I’ve been an award-winning storyteller for 25 years. I started walking this
path as an actress with Northern Stage Ensemble. It was fertile ground to
train with practitioners who have spent a life time pondering presence and
humanity on stage. I trained with The Peter Brook Company, Maly Theatre,
Frantic Assembly, Augusto Boal and eventually ran away to Cornwall with
Kneehigh Theatre Company. From there my own story took me to
residencies at the National Portrait Gallery, the National Centre of
Childrens books, and onto to the Roald Dahl foundation, where I got to sit
in his chair and look through his notepads and first drafts.
“Your storytelling holds me in a mesmerising dance between dark and
light. You are skilful, brave, bold, direct and vulnerable. You ask us to
meet you there.”
—Ziggy Slingsby, aerialist
The itch to join the circus needed to be scratched so next was narrative
director for the Whispering Wood Folk, myth and circus deep in the wood. I
learnt to listen to the forest floor, sing the son fog the trees and late nature
channel through me. group, as well as creating my own work and
recording many stories.
By now I had a son, strapped to my back as I told or snoozing in a
wheelbarrow by my side. Motherhood deepened the storyteller in me as I
remade me stories to nurture and keep intact his kaledoscpoic soul.
In 2015 an invitation landed at my door like a fishermans catch, silver
rainbowed and very much alive. I was invited aboard a boat called the
Seadragon as it sailed across the Atlantic. The sailors and scientists
onboard where concerned about the plastic in the ocean and wanted a
storyteller to take their dry statistics and weave them into stories that
people would listen too. I sailed with them for a month and wrote the play
Plop! In the Ocean which is still out there touring Scottish primary schools
with Hopscotch theatre company. I had help from the gods with this,
Demeter and Persephone were the main characters and I started to open
up to writing myths and remembering stories differently. Sometimes stories
get damp with the oppression of time and need a good shaking out. Like a
wet dog or dusty carpet.
Another initiation followed, In 2016, I was appointed Bard of Glastonbury –
a yearly competition for poets, storytellers and songwriters who live within
walking distance of Glastonbury Tor. Before then, with the exception of
Plop! I had only really been an oral storyteller but a car accident that left my
speech jumbled for a while caused me to take up my pen. I am still
wrestling with it.
In recent years I went to Colorado to learn from Clarissa Pinkola Estes,
hugely affirming and inspiring. She told me to get organised and get out
there! I now run journeys through her magnificent book, Women Who Run
with The Wolves, because everyone should have those stories in their back
My passion is blowing the dust from old stories, unwinding them so
that the original wisdom can flow through. I believe that stories have
all the answers, they soften us open us and connect us to what is
important. Storytelling and guiding people through story is my life’s
work, my soul’s purpose and my greatest honour.