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From soil to stage

Jo FulwoodThe West Australian

From dust, dirt and Wheatbelt harvests, to the glitz and glamour of the theatre - one of Kellerberrin's favourite sons is proving there really is life after farming.

Kit Leake, a former grain farmer from the central Wheatbelt, is set to star in the Melville Theatre Company's newest production, Summer Shorts.

Retired from farming at the end of the 2013 season, Mr Leake can now be found treading the boards at three theatre companies across Perth, with his latest production to be performed on February 27 and 28 and March 1, 5, 6 and 7.

Summer Shorts comprises three one-act plays, with Mr Leake starring in An Unwritten Page, written by Angela Pritchard, and directed by Val Henry.

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According to Mr Leake, who plays the main character Ben, An Unwritten Page is a light-hearted take on the sometimes emotional rollercoaster ride of turning 40.

"The role is intense because it drifts from reality to imagination with the line in-between blurred," he said.

"But if I tell any more it will spoil a very moving story.

"The main challenge is the large mood swings which I must master to give the play its full meaning."

For those who know the Leake family, Kit's burgeoning acting career since his farming retirement won't come as a surprise.

In fact, Mr Leake has already starred in other productions, including Beast & the Beauty at the Old Mill Theatre, The Chit Chat Club by Adhouc at the Comedy Club in Bicton and Scrooge (The Musical) at the Melville Theatre Co.

In 2013, he was named best newcomer at the annual Milly Awards.

"I've always had acting in my blood," he said.

"Mum just loved the theatre and she put on numerous productions in Kellerberrin," Mr Leake said.

"I was involved in some of them but we were too far out of town for me to be more involved.

"Theatre takes a lot of time and I just couldn't get involved as much as I wanted while I was farming.

"So it was on my bucket list as soon as I shifted to Perth."

An Unwritten Page will be performed along with Under the Bright Sun and That's What Friends are For.

Catch Summer Shorts at the Melville Theatre, corner of Canning Highway and Stock Road, Palmyra.

Bookings can be made on 9330 4565 or by visiting the Melville Theatre Company online at www.meltheco.org.au .

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