“You hear people talking about the storytelling revival, but in Jewish culture it never died. I lived and breathed the tales during my childhood, unaware that this was anything unusual.”
Shonaleigh is one of Europe’s leading storytellers. Having learned the Drut’syla tradition from the age of four, she carries thousands of oral stories from the Jewish tradition and shares their magic, mystery and wisdom with audiences around the world.
“It was quite routine for me to fall asleep at night listening to songs and stories in English, Yiddish, Hebrew, Dutch and Turkish – a wonderful colourful mix.”
Shonaleigh performs at storytelling festivals and events in Europe, America and Australasia as well as working with acclaimed organisations including the BBC, Hull Truck Theatre and appearing as a special guest at The International Conference of World Affairs. She is an experienced and highly skilled performer and regularly collaborates with some of the UK’s most respected storytellers including Daniel Morden, Dr Simon Heywood and Peter Chand.
A passionate advocate for the development of storytelling as a cultural and educational tool, Shonaleigh has been involved in several projects around Holocaust memorial as well as running training for the Leo Baeck Rabbincal College. She is an associate lecturer in the University of Derby’s Creative Writing department.
For many years, Shonaleigh has shared the techniques of the Drut’syla storytelling tradition with students from across the globe. However, she is probably the last carrier of this age-old tradition.