September 1, 2022


Writer and director Phillip Mann MNZM died on Thursday 1 September 2022 in Wellington.  

A major contributor to the development of New Zealand theatre, Mann was the founding teacher at the country’s first University drama department, at Victoria University Te Herenga Waka in 1970. He was also a leading theatre director, directing premieres of New Zealand work by Vincent O’Sullivan, Renee and Greg McGee, as well as scores of contemporary and classic plays and operas.

Also an internationally acclaimed and published science fiction writer, Mann has eleven novels to his name. He also wrote extensively for radio and theatre.

His The Disestablishment of Paradise was shortlisted for the prestigious Arthur C Clark Award, and he was an Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand Society of Authors, and Patron of the Phoenix Science Fiction Society.

In 2017, Mann was awarded an MNZM for his services to theatre and literature.

He recently celebrated his eightieth birthday at Te Whaea (New Zealand Schools of Dance and Theatre), for the launch of his most recent novel Chevalier & Gawayn: The Ballad of the Dreamer (Quentin Wilson Publishing), with family, friends, colleagues and former students.

Phillip is survived by his wife Nonnita, daughter Delia, son Owen and grandchildren Jasper, Poppy, Ianto and Rafe. 

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