April was born in Coventry, England. Her professional theatre career began as a company actor with the Four Seasons Theatre in Wanganui in the mid-late 80´s. April has a Masters Degree in Scriptwriting from the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington. She was the recipient of the Michael Hirschfeld Scholarship for Scriptwriting.
As an actress, April has performed in theatres all over the country. Her TV work includes being part of the core case of TV’s satirical comedy McPhail and Gadsby for 2 seasons. Her other television and film acting credits include Cover Story I & II, The Frighteners, First Impressions, Duggan, The Strip, The Lost Children, The Lovely Bones, Passion in Paradise, Mortal Engines, Girl vs Boy, Eternity, and numerous short films. She has been nominated Best Actress at the Madrid International Film Festival and also at the Short Film Awards in New York (SOFIES) 2017 where she won Best Director and was nominated for Actress, Writer and Film (7 nominations in total). April honed her comedy writing skills as a member of the acclaimed and award winning “Hens Teeth” female comedy troupe for 10 years and was part of the 2017 comeback season at Circa Theatre. More recently in 2018 she has been a writer/performer in the stage comedy “Femme Natale” at Bats and Globe Theatres. Her comedy is sharply influenced by the British TV shows she grew up with such as “Fawlty Towers”, “Dad’s Army”, “It Ain’t Half Hot Mum” to name a few.
In 1996 April co-wrote and performed in Fluxion at Bats Theatre. She produced and appeared in her first full-length play, Killing Me Softly at Taki Rua Theatre later that year. This hard hitting exploration of assisted suicide is a play for three women.
April’s comedy entitled STiFF is an irreverent and outrageous treatment of two subjects which are normally handled very cautiously: Funeral Parlours and Prostitution. STiFF was selected for the 2002 Adam Playreading Series. In 2003, STiFF won 3rd place in the PANZ play writing competition. STiFF has been an international hit with sold-out productions all over New Zealand and Australia, Norfolk Island and the United Kingdom. There have been around 100 productions.
Her comedy Death & Taxe$ is set in the controversial world of insurance and investment and had its world premiere at the 16th Avenue Theatre in Tauranga in August 2010.
April’s musical play Blue Eyes won the 2003 Stellar Award for Best Musical Production and was performed at Circa Theatre, Wellington.
Her musical stage show Unforgettable has been performed at Old St Paul’s in Wellington, the Globe Theatre in Palmerston North, and at jazz festivals around the country. April has written two plays recorded by Radio New Zealand – “In Two Minds” (winner in the Radio New Zealand Drama Student Shorts competition) and “As Seen On TV”.
Her One Act Comedy, Bonking James Bond, won the PANZ One Act Play award 2010 and her One Act Comedy “SNiP” was a finalist in the 2012 SWANZ awards. These two short plays have been written to complement each other as a double-bill full length show.
April has been the recipient of the Playwright’s Association of New Zealand (PANZ) Award for Outstanding Achievement twice (2010 & 2013). She has been a finalist in the SWANZ (NZ Writer’s Guild) awards three times. She has received numerous international awards, accolades, nominations and official selections for her work as writer and/or director on short films. For full details of awards and screenings, please refer to her website at www.aprilphillips.com