Isley is an American-born, London-based playwright and poet. Her latest play THE SWELL was written as part of High Tide’s First Commissions Program and received a rehearsed reading at the High Tide Festival in September 2018. Earlier this year she wrote ALBATROSS, as a new commission by Paines Plough and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. It transferred to the Gate Theatre, London, in April 2018. The UK tour of her hit play SKIN A CAT started on June 3rd, and included a run at the Edinburgh Festival.
Isley also recently wrote a new play as part of The Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writers’ Group. Another new work, REVOLUTIONS, is currently in development with support from Old Vic New Voices, the Michael Grandage Company and the Arcola Lab.
Previously SKIN A CAT played at The Bunker as their premiere production. It was nominated for four Off West End Awards, including Best New Play. It was originally performed as part of the Vault Festival in London in January 2016, where it was described by Natasha Tripney, chief critic of The Stage, as a ‘brilliant, necessary and incredibly funny piece of writing’ and was awarded ‘Pick Of The Year’ by the festival. It has since been picked up by Playground Entertainment and Isley is adapting it herself for TV.
Her European debut SIE UND WIR (‘US & THEM’) was performed in German at Werk X, Vienna. Her play TOTTY, written for Paines Plough and Tamasha’s Come To Where I’m From: London, is available for free through the CTWIF app.
Her play BRIGHT NIGHTS was the 2014 Script6 winner at The Space. Her short play SLEIGHT OF HAND for BAREtruth Theatre’s Little Stitches was performed at Theatre503, Arcola theatre and Gate theatre in 2014.
She has also written two short films, Taketh and Struck, the latter of which will premiere at the Sydney Film Festival and can be seen here:
Isley is a graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme (2012) and Royal Court Invitation Studio Group (2013) and was a Creative Associate of the Soho Theatre Young Company from 2011-2012. Her work has been supported by writing programmes at the National Theatre Studio and Cottesloe Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, the Tricycle, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Ovalhouse, the Peggy Ramsey Foundation, and the Orange Tree Theatre.
Isley’s monologue WHAT’S SO SPECIAL was performed as part of The Get Out at The Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs. Isley received Special Commendation from the 2012 Soho Young Writers Award and won first place for two Editor’s Briefs (IdeasTap) with the poems Sweetbread and The body but hides the heart. Her critically acclaimed debut play LEAN enjoyed an extended run at the Tristan Bates Theatre (2013) and was performed in May 2015 by Theatre N16. She was named Champion of Literary Death Match at Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
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