Photograph © Isobel Pravda, credit Peter Simpkin.
Isobel Pravda is single mother of two, (Teo, three and a half and Alex, one and a half) and an actress who trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, graduating with the Peter Wolff Award.
Most recently Isobel has filmed Kenneth Branagh’s latest feature Jack Ryan and three episodes of Dark Matters for the US. Previous television and film work includes the lead Camille Monet in BBC1’s drama The Impressionists, the female lead in The Estonia for BBC1, Silent Witness, Murphy’s Law, Comedy Cuts for ITV, Fonejacker for C4 and the RSA feature Someone else. Her theatre work includes Portia in Julius Caesar at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Laura in Cockeyed at the Hampstead Theatre, Ana in Ana in love at the Hackney Empire, Miss Bingley in a National Tour of Pride and Prejudice, Magdalena in Fighting the tide at the Hull Truck Theatre, Claire in Commanding voices at the New End and numerous other Off West End productions.
Most recently she produced and starred in a bi-lingual production of the Vagina monologues at the prestigious Badminton theatre in Athens. In her life, she has produced and directed plays, a short documentary and assisted in television production. She is also an artist and exhibits and sells on commission. She has lived in London and Athens (her ex-husband is Greek) and loves to cook and travel. Despite finding life sometimes exhausting, she believes this is truly a wonderful world!
Describe a typical day for you?
Lets start with there is no typical day! I might be filming or rehearsing or going for an audition or going to the park with the kids. But here follows the most typical……..I will get my kids up- but more often be gotten up by them.
If they have given me the rare gift of an unbroken night I will be bright eyed, but even when they have tormented me during the dark hours, their little faces are the best start for the day to come! We then set off for nursery with the daily debate of scooter versus buggy board (both have their vices and I am invariably left bribing my older son with hidden chocolate on the road to get him to finish the twenty minute walk to school).
If it is raining a lot or I am weak- we will drive! If I have a casting I will leave both children and head of into the centre of London- wearing mummy clothes and quickly change in the toilet somewhere. Liberty’s has a lovely one!
I change into actress clothes-heals and lippy and bang! its a new me. I go into the audition, I smile and hope there isn’t a trace of vomit or (dread) a spot of pooh anywhere on my person! I have help from my Dad, his wife my siblings and friends if I can’t make it back for nursery pick up- but this is rare- normally it is quite smooth(if a little tiring). We all go to the supermarket- which I really enjoy and we pile up on healthy and fun food and head back. Whiles I cook for the boys, they skype their Daddy in Greece.
They have their tea and watch In The Night Garden- then bath, stories and bed. Then I pour a glass of white wine and cook something spicey. I eat and go to bed at about- hmmmm 9.30? Perhaps a little sad- but I need my sleep!
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Most definitely having my children. They make me feel whole and I feel nowhere as peacefully happy as in their presence- most of the time!
What’s in your handbag?
Dummies, tissues, a purse, a phone, diary, earplugs, scraps of paper with essential details that I can never find, bits of things, my advice………don’t go in there!
What advice would you give your pre baby self that you now know having had a child?
Kiss sleep goodbye and get ready to meet your new best friends- it’s going to be relentless but the incredibly rewarding.
What are your ambitions in life?
To be able to continue what I love doing: acting and being creative alongside with spending quality time raising my sons, it’s a juggle but I believe we can do it.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
After a recent divorce and such young kids, I can honestly say I don’t know. I take each day as it comes and count my blessings. Hopefully exciting work, a lovely family and my children. As they say in Greek “Tha Thoume” ( we will see).
Finally, happiness is…
Holding my sleeping babies in a big warm bed reading a magazine with a cup of tea on the side-bliss.
Photograph ©Isobel Pravda
I am currently in a play about my Grandmother Hana Pravda’ survival of Auschwitz. She was my mentor, an actress and director who although suffered and lost her entire family in the Holocaust, was incredibly optimistic, humourous, passionate about people, the Arts and in love with life- there are fantastic life lessons to be learnt from her very original voice. The play was rehearsed and produced in Prague, where she is from and has been brought to London for Holocast memorial week.
Details to be found on: