“Be bold and don’t be afraid to experiment”: Issy Flower, “I, Victor” playwright


As I, Victor begins its London run, Stage spoke to writer and Durham alumna about her experience bringing the show to the stage, as well as her time at university.

Flower began studying English Literature at Castle in 2018, graduating in 2021. While at Durham, she participated in over 30 shows as an actor, writer, director, producer and self-described “hanger-on”. Alongside reviewing shows for Palatinate, Flower also received recognition for her talents, winning Best Writing at the 2018 Durham Drama Festival and Best Supporting Actor (Audio) at D’Oscars 2021.

When asked about her Durham experience, Flower said that she most enjoyed “being able to do such a wide range of different projects, styles and to dip my toe into various different dramatic disciplines – I started off mostly acting then moved to writing.” Furthermore, she looks back fondly on “all the friends I made through DST – most are now also collaborators so the connection continues after Durham!”

Since leaving university, Flower has continued her work in theatre, having recently completed an MA in Playwriting at Goldsmiths University, London. She has also worked on “various scratch nights/short form pieces,” in addition to reviewing, which she notes is “great to get free theatre tickets!” During the next year, she is “looking forward to having one of my pieces broadcast on BBC Sounds.”

I was thinking about the connections between horror, male violence and queer identity, and how those often intersect both in real life and in film

On her current project, I, Victor, Flower says that “it was originally conceived as a response to the King’s Head Theatre’s ‘Queer Horror’ strand, but when that fell through we thought we’d put it on at the Golden Goose!” The piece came out of reflections on “the connections between horror, male violence and queer identity, and how those often intersect both in real life and in film. Of course the progenitor of this was Frankenstein, with its queer subtexts and themes of identity and self-creation. It was also the perfect piece to adapt into a one-woman show, seeing as the book is essentially one big monologue anyway!”

The show runs on 3rd and 4th of August at the Golden Goose, and Flower gives Palatinate readers a nudge to “message the Visible Delight Twitter (@visible_delight),” because “we may be able to get you a cheeky discount…”

To current students keen to follow Flower’s example, she gives advice to “be bold and don’t be afraid to experiment – it’s worth it just to get the show on stage and see how it goes then letting it drown at the bottom of your drawer!” She also encourages anyone interested to “go on Twitter to find collaborators, there are so many fantastic people and they’re all looking for work.”

After her current project, Flower says that she has “various projects up in the air, including a play about Oscar Wilde and another about the failed Everest expedition of the 1920s, so watch this space – some exciting things coming soon.”

I, Victor runs 3-4 August at the Golden Goose in London. If you’d like to donate to the show’s crowdfunder, you can do so here.

Image: Charlie Mathers

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