My story

When I was 6 my dad took me in to the living room, put on Rimsky Korsakov’s Sheherezade and started to tell me the story of Sinbad the sailor. I closed my eyes and was transported across the ocean by the music. It was a revelation to me that, no matter what was happening around me, I could go on incredible adventures just by closing my eyes. Imagination is a magical gift that we are all blessed with but don’t use enough.

I obtained 2 degrees: one in Law with French Law from LSE and one in Theatre Studies from the University of Strasbourg. After graduating I set up my own storytelling company with a couple of friends. We were one of the first foreign theatre companies into the former Soviet Union in 1991 during the Gorbachev era and performed all over from Irkutsk in Siberia to Odessa on the Black Sea.

In the subsequent years I told stories in more than 30 countries from Australia to Morocco. And created theatre with street kids in Bogota, Manila and Pnomh Penh with the avant garde David Glass Ensemble.

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I started to get more traditional theatre work which lead to roles at the Royal National Theatre in London, Birmingham Rep and with Alan Ayckbourn at his theatre in Scarborough.
And then to various TV and film roles. Here I am in costume (hairpiece and all) in the film Stan and Ollie.

At the same time I fell into corporate work – rather by accident – after my friend David Pearl invited me to help him on a job for McKinsey. That was over 20 years ago and since then I’ve coached, lead masterclasses or given keynotes on storytelling at some of the biggest companies in the world like Microsoft and Airbus.

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I started a family and fell out of love with being on the road all the time, so I started writing novels and got lucky first time with Random Acts of Heroic Love, which got shortlisted for the British Book awards and went on to become an international best seller translated in to 21 languages. I’m currently working on a TV adaptation. My second novel The Half Life of Joshua Jones was published in 2016.

In 2014 I wrote a short film script called The Divorce which won an award and it was a natural progression to co-direct it with my brother David who is a photographer. We went on to direct an indie feature film “After Louise” and are currently developing more scripts under the guise of The Scheinmann Brothers.

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I’ve also made a couple of short storytelling films with my wife, Sarah Sutcliffe, in the sphere of public health about Psoriasis and HIV. We have 3 children and live in London.

In my spare time I practice the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira and I volunteer with organisations that help refugees. I spent some time volunteering at a camp near Athens in the wake of the Syrian crisis. This video was shot at the camp.