Debs Newbold is a theatre artist based in London and West Yorkshire. She is an actor, director and performance storyteller working across a range of theatre forms, with a love of work that playfully explores performer-audience relationships.
Debs writes powerful one woman shows, sometimes directs them, and tours them internationally. She works very closely with acclaimed director John Wright (co founder of Told by an Idiot) and with musicians on some of her shows, and frequently collaborates on other projects with artists and companies as performer, deviser, writer, or director.
Debs is one of the UK’s most exciting and skilled writer-performers, creating playful, thoughtful work that can get deep under the skin. Her work puts the poetic and the irreverent side by side, and often mixes modern theatre forms with the intimacy and informality of storytelling.
Her most recent solo show Lost In Blue, directed by John Wright, won 4 and 5 star reviews at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe, as well as the Summerhall Acting Award, and completed an extensive national tour. 2017 saw the second national tour of her acclaimed retelling of King Lear, commencing with a performance in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe in July. In 2018 she begins working on a new Shakespeare collaboration with John Wright, in association with Square Chapel Theatre and Greenwich Theatre.
Her work as an actor and director has seen her in collaboration with companies such as the BBC, Red Ladder, Shakespeare’s Globe, Rose Theatre Kingston, the Royal Opera House, Half Moon Theatre and Draycott-Trimm. Her solo pieces have played venues as diverse as the Royal Opera House, the British Library, the Southbank Centre, Hay Festival and Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, as well as many prestigious theatres and festivals in the UK, US and Europe.
With her eloquent physicality and powerful way with words Debs’ solo performance work has been hailed as “masterful verbal cinema”. Her acclaimed collaborations with John Wright are redefining the shape of modern spoken word and performance storytelling, and her work with Shakespeare’s plays has helped create a brand new strand of international storytelling work at Shakespeare’s Globe: including two storytelling seasons of Shakespeare’s best known plays, devised & performed by Globe Education actors, and directed by Debs for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
Winner of the Summerhall 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Award for Acting, twice voted one of the top five acts at the Towersey Festival (the only Spoken Word Artist in its fifty year history ever to achieve this), FUSE Playwright at the Leeds Playhouse, Associate Artist at Square Chapel and Storyteller and Education Consultant for Shakespeare’s Globe, Debs is a force of nature, a theatre maker to look out for. And she makes a bloody good cup of tea.