Liars’ League: A Review

We are joined once more by guest writer Pauline Stobbs who is giving a run-down of the brilliant Liars’ League.

Liars’ League was born from a mutual love of live readings of new writing. What differs in this monthly event is the acknowledgement that the writer is not always the best person to read. By recognising this simple truth, Liars’ League matches contemporary stories with professional actors, and manages to harvest the best of both talents. Brilliant characters, landscapes and plots are transformed by the expert adoption of accents, mannerisms and subtle lilts. For the writer it must be enchanting to see their work sculpted so by a performer.

The most admirable aspect of Liars League is the diplomacy with which the works are selected. Responding to each month’s theme (snappy titles like Sex & Death, Shock & Awe and Hot & Bothered), the stories are chosen blind, before casting calls are made for the most appropriate actor. Finding the best actor for the best writing is key.

This month’s highlights included the brilliant ‘Pampas Grass’ by James Holden & ‘Kenny’ by Frances Clarke, for their delicate yet hilarious etching of middle age, middle England. Silas Hawkins read ‘This isn’t Heat’ by Richard Smyth, with such an expertly weaved New York accent that we speculated the borough from which he must have been born and bred, to be surprised by his English roots after the show.

Liars League recaptures the charisma of traditional storytelling. It offers a pleasing duo of great writing and great performance, and it is refreshing to see a platform for new writing that is so easy to enjoy.

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