Deirdra was born in London of Irish parents. Between school and university, she was a librarian’s assistant, a theatre booking agent, a nanny (working for the film director Stanley Donen), a waitress, a shop assistant, and an unsuccessful travelling saleswoman.
From 1972-1976 she attended Trinity College Dublin, where she took a BA in English and French. It was in Dublin that she began her acting career. she has worked extensively in theatre and on screen in England, has appeared on Broadway with the RSC, and played Lady Macbeth in Japan. In 1983 she co-founded a Dublin based theatre company, Smock Alley, which performed in Ireland and America.
For the 1992 Edinburgh Festival she co-wrote and performed in REVELATIONS at the Traverse Theatre. In 1993, PLAY WITH COCAINE, her adaptation of a 1920s Russian novel, was produced on the London fringe. Her first contributions to the Penguin ELT list were, MY JOURNEY TO SCHOOL and EDDIE AND THE MAGIC POTION.
Deirdra, who has also written scripts for the Children’s TV series, CHUGGINGTON, has plans for further works of fiction for children and an adult novel set in and around the theatre.