Halloween Horrors on The Radioplay Hour

Due to Motet Studios having moved locations and continuing to set up their establishment, and with breath of Halloween cold on my shoulders, the following radio plays in this season called “Halloween Horrors”, have been put together in three very different ways.

From an unnamed narrator trying to convince you of his sanity from whilst describing a murder, children playing an imaginative game with a deadly consequence, and a man and wife dispute that takes a supernatural & feline twist; these shows will be heard throughout the coming weeks in the lead up to Halloween in a season designed, with any luck, at preventing your complete relaxation, but not your listening pleasure.

The first story of the week, to be released on Oct 12th, is told to you by an unnamed narrator, voiced by Nigel Munroe Wallace. Here the narrator will try to convince you, the listener, of his sanity, from his jail cell, whilst describing a murder he committed in Edgar Allen Poe’s story The Tell-Tale heart.

Edgar Allen Poe is known to have written some exciting and haunting stories ever told, and aside from the “The Raven” and “The Black Cat” the Tell-Tale Heart is my third favourite story of Poe’s. His work ranges from poetic to mysterious to darkly comic, each story possessing the genius for the grotesque that defined Poe’s writing! I drove up to Brisbane to record this radio play, one on one with Nigel in his apartment and put together the soundscape in my garage using my wind machine, a hot water bottle, a wooden door, and some Styrofoam.

Here is a small preview:

Our second story, Zero Hour, will be heard on the 19th October. The show originally aired in 1950 on the radio series “The Outer Limits” and “Suspense”. It was based on a story by American author and screen writer Ray Bradbury, whose volume of work includes genres such as fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery. He is mainly known for his novel Fahrenheit 451 and his science fiction and horror story collections The Martian Chronicles.

This radio play was considered the most controversial play ever heard over the radio, since the infamous War of the Worlds broadcast in the 1930s, and I decided to do something a little experimental and try to record the show in a “Blair Witch Project” / “Documentary” audio style with the cast performing around the house and not always near the microphone, with the exception of our narrator.

It was an interesting experiment, with a few lesson learnt, but one I intend to build upon for future shows. This show stars regular collaborators of my work Sophie Lawson & Candice Jean.

Together, with their daughters Ariel Dittman and Olive Lawson, who make their radio play debut, you will listen to a narrator describe the scenes that take place, as a mother grows anxious watching her daughter excitedly play a game called Zero Hour.

Is it just imaginative play? Or it is it something more sinister?

Aside from the pots and pans Nosie made on location, the rest of the sound effect were created in my garage and I had a ball creating / figuring out some of the sounds. I even captured some local police sirens and utilized it. Only on one sound effect I used a little reverb, which was a cat toy, to give it a deeper tone, otherwise I kept to my original sounds.

Here is a small preview:

Our Final story of the season The Cat Wife will be heard from 26th October and is the story leading into Halloween. Originally written by Arch Obler, whose work in early radio drama is an inspiration to me, this story was aired in 1938 with Boris Karloff in the original role. It sits as one of my favourite radio plays for melodrama, but also has a eerie side as the story revolves around a man who accuses his wife of being a big white heatless cat, with unexpected supernatural consequences!

This show has been rehearsed & workshopped during the Melbourne lockdown, via zoom, with a cast which consists of Sasha Cuhan, Noelle Criminova and Cameron Logan.

Sasha and the group have reworked and filled in some gaps in the material, and its been a blast working with them via Zoom! Sasha will also hopefully be injecting his musical talents into the show, whilst I am sorting out the sound effects this week before the group records the show (not via zoom, although I will be watching/directing)

This too has been an interesting experiment in how I can also include other people from other states into a radio play. Here is a small audio clip from our Zoom Rehearsal, but you will have to wait until we have the final product! Not to worry, the audio is not being recorded via Zoom!

I hope you enjoy listening to The Radioplay Hour’s Halloween Horrors season, as much as the cast and myself had a fun time putting it all together. Next I begin working on the Christmas show, which at this point is still Pinocchio.

If you like the audio work produced by myself, keep an eye out on my website www.thedramamerchant.com.au and visit On the Wireless for other audio shows being produced over the coming months.

If you would like to listen to these shows BEFORE their release dates, subscribe to The Drama Merchant email base for FREE before the 8th October, as that is when I'll send out The Tell Tale Heart!

Once you are on the data base, you will then receive and many other audio shows that are in the pipeline, BEFORE their release dates onto social media and website, as well as updates on other creative developments.

As always thank you for your support!

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