25 March 2020
“My name is Izzy Rabey and I’m from Machynlleth in Mid Wales. A lot of people aren’t sure where that is – so I often say I’m from Aberystwyth area. Machynlleth is a small town surrounded by many large mountains!
I work as a Theatre Director, Applied Theatre Practitioner and am in a band called The Mermerings as a singer/MC with one of my oldest closest friends Molly McBreen. I run two companies – Run Amok (Run Amok Theatre Company) which is a contemporary theatre company and then Dan Yr Haul/Under the Sun – who run bilingual Applied Drama workshops at festivals and libraries.
I’ve had to advocate for myself and my work throughout my career. Most of my directing credits on my CV come from the work of my own company! I feel it’s important to be open about that, and to also to own it and feel empowered by that context. The context being that it’s still very difficult to be taken seriously as a female creative in Wales! However, I feel proud to belong to a network of brilliant Welsh women directors in their 20s-30s who really advocate and support one another: Chelsey Gillard, Samantha Alice Jones and Nerida Bradley to name but a few! Owning that Welsh identity and defining it on your own terms is a positive thing. I am proud to be from Wales and Welsh-speaking, and also proud that I don’t often fit the stereotype of what people see a Welsh-speaking Welsh person being.
I really fell in love with directing properly at University (Exeter Drama dept to be specific!). There’s something so deeply enjoyable about bringing a company together to work out how to best present a story, and then as a director being able to have that objective distance to both observe your actors and the audience watching your work. I’m obsessed with that process. I started Run Amok because I wanted to direct plays by writers I loved and knew that coming from rural Mid-Wales those opportunities wouldn’t be as available to me to assist directors in bigger venues. It was a way of me having a creative outlet whilst also maintaining creative control.
My experience at The Royal Court Theatre so far has been beyond dreamy. I’ve been working with and met two of my favourite playwrights Ross Willis and Alistair McDowell, read a heap of plays, and met some incredible people. There is such a force of inclusive creative energy in that building, its unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. They care about your input and your creativity, alongside introducing you to new writing and new ideas about what’s possible in theatre. I’ve been made to feel so welcome so soon and I can’t wait to go back after this Coronavirus chaos subsides!”
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