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Under Her Skin: Directed by John Wright

PUBLISHED: 14:57 24 January 2014 | UPDATED: 15:03 24 January 2014


Debs Newbold and Laurel Swift bring a defiantly 21st Century attitude to an ancient sea-tale, in a pioneering new work integrating music and performance storytelling.

"A whirlwind, flying the flag for Storytelling



Setting a selkie (seal people) folktale firmly in the here and now, Under Her Skin is a live experience of joyful irreverence, lyrical poetry and killer bass riffs. With just two performers and no set - apart from a characterful double bass - a whole world is created from a quiet cove on Scotland’s north coast to rush hour in Whitechapel. Masterfully crafted, yet with no set script, Under Her Skin in an exciting, constantly evolving piece and each night brings something surprising and new.

Fusing Debs Newbold’s highly acclaimed, charismatic storytelling voice with the double bass, fiddle and clog dynamism of Laurel Swift, alongside re-invented traditional songs, Under Her Skin is stand-up storytelling and then some. And it’s crafted especially for adults; the resulting story of loss and regret is uplifting, thoroughly modern and “belly-shakingly funny”.

The tale comes from the myth of the selkie - a creature found in Scottish, Irish and Faroese folklore with similar creatures described in the Icelandic traditions. Selkies are said to live as seals in the sea but shed their skin to become human on land.

The show was created by Debs Newbold and Laurel Swift together with director John Wright. Laurel Swift is a highly accomplished musician – “an infectious bundle of mass-enthusing energy” fRoots – who plays fiddle with ceilidh-dance group The Gloworms and double bass with the Gadarene. She’s well known for performing both step clog and Morris. Laurel is the founder and choreographer of Morris Offspring who have appeared on BBC 2’s Culture Show, sold out the South Bank and were the only Morris dance team to tour UK arts centres, most recently The Furance with Faustus. Armed with a quick wit, a ready laugh and a way with an audience, Debs Reynolds has fast become one of the UK’s most acclaimed performance storytellers, regularly playing venues such as the Royal Opera House, the British Library, the Southbank Centre and Shakespeare’s Globe theatre. John Wright is an internationally renowned teacher and director. He has been the recipient of the Peter Brook Award, the Greater London Arts Award , A Fringe First Award for ‘Aesop,’ The Time Out Theatre Award The Guardian Award and the Sunday Times Awards. /


14 & 15 March 19:45

CHELTENHAM Everyman Theatre GL50 1HQ

Box office 01242 572573 /

Tickets £10.50 / £9

27 March

BROADWELL Forest of Dean, Last Thursday Club Evergreen Hall

Box office 01594 833334

Tickets -

28 March 8pm

BRIDGWATER Arts Centre, TA 6 3DD

Box office 01278 422700 /
Tickets £10 / £8

9 April

BARNSTAPLE, Queen’s Theatre, EX31 1SY

Box office 01271 32 42 42 /


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