Feb 2021 Like everyone on the planet, Lesley has been in lockdown. During this time she's reprised her role on Horizon: Zero Dawn, continues to teach online and has been developing her new project which she'll direct at Rada in April.
July 2019 2019 was a year of accolades for Lesley. She returned to Vancouver twice. In July to receive two awards forOutstanding Production and Lighting for her play, Camera Obscura (hungry ghosts), which she directed in 2018. It was nominated for a further 5 Vancouver Theatre Awards for Outstanding Video, Set, Sound and Lesley received noms for Playwright, Director and Play. She returned again in November to receive the Lorena Gale Woman of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award. This was an exceptional honour, made more so as Lorena was a friend of Lesley's for many years. Back in London, Lesley was nominated for and Off West End Best Actress Award for Amanda in The Glass Menagerie; the first time in Europe that the role had been played by an actress of colour. As well as her stage work, Lesley spent time in Paris filming a lead in the upcoming fantasy feature Guardians of Delaria in which sheplays a sort of Oprah meets Gandalf meets Laura Croft complete with hand to hand combat. The film is due for release in 2021/22
June 2018 Lesley returned to Vancouver to direct the Canadian premiere of her new play Camera Obscura (hungry ghosts). It starred Jeff Ho, Julian Galipeau and Braiden Houle. The play was produced by Fay Nass (The Frank Theatre) and the Queer Arts Festival. Although it ran for only 6 performances it receive standing ovations every evening. Audiences were deeply moved, with some calling it "deeply smart on many different levels, asking difficult questions about the artistic process and about being human" and praising the actors who "more-than-keep-up with the pyrotechnic script, delivering both the intellectual banter and the shifting emotional complexities with crystal clarity.
Jan 2017 After an invigorating autumn, Lesley is excited to be gearing up for more, come Spring time! As well as private coaching and teaching at Identity Drama School, and now at Mountview College, Lesley continues to tour with Cian Binchy in Access All Area's The Misfit Analysis. In addition to developing a ground breaking Creative Enabler's program, Lesley's also part of the team of Creative Enablers developing Accesses' new production, Madhouse: re-exit.This full scale multi-media performative installation opens in The Ditch, Shoreditch Town Hall, Spring of 2018. Participants will be guided through rooms co-created and inhabited by performers with learning disabilities. The project contemplates the ways in which people with learning disabilities had been institutionalised in the past and are still incarcerated conceptually today.
Oct 2016 This fall is a busy time for Lesley. As always, she continues her teaching practice, supporting the passionate students at Identity Drama School. In addition to this Lesley will now be performing in the Live Art piece she dramaturged and co-directed last year: The Misfit Analysis, created by Cian Binchy and directed by Nick Lewellyn, AD of Access All Areas, is out on tour. Dates include the Attenborough Arts (Leicester), The Marlowe Theatre (Canterbury), Everyman Theatre (Cheltenham) and The Lyric (London), with more dates in the new year.
As well as working with Nick on The Misfit Analysis, Lesley is part of the creative team going into a week of R&D on Madhouse re-exit. The team will spend a week in The Ditch at Shoreditch Town Hall, furthering the initial work they did during their Open Lab week at the Barbican last year. And she's also been invited to co-develop a programme for Creative Enablers. The work will involve describing the nature of the craft and developing training for future Creative Enablers.
At the end of October Lesley and Catherine, as their new duo crisis + denial, will be heading to Ipswich for the SPILLNational Platform: performing these tender almsin the Town Hall on Oct 29 at 4pm. Since performing the piece at BUZZCUT in Glasgow last April, they've been in studio sharpening and torquing the work and are pleased with how it's progressing.
And early 2017 Lesley is thrilled to be working with Paul Barritt, animation genius behind 1927. Paul has created a new work inspired by the 50's cartoon Cat and Mouse. Lesley is playing The Narrator, the love child of Eartha Kitt and William Boroughs. She'll be offering a series of poems, written by Barritt, alongside his animations and an eclectic score created by Laurence Owen - played live by a quartet of stellar musicians. The initial scratch night is April 12 at the Village Underground, with a 4 show run June 8 + 9, also at the Village Underground. Tickets on sale mid-November.
June 2016 Lesley has just returned from Ljubljana, Slovenia, where she was supporting performance artist Poppy Jackson on her piece RITE, performed as part of the Festival Spider. Lesley served as Creative Enabler, videographer and photographer.
In addition to working with Poppy, Lesley is Creative Enabler for Cian Binchy on ITV's new thriller series The Level and for Zara and Dayo on Channel 4's series Damned, produced by Whatlarks! and written by Jo Brand and Morewenna Banks.
November 2015Lesley continues to establish a performative home in London. Most recently, at Steakhouse Live: Tender Loin #3, she performed “Angus & Rayshall" with Catherine Hoffmann (). The piece was initiated during R&D work with Dickie Beau’sThe House of Strange Loops: an anarcho-syndicalist drag family collective, of which Lesley is a founding member. Already Strange Loops has invitations to perform in various locals in the new year. More to come.
Playing at The Park Theatre, Dec. 23rd – Jan. 23rd, Lesley plays Alina in African Gothic (www.AfricanGothicplay.com), produced by Two Sheds. "Written during the Apartheid era, Reza de Wet's astonishing play (originally entitled Diepe Grond - Deep Ground) holds up a mirror to the dark heart of Afrikaner society, forcing it to take a long and uncomfortable look at itself and the myths that sustained it.”
October 2014 After circumnavigating the globe, Lesley has returned to London to again direct at Identity Drama School. This term she is working on A Midsommer Nights Dreame and Les Liaison Dangereuses, each are comprised of a cast of 17 actors. Les Liaison will be presented in a public showcase on Tues., Dec 16 and Thurs., Dec 18 at the Omni Theatre, Clapham. More info to follow.
September 2014 Lesley is spending a month in Himchal Pradesh (the Himalayas), in the Kullu Valley, also known as the Valley of the Gods and "the end of the known world". She is attending satsang at the International Meditation Institute, led by enlightened master and trickster, Swami Shyam. Following that she will support Padma Stewart and Deep Shikha with their meditation retreat at the Manu allaya, a five star resort in Manali, just up the hill from the Vyass River. Photoa from her journey can beseen here https://flic.kr/s/aHsk3DmJDt
June 2014 Lesley is currently directing two Graduating Showcase productions for Identity School of Drama, one of which will be performed at The Courtyard Theatre in London.
April 2013 Lesley has returned from Palermo, Sicily to teach acting at the Identity School of Drama; the alumnus of John Boyega, lead in the new Star Wars triology. Lesley will be focusing her teaching on Text Analysis, The Body (including basic Laban for actors) and Improvisation.
September, 2013 Lesley recently completed her MA in Performance Making at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. She is currently living in Palermo, Sicily where she will spend time reflecting, learning Italian, and researching a new piece on trauma.
July 2013 Along with 4 colleagues from Goldsmiths, Lesley is currently in Palermo, Sicily, co creating a new improvisational music/performance installation at Cantieri Culturali della Zisa. Part of the mini-performance festival curated by Andrea Cusumano, a collaboration between l’Asseorato alla Cultura della Citta di Palermo and Goldsmith’s College.
Monday Nov. 19, 2012 Lesley will make her London UK debut. As part of New CrossedOut - a new performance event, Lesley will perform "Dancer", a fresh Live Art movement piece,choreographed by Naun Park, for which Lesley has created the soundscape. Doors at 8. Show at8 :30. Amersham Arms, 388 New Cross Road
October 2012 marks the beginning of Lesley's studies at Goldsmiths College, University ofLondon, UK. After having moved to Hackney, London in September of this year, Lesley intends to spend a year developing of her Live Art practice, whilst investigating her work as a performer,director, dramaturge, and playwright within traditional Theatre and as a "cultural creative" at large. By September 2013 she will have completed her MA in Performance Making, after which she intends to stay on in London indefinitely.July 2012 Lesley joined lead creators Billy Marchenski and Alison Denham as dramaturge ontheir new project "Slowpoke", produced by Radix Theatre, a project inspired by the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
In April 2012 Lesley began training to become a certified meditation teacher. She studied with her long time teacher and friend Padma of Padma Yoga. Having completed her studies in June, Lesley is now available for hire as a meditation teacher or one-on-one meditation coach.February/March 2012 Lesley performed in "Intimate Apparel" at the Arts Club Theatre's Granville Island stage. She joined a fabulous cast that featured Marci T. House, Anna Cummer, Jonathan Young, Marsha Regis and Daren Hebert with direction by John Cooper.
January 2012 The second iteration of "I Miss Vancouver": a one-night-only installation in a century old apartment on Vancouver's Eastside. A combined architecturally specific video, 'located sound' and masked performance, the piece was experienced by a series of solo participants throughout the evening. It culminated in a social gathering that went on into the wee hours of the morning. Produced by General Life.org.
March 2011 The first manifestation of "Miss Vancouver": a video/installation commissioned for the Vancouver Art Gallery's Spring 2011 FUSE event.
In February 2011 Lesley performed with Leaky Heaven Circus. She was part of the ensemble that brought to life a new adaptation of "Peter Pan". Re-titled "Peter Panties", Leaky Heaven's take on the proverbial favourite has been co-written by Niall MacNeil and Marcus Yousef. The extravaganza is a co-production between Leaky Heaven and NeWorld Theatre, opening as part of the PUSH Festival, Feb 3 - 13, 2011 at the Historic Vancouver East Cultural Centre. 2010 A founding member of Leaky Heaven, "Peter Panties" will be Lesley's 5th show with the company. Previous shows include "Birthday Boy" 2002, "Ziggurat!" 2004, "antigone undone" 2009, "Miss Vancouver" 2010, as well as a number of "Blink"s and "Bleedin' Hearts Cabarets".
Monday, Nov 22, 2010 Lesley read the lead in a staged presentation of Lynn Nottage's Broadway success "Ruined". "Ruined" is the telling of the lives of women in the Congo. Focusing on "Mama Nadi" the owner of a popular bar cum brothel in a small Congo town, we're introduced to the heartbreak that war and the brutalities of economic struggle visit upon the young women of the country. "In a land where the enemy lies somewhere between those you're against and those who's job it is to protect you, being ruined comes with the territory."
August 2010 Lesley has been awarded a generous Canada Council Inter-Arts grant to pursue research and development on her newest project "I, Miss Vancouver". The piece will investigate ways for participants to contemplate the idea of Vancouver: past, present and its many possible futures. Lesley's partnered with Paul Ternes, recent co-Artistic Director for Radix Theatre. This is their first team endeavour. The connection resulted from many conversations over the past 6 years in which the two discovered much common ground, both personally and creatively.