Friday, August 16, 2013


Why is it that writers are asked to read their own work? Writers, with some exceptions, are not good readers, they lack the dulcet tones and vocal control of professional actors so their finely-wrought words emerge inelegantly, instead of being smoothly pronounced with the grace and passion they deserve. 

No extra insight into the book can be gained by clumsy, stumbling readings and it’s embarrassing for the writers. I think readers just want to see the author rather than hear them blundering inexpertly through their text. A bit like staring at movie stars in the dark.

Fortunately, there are groups of professional actors who will read a writer’s text for her and this is a fabulous idea. Everybody’s happy: the writer hears her work read with polish, the appropriate emotional emphasis, even accents and the actor gets to strut his stuff and get noticed by someone who may be a producer and the audience gets to watch the writer, hear her words delivered properly and get her autograph.

LIARS’ LEAGUE - London, NY, Hong Kong, Leeds.

Unfortunately, these groups are not yet more widely available and we'd love it if they could spread faster to Paris, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Melbourne, Madrid, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Lisbon, Buenos Aires, Montreal, Vancouver and elsewhere. There are actors in all these places who’d be glad of the chance to show off their talent and grateful writers who be equally happy to hear their work read well.             
             Photo of Charles Laughton by Alfred Eisenstaedt.


Nora Lumiere said...

From Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes on Twitter:

"Interesting piece - Liars League are great @StoriesAloud also do wonderful things with actors though personally I would always rather perform/read my stuff - I love the buzz and direct communication:)"

Nora Lumiere said...

John Le Carré also reads his work with panache and verve.