediate and direct spiritual dimension.
While scholarship is valued, the deeper possibilities and insights that these works contain is at the core of his exploratory approach. Exacting textual study is matched with dramatic enactment and performance as and when appropriate. But the transformational power of simple hearing and precise attention has proved to be extraordinarily revealing for many under his guidance.
For a decade between 2000 and 2010 he ran a highly successful series of annual 'A Day with Shakespeare' events in which scholarly discussion and spiritual insight were combined in a programme that included dramatic excerpts by professional actors of specific scenes from the play under discussion. These attracted over 200 people from all walks of life. Cicely Berry the legendary voice coach of the Royal Shakespeare Company was one speaker, for instance. Philip also, for many years ran smaller study groups mainly from his home looking at both the plays and the sonnets.
For the past five years he has run a very successful week long Shakespeare retreat in southern Italy at his spacious home there. The next retreat on Othello is due to take place in September 2020. Also in 2020 due to the Corona Virus crisis he launched a free five week Zoom course on the sonnets in return for donations being made to the Captain Tom Moore walking fund for the NHS. More such Zoom courses are planned. He will also be developing specialist courses on the sonnets and some of the plays which will be available for purchase on the internet. His first performance project under the banner of 'Eye to I' theatre should take place this October but will depend on circumstances surrounding the Corona Virus crisis.
Philip hopes to introduce Shakespeare into areas of real need in society to help the disadvantaged and also to bring the practical insights and lessons that can be drawn from his works into the business arena.
He studied at the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon and is passionate about the unique, practical, transformational possibilities Shakespeare's plays and poetry can provide for groups and individuals.
For him, Shakespeare's oceanic consciousness and fine intelligence channelled through the measured sounds and rhythms of his poetry, has the power to awaken the soul. Practical benefits from engaging wholeheartedly in his works naturally follow in terms of heightened awareness, finer attention and increasing confidence in speaking and communicating with others. Shakespeare's mirror up to nature goes deep offering key psychological insights and emotional clarity and release. It is rooted in a profound wisdom and insight. His works, through 'entertainment' are pathways into profound self-knowledge.