Ilona (Illy) has worked as an actor since 1989 under her stage name, Ilona Macdonald, and has survived a great many years acting in touring theatre all over the world! She trained in the Structured Acting Technique at the London Repertory Company Academy under Michael Armstrong. Lead roles she’s enjoyed include: Nora, in Custard Factory Theatre Company’s production of Ibsen’s, “A Doll’s House”; The Wicked Witch of the West, in “The Wizard of Oz” with Kevin Wood Productions; Mabel, in “The Pyjama Game” under Reg Brown; Gyp the trumpet-playing puppy in Footprints Theatre Company’s, “Dog in a Manger”, Annie in “Tale of the Nail” with Seeds Theatre Company, The Wife of Bath in “The Canterbury Tales” with Playtime Theatre Company, and PC Ping – one half of the comic duo Ping and Pong – in PPA Productions’, “Aladdin” – amongst many others. TV and Film work includes: Alison, in the American series, “True Heroes” for The Discovery Channel, the presenter on “The Canterbury Tales Documentary” for Heritage Projects; puppeteering for “Uborka”, the Hungarian Spitting Image; and D84 in BBC’s Doctor Who. For radio, she has played various characters in Bafflegab’s Productions “The Scarifyers” on Radio 4, such as Martha Willow in “The Devil of Dengemarsh” and Ethel Blunder in “For King and Country”. She has also played the lead in several short films.
She took the leap into co-directing, with Sophie Guariglia for Phoenix Performing Arts’, “Godspell”, and has continued with “Romeo & Juliet”, “West Side Story”, “Fame”, “Footloose”, “13”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Oliver!” and “Hair”; working on proscenium, arena and out-door promenade productions, in Kent and Scandinavia. Ilona founded Room To Breathe, a support drop-in group for and with local actors/practitioners, where relaxation, breath and vocal work is the foundation for further play and discovery and she creates and leads tailor-made workshops for schools/drama groups and teaches technique based acting classes as well as drama classes for all ages. She also carries out individual and group sessions in relaxation, voice, speech, monologues, chatting Shakespeare, acting technique, building a character and audition coaching. Beyond teaching, she is known for mentoring her students, whether they’re industry professionals developing their skills, or just taking their first peek at the wonderful world of acting.