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Lesley Dowding

Lesley was born in South London where the World War Twp bomb sites were her play ground. Her aunts (all survivors of the war) told stories and took her to musical extravaganzas, shows on ice and London theatres. At secondary school she saw plays, read Greek myths and poetry and was taught by Dorothy Heathcote, who pioneered drama in education. Lesley studied theatre and drama all through high school, and when she had the opportunity to peer teach English to overseas students she was fascinated at how people learnt to read. This became a passion and led Lesley to become a teacher of drama and literacy.

Lesley has continued this career over 30 years in the UK and New Zealand. She has written numerous plays for community groups, school productions and individual classes. Stories flow all the time and can be found on Lesley’s CDs, and in her performances where she is known as Lesley Two Hats.

As an international storyteller Lesley has performed and presented numerous workshops for schools libraries, business organisations, charities and family gatherings. There have been wacky, funny multi-cultural and mysterious tales, her own fairytale community tales for rural and city people.    

Lesley is a Duffy book role model and literacy advisor for Massey University in Taranaki.

Selected bibliography:
  • Midnight at the Lighthouse illustrated by Margaret Scott (Lighthouze 2008)
  • Coat Tales
  • When Apples were Golden
  • Midnight at the Lighthouse


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