"It is a dark, satirical look at how the privatisation of the most basic human need can be influenced by big business and profit," Phil said. "Anyone who knows the work of Ben Elton will understand his writing is of such intellect, wit and observation that any performance of his works cannot be done without understanding the rhythm and nuances laced throughout it.
"Every word in the script has to be understood because none are there superfluously. As a satire like this demands, finding the right emphasis and timing for each line has to be carefully analysed to do it the justice it deserves. Thankfully, I have been smart enough to surround myself with incredible people on and off-stage who also understand these elements the talent on display is amazing."
"I saw the 2014 production of Gasp! at the Heath Ledger Theatre and loved it," Phil said. "It's funny in a way that makes you take a very introspective view of your world in a manner that only Ben Elton's work can. When I was contemplating a show to direct, I wanted to find something that was biting, funny, relevant and different.
"Gasp! immediately came to mind as a show that would be able to break the mould of what's usually offered to theatre audiences. Being set in Australia means everyone who comes to see the show will find it enjoyable, while also providing plenty of food for thought."
"Gasping as it was in 1989 even though it was a big success was essentially a very long sketch. Since then, I've written a lot of novels and a lot more TV and directed a film, and I just know more about storytelling. I've had the rare privilege of being able to take what was and still is a good idea, and do a better job with it. Most people don't get that chance."