Deborah is an actress, musician, playwright, voice artist and writer based in the UK. She trained at the University of Northumbria and at Drama Studio London. Deborah recently completed a year-long attachment to the Traverse Theatre as one of the Traverse Fifty playwrights, and a ten month rep tour playing both Emilia in Othello and Juliana Tesman in Hedda Gabler for Icarus Theatre. She is currently performing at London’s Lost Theatre.
Originally from Edinburgh and born into a musical family, Deborah always had a strong social conscience and an interest in inclusion and reform, volunteering in special needs schools and adult care centres whilst studying and subsequently working in prisons and secure mental health services around her theatre commitments.
Deborah is a talented writer, penning theatre reviews as well as articles, plays and screenplays, primarily on issues surrounding social justice. Her first play, Janetarium, was one of three selected through the Traverse Theatre’s Class Act project and was subsequently staged at the Traverse in 1994 and published in Theatre Scotland Magazine that same year. She later joined the theatre’s Young Writers Group, and continued to write and devise plays throughout her university and drama school training. In 2005, she co-authored Eve & Lilith with Jessica Martenson which was produced at that year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
In 2011, Deborah co-founded Whoop ‘n’ Wail Theatre Company with friend, collaborator and writing partner Ali Kemp. Their debut production, eXclusion, was produced in association with UK charity Women In Prison and toured to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, London’s Waterloo East Theatre, and Bracknell’s South Hill Park Arts Centre. In 2012, Deborah wrote a screenplay For Better or Worse, which was subsequently made into a short film by director Rakesh Mohun. Deborah and Ali also co-authored the short plays My Bloody Laundrette, Cascade of Baubles, and Losing Light which were showcased at 17 Percent ‘She Writes’ events throughout 2012 and 2013. Whoop ‘n’ Wail’s next project is currently in development.
Deborah was also selected for the Traverse Fifty and her short play, The Boundary, was staged as part of the Traverse Theatre ‘Plays for Edinburgh’ on 25th & 26th January 2013. The Boundary received a favourable review and has now been developed into a full-length play.
“I loved Deborah Klayman’s Boundary, which brought images of cities divided by war home to the famous urban boundary between Edinburgh and Leith.” Joyce McMillan
Deborah has performed in the UK and overseas in a variety of roles which include Regan in King Lear, Mrs Pugh/Polly Garter in Under Milk Wood, and Mrs Hoare/Tommy in new musical Kiddy-Fiddler on the Roof. An accomplished cellist and singer, the projects she undertakes frequently utilise her musical talents. Recently she has filmed a TV pilot for a new comedy series Dead Man’s Cardy as well as a number of film projects. Deborah is also a successful voice artist, recording projects for companies such as BP, Oxford University Press and The Scottish Sunday Express.