What's with the name?
In a sense, fiction is a lie; acting is lying too. And so the League brings together the best liars we can find - actors and authors - to tell great, brand new stories. It seems to be working, because we've reached 100 events, won an award for what we do, and been featured in The Guardian's list of the 10 best storytelling nights in the UK.
Writers write. Actors read. Audience listens. Everybody wins.
Established in April 2007, Liars' League is a themed monthly fiction night, where professional actors (from our company of around 100) read new short stories by writers from around the world. Events are held at The Phoenix pub in Cavendish Square, Central London, and readings are filmed in HD for YouTube and podcast for free download: our ever-growing online archive holds over 500 stories and counting.
Want to come along or contribute?
If you like the sound of what we do and would like to join our mailing list to get information on our monthly events and deadlines, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Mailing List in the subject line and we'll add you. If you'd like to write or act for us, just click on the Submissions or Auditions pages to find out more.
Want some multimedia?
Here's our Facebook page
Here's our Twitter (we're @liarsleague)
Here's our YouTube channel with over 200 HD videos and counting.
Here's our podcast
Here's our podcast archive from 2012
Here's our podcast archive from 2011
Here's our Asian cousin, Liars' League Hong Kong
Here's the newest member of the family, Liars' League Leicester
Reviews, interviews and so forth
5-19 April 2015: Three short stories from London, New York and Hong Kong were broadcast as a three-part series on BBC Radio 4. You can Listen Again to them by clicking the links above: after the radio recordings expire the links will lead to the video, text and live audio of each story.
22 March 2014: Liars' League was featured in The Guardian's list of the top ten best storytelling nights in the UK.
1 March 2014 - LL merits a mention in City Lit's new course programme, where we are recommended by Short Story writer & tutor Zoe Fairbairns.
10 October 2013 - BBC Radio 4 The World Tonight: Katy Darby, Director and co-founder of the League, discussed LL, Alice Munro's Nobel and short stories with presenter David Eades and Guardian reviewer Alex Clark. Click to play.
17 July 2013 - Pinch Magazine reviews the launch of Granta 124: Travel, at which actors David Mildon, Louisa Gummer & Cliff Chapman read extracts from the magazine.
13 July 2013 - Spaces Literary Magazine interviews Liars Katy, Liam and Cliff about ... everything, really.
7 July 2013 - Sabotage reviews our second collaborative anthology with Arachne Press, Lovers' Lies.
28 May 2013 - Catriona Troth's lovely long article about us in WordsWithJam
There are also various other titbits dotted around the site - an interview with Annexe magazine on the homepage, and one with our regular contributor Niall Boyce on what makes a good LL story.
What others think ...
"Liars' League brings together actors and writers and lets each do what they are good at. The result is live fiction at its best. Funny, well presented, quirky, enjoyable."
~ Pulp Net
"These are great times for London's grass-roots literature; the London Lit Plus festival is going great guns, there's Litro getting literature onto the tube, and now this rather neat idea. It's simple. Writers submit short stories on whatever the month's theme is... Then, above a pub, naturally, a gang of actors read the best ones aloud, in suitably gripping/seductive voices to the adoring throng (i.e. you lot). You lot cheer wildly; the actors bow; beer is drunk and everyone goes home happy as you like. Like all the best ideas - simple."
~ Le Cool
"Liars’ League, a monthly fiction event, is a collaborative force like none we have seen out there thus far. Writers and actors pair up to breathe life into works. Everybody does win in this scenario. What a great opportunity for a writer - to see their work interpreted and performed by a complete stranger. What a unique venture they have going here - and God, we love that logo. Subscribe to the RSS feed and the podcast so you can listen to the results of this collaborative effort."
"We at Annexe HQ love the storytelling extravaganza that is Liars’ League. How could we not? There is something almost illicit about Liars’ League. An eager audience flows into a darkened basement to hear secret stories. The out-of-time setting conjures up a future where storytelling has been outlawed and enigmatic speakeasies have emerged in the shadows of the city."
Annexe's editor Nick also did an interview with Liar Katy here
“If you like the idea of listening to stories - perhaps with a drink in your hand at the end of a hard day’s work - you should make your way to ‘Liars’ League.’ It's not one of those open mic events where hopeful authors have to claw their way over heaps of bodies to be heard; it’s more decorous than that. You offer your work in advance, and if you are selected for one of the sought-after slots - at least three City Lit creative writing students were in 2013 - a professional actor reads your work.
You don’t have to be a writer to attend - just a lover of short stories. ‘Liars’ League’ (which also has branches in Leeds, Leicester, New York and Hong Kong) is just one example of the ways in which short stories can be enjoyed, other than by simply reaching for a book."
~ Author and City Lit tutor Zoe Fairbairns
What authors think ...
"A wonderful thing the Liars are doing, a wonderful boost for the short story and for live story-telling."
~ Author Tania Hershman
"Thanks for making last Tuesday a really special night for me – to have my first piece of published work performed was something I never imagined would happen when I started writing, so it really was a very memorable occasion and a huge compliment. It was very clear at the rehearsal that you all put a lot of energy and passion into Liars' League and to have the chance to be a part of that is really, really appreciated."
~ Author Rob Mukherjee
"Thank you for doing what you do. It almost makes me wish I was English."
~ American author Dean Kisling
"Thanks so much for a wonderful experience. Liars' League has been super from first contact (I don't say "from first to last," because I don't want this to be the last). I couldn't be more pleased or impressed. Don't ever underestimate the appeal of the service you provide. To have a story read before a live audience by a professional actor/actress is hard to top."
~ Author Stephen Parrish
What audiences think ...
"Thank you for a lovely evening. I particularly enjoyed the spaces between the words. And the words of course, but I loved the spaces. I learnt to talk in comedy clubs and there as I'm sure you know, spaces are very risky and rare. To have spaces in which the words can grow is a luxury."
~ Audience member James Campbell
"I'm borderline allergic to the theatre, but my prejudice was well and truly revealed to be just that. I'm won over, as this was a great listening experience, and each actor had me hooked from the start."
~ Audience member Hilaire
"The readings were, well brilliant. I've never really experienced story telling before, and I'm definitely hooked. The quality of the writing and the actors' performances themselves were nothing short of fantastic. They had you laughing, gasping, sighing and shuddering through the whole evening. Needless to say, we will definitely be back."
~ Audience member Sally Mavin
Or, as we put it: Writers write. Actors read. Audience listens. Everybody wins.