Philip was born in the East End of London. He studied painting at St Martin’s School of Art. He has written many highly regarded and hugely influential plays: the seminal The Pitchfork Disney, the multi-award-winning The Fastest Clock in the Universe, Ghost from a Perfect Place, Vincent River, Mercury Fur, Leaves of Glass, Piranha Heights, Tender Napalm (nominated for the London Fringe Best Play Award), Shivered (nominated for the Off-West End Best New Play Award), Dark Vanilla Jungle (winner of an Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award), Radiant Vermin, Karagula (nominated for the Off-West End Best New Play Award) and Tonight With Donny Stixx, plus several plays for young people: Karamazoo, Fairytaleheart, Moonfleece (named as one of the 50 Best Works About Cultural Diversity by the National Centre for Children’s Books), Sparkleshark, Brokenville and Feathers in the Snow (shortlisted for the Brian Way Best Play Award).
He has also written novels for children, including Scribbleboy and Mighty Fizz Chilla (both nominated for the Carnegie Medal) and the bestseller Krindlekrax (winner of both the Smarties Prize and WH Smith’s Mind-Boggling Books Award), the stage play of which – adapted by Philip himself – was premiered at the Birmingham Rep Theatre in 2002.
In 2010 Philip, along with song-writing collaborator Nick Bicât, formed the music group Dreamskin Cradle and their first album, Songs from Grimm, is available on iTunes, Amazon and all major download sites. Philip is also a performance artist in his own right, and his highly-charged readings of his ongoing poetry sequence Lovesongs for Extinct Creatures (first embarked on when he was a student) have proved increasingly popular in recent years.
In 2012 What’s On Stage named him a Jubilee Playwright (one of the most influential British writers to have emerged in the past six decades). Philip has won both the Evening Standard’s Most Promising Newcomer to British Film and Most Promising Playwright Awards. The only person ever to receive both prizes.