Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - WHAT’S ON -

AC­TOR Sarah McNeill ad­mits to al­ways hav­ing been a drama queen and has a lot to thank for it.

After her grad­u­a­tion from the Lon­don Academy of Mu­sic and Dra­matic Art, a 19-year-old McNeill moved to Melbourne to work in film, tele­vi­sion and the­atre, where she met her hus­band Greg while they played hus­band and wife in the Aus­tralian play Jam To­mor­row.

“Life im­i­tated art and we got mar­ried shortly after the play fin­ished. We moved to Perth in 1986 and bought a house in Kens­ing­ton that same year,” McNeill said.

The cou­ple has main­tained their act­ing ca­reers through work at Effie Crump The­atre, Perth The­atre Com­pany and Black Swan State The­atre Com­pany, as well as film and tele­vi­sion while bring­ing up son Will, who fol­lowed in the fam­ily busi­ness and grad­u­ated from WAAPA, and daugh­ter Meg.

A change in Perth’s the­atre land­scape, par­tic­u­larly in the pre­vi­ous year where McNeill found less op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able, led her to start pre­sent­ing pub­lic read­ings at book launches and other events.

“I be­gan to re­alise how much peo­ple en­joyed lis­ten­ing to good sto­ries,” McNeill said.

“Like many peo­ple, I am also an avid fan of pod­casts but we of­ten lis­ten to pod­casts while do­ing some­thing else: walk­ing the dog, gar­den­ing, driv­ing.

“I thought it would be great to of­fer adults an op­por­tu­nity to sit down for a while with a glass of wine, re­lax and lis­ten to good ac­tors read great sto­ries.”

She be­gan Lit Live in March at Cen­tre for Sto­ries in North­bridge, where pro­fes­sional ac­tors read en­ter­tain­ing lit­er­a­ture live on stage on the first Wed­nes­day of ev­ery month.

McNeill said us­ing ac­tors meant the read­ings had all the nuance, hu­mour, pathos and en­ergy a good story re­quired.

“It is also an op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple to hear au­thor’s works they might not know about or just to hear clas­sics that they know of but per­haps have never read,” she said.

“My aim each month is to in­clude a good mix of Aus­tralian writ­ers along with the best in­ter­na­tional writ­ers; works will in­clude short fic­tion, es­says or ex­tracts from plays/nov­els and will range from the very funny to the very se­ri­ous.”

The ticket price in­cludes wine, soft drinks and nib­bles.

Book­ings at www.cen­tre­forsto­

Ac­tor Sarah McNeill will read sto­ries live on stage.

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