So, apparently, audio plays have become a thing. Back in the day, I had caught snippets of Mandarin soap operas playing on Rediffusion as I flit between home, the neighbours’ apartments and the expanse of the common corridors lining our HDB homes. I had always marvelled at the range of emotion that could be expressed on an audio platform. It provided for the most livid of imagery as scenes were only limited by my imagination.
Today, audio books, which have some following, are trending because of viral podcast, Serial. A spin-off from radioshow and podcast This American Life, Serial reopens a homicide case from 1999. The story revolves around the murder of a Korean highschool teen Hae Min Lee. The suspect: Her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed, a popular kid on campus. Although Syed maintained his innocence and police struggled to piece evidence that he did, the boy was eventually incarcerated based on the strength of a key witness, Jay.
Through the 12 episodes, listeners learned, as did producer and host Sarah Koenig, that testimonies were sketchy, leads were not followed up, and various details that seemed important — at least on the podcast — were not mentioned in court.
Season one of Serial wrapped a couple of weeks ago and has been dubbed the “most popular podcast in the world” by The Huffington Post. You can hear the entire season here.
And, now, live audio performances have also become a thing. Last month, Aaron Paul, who played Jesse Pinkman on Breaking Bad, played Luke Skywalker in a live audio performance of Episode V: The Empire Strikes Bad. This led to rumours that the thespian will be cast as one Han Solo in the Star Wars spin-off movies.
Today, starwars.com have announced a one-off live audio performance of Star Wars: Smuggler’s Bounty at the upcoming Star Wars Celebration held at Anaheim, California over April 16-19. No prizes for guessing who the protagonist in the feature will be.
Directed by Kyle Newman (of Fanboys fame) and co-written by him and FJ DeSanto, the audio play reunites the creative team behind Celebrations IV’s Star Wars: Smuggler’s Gambit audio drama. If you can’t imagine what an audio play would be like, it will be a “live performance on the Celebration Stage, with music, live sound effects, and a star-studded cast”, reported starwars.com.
The show promises to stay true to classic radio dramas and the Star Wars saga. Han Solo will be played by David W Collins, and accompanied by voice talents James Arnold Tayor and Jimmy Mac. Clone Wars alums Sam Witwer, Jaime King as well as other surprise guests will join the cast, continued the report.
If the show is anything like my Star Wars cassette read-along book, I’m sure it will be mesmerising.
If you’d like to travel back to your childhood and relive the read-along book, thestarwarstrilogy.com have downloadable audio files with scanned jpegs of the pages.