About Me

About Me

Debbie is an inspirational storyteller and an internationally successful trainer. Her unique and charismatic style has taken her around the world to perform from bonfire to banquet, from tourist to tribesman and from storytelling festivals to sell out shows.

Debbie’s highly motivational and focused personal effectiveness training is sought after by global corporations and educational establishments. Her innovative thinking and magnetic personality as a conference speaker have gained her an international reputation.

Born in Sri Lanka, Debbie has the advantage of possessing multicultural heritage, drawing from Chinese, Dutch and Sinhalese parentage, which gives her a strong affinity from these cultures. Her rich, diverse, cultural heritage manifests itself in all aspects of her work. She has a wide ranging repertoire for both children and adults, for performances and work in educational and community contexts and for site specific work. Read more about me here.

Highlights

  • Ostara Australia consultants training
  • MEC Global management training
  • Bespoke performance and management training at BP International Conference
  • Adviser for the British Council in Sri Lanka
  • Designed and delivered an innovative programme for raising standards in writing through storytelling
  • Broadcast for the BBC World Service in the series ‘Telling Tales’
  • Led master classes for professional storytellers in Ireland and Australia
  • Created and performed a story for an indie film
  • Performed at Festival at the Edge
  • Storyteller for The Royal National Theatre’s Arts in Education and Word Alive projects
  • Directed an adult’s performance of The Ramayana
  • Storytelling Master Classes for Gifted and Talented in Canada and UK
  • Organised ‘Banish the Bad Dreams’, a multi art benefit concert in aid of the children affected by the Tsunami in Sri Lanka
  • Storytelling skills training for National Trust volunteers
  • Performed at The Australian National Storytelling Festival
  • Performed and ran workshops on the San Francisco Schools Tour
  • Storyteller on Harry Potter fan trips
  • Performed at The London Mela
  • Resident storyteller at National Portrait Gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery & Horniman Museum

UK and International Performances

The following listings represent some of the major pieces within Debbie’s current performance repertoire for adults.

The Road to Butterfly Mountain - A journey around Sri Lanka, the island known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, which weaves its culture and traditional stories with Debbie’s personal stories.

The Cobra Stone (Naga Manikkya) -Tales of the dangerous and intriguing world of the supernatural Nagas woven between real life stories of Debbie’s father and his experience with snakes.

Ten Heads, a Fire and a Wish - A retelling of the epic - Ramayana from a Sri Lankan perspective, both cultural and individual.

Future performances

Women of White -“ A performance of 3 stories from Sri Lanka, China and Malaysia, based on women who have changed their worlds.

Kings and Promises -“ A performance that evolved from the search for a country’s name.

More about me (continued from above)

She has added to her already rich and continually expanding repertoire by travelling the world, collecting stories -˜by word of mouth’. She is available for commissions and can devise and develop material for specific projects whenever required.

Debbie is a storyteller for The National Portrait Gallery and Horniman Museum, performing at both venues regularly. She is also Artistic Director of Create Originative and Founder of Small Tales Storytelling Clubs.

As a trained geologist, Debbie has a love of stories that explain our global landscape and the rich tapestry of landscapes in stories. She specialised in gemmology and volcanology, the former leading to a unique set of stories about gems, especially diamonds and their history. Her specialism and interest in science has led to exciting and original cross curricular workshops, which are in huge demand.

Debbie then trained as a teacher and became literacy coordinator; this led her to attend a storytelling course where she finally realised what she was born to be. So she sold everything she owned and bought a round the world ticket, a year long journey of rare and incredible stories, which she tells in her own unique way.

As a qualified primary teacher and TEFL teacher she has pioneered storytelling in TEFL and storytelling leading to creative writing/song writing/ South Asian shadow puppet-making workshops, working individually, or with other artists. She regularly runs inset for teachers based on a focused and meaningful programme she devised on listening, speaking and creating skills. She has a worldwide reputation for leading accessible workshops for all.

Read "What my clients say"
Read more comments from our Clients, Parents & Children of Small Tales Storytelling Clubs

 

quoteThe stories were jewels which you made into a necklace! Everyone ended with a necklace of their own. un-quote

Sally, Story Garden, San Francisco

quoteYou hold your story with your heart, your mind, your eyes and your body and then you make us all feel part of it. un-quote

SATHI group leader, Loughborough

quoteThe points you gave about how to deal with the unexpected during presentations, are invaluable and I will incorporate them into my future presentations. un-quote

Alex, Research Scientist

quoteJust wanted to say how much I enjoyed the stories. You took us all, especially the children, to another world. un-quote

Raminder, Teacher
Indian Tales, Horniman Museum

quote Fantastic stories, I really enjoyed it. I don’t tell stories to my kids because my dad was a great storyteller and I can’t be like him, but you’ve made me confident enough to try. un-quote

Steve (parent), Lakeside Community Primary School, -˜Starting with Stories’ project, Derby

quote I thought the idea that we all have a diamond inside us was great and especially good for our Year 7 students to hear. I watched their faces light up! un-quote

Sally, Deputy Head
Plashet School, London

quote I really liked the way the real life snake stories of your father were told, the warmth and humour contrasted and added to the shape shifting Naga world. un-quote

Dan at FATE

quote Your workshop was an insight into the land of imagination and the minds of others. un-quote

Joanne (IT manager), UK

quote Debbie is able to find the extraordinary within the ordinary. un-quote

Carrie, Storytelling Symposium, UK

quote I’ve always wanted to wear a sari -“ it’s been a dream of mine -“ and to have you drape it around me as you told the Sari story, I felt so special and at my age it isn’t often you feel that way. un-quote

Julie, grandma and carer
Horniman Museum

quote Thank you for making me look at things with -˜new eyes’. It has been inspiring! un-quote

Georg, MEC Global, Norway