Radio Drama Revival (part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 )
Length: Approx. 2 hours
Readers: Crazy Dog Audio Theatre
The play: What is the purpose of art? Is it to reveal universal truths? Is it to help us understand other people? Is it to make us feel good and be able to cope with our lives? Is it to make money for the artists and others? Can it be all of these?
The Salmon of Blackpool asks these questions in a engrossing drama. Irish screenwriter Richie Ryan gets his first big break from a Hollywood studio: to write a biopic of dying action superstar Johnny Gallagher. As Richie gets to know Johnny, he strays from the studio's plans to write a feel-good Oscar bait. Instead he pens a script that more accurately, if pretentiously, reflects Johnny troubled personality. The production of this story teeters on the edge of being a Sunset Boulevard knock-off, but Gregg's skillful writing and the abilities of the actors keep the narrative grounded in reality. This is one of the better original audio dramas I've heard in the last few years of reviewing.
Rating: 8 / 10
The readers: One of the most interesting aspects of The Salmon of Blackpool is how the sound design matches the subject. This audio drama uses the conventions of film-making to capture the feel of a movie. Sound effects are used not only to provide atmosphere and illustration, but to move the story along. Gregg allows the performances of the actors to tell much of the story that is left unsaid. David Murray, who has appeared in movies like G.I. Joe gets to show his acting chops as the complex character Johnny while Michael Sheehan brings to Richie a mixture of likableness and desperation that make his character's actions creditable. Kudos to Radio Drama Revival and Crazy Dog Theatre for this one.
(picture by Peteforsyth via Wikipedia. Creative Commons Attribution, Share Alike)