Lesley left Hawkhill Primary school and headed for the Harris in 1963, where she spent six very happy years, ending up as School Captain in 1969 alongside Boys Captain, Donald Findlay, who has certainly gone on to greater things. A highlight was partnering Donald and winning the Inter-Schools Debating Competition in 1969 - a trophy which she donated to the school memorabilia. Great mentoring was given by history teacher Mr Macrae.
She attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama for three years, and has been a professional actress since 1972 – not always fully employed of course. One thing she didn't realise as she trained in Glasgow was that what she was preparing for what was essentially a part-time job! Only around 2% manage to stay in full employment. The business has always been a lottery – more so now with the cult of celebrity when so many are after their few minutes of fame.
Over the years she has worked in all mediums – even a tiny part in the cult film The Wicker Man, also singing the opening song as the credits roll. However, her main love has always been the theatre, ever since she stepped onto the stage of the old Nicholl Street Rep in Dundee in 1957. She was playing 'Little Little Red Riding Hood' in their Christmas show and, even at that tender age, she got a glimpse of another world and always wanted to be part of it.
The highlight of her career was winning a Laurence Olivier Award in 1986 for her portrayal of Judy Garland in the musical play, Judy (written by her husband, Terry Wale) at the Strand Theatre, and which subsequently toured Scotland in 1991. Other highlights have been playing Edith Piaf in Piaf in four separate productions. Shirley Valentine is another favourite role.
Alongside her work in the theatre, she has recorded over 160 audio books over the past twenty years, and is still making regular trips to a studio in Whitley Bay, which is where the recordings are made. She also enjoys doing Medical Roleplay – mainly at Ninewells Hospital.
Lesley and Terry met at Perth Rep during a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1974, and they were married in Dundee in 1977. They are still married, with two children – Katy, 30, and now a theatrical agent, and Ollie 25, whom she tried to discourage from entering an ever so overcrowded business. She used to whisper in his ear when he was asleep “Oliver Wale, QC, Oliver Wale, QC”. It didn't work. He has graduated M.A. at Dundee University in Creative Writing and English Literature, but he is much more interested in singing!
Having lived in London and Hove near Brighton, Lesley and Terry returned to Perth in 1993 and have been there ever since. It was not a great move from a professional point of view, but great from the family angle, and they have settled happily. Lesley is now involved in many things in the local area.