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Monday 31 December 2018

Casting the Runes

UPDATE: Released February 7th, 2019

If you're still waiting for this, so am I; the plan was for a December Audible release but it's been pushed to early in the New Year. I can't tell you any more than that, but I can tell you this; I've heard the finished show and I'm really happy with the way it's turned out. Just look at the headliners in our powerhouse cast:

Anna Maxwell Martin, Reece Shearsmith, and Tom Burke in Casting the Runes

If you need to scratch your Jamesian itch while you're waiting, Neil Brand's 15 Minute Drama adaptations of five M R James stories are available on BBC Sounds until January 18th. And if it's the straight text you want then Audible itself carries several Casting the Runes original short story readings, most of fine quality.

So, what do we bring to the table? A new and contemporary take on the story is something I've been wanting to tackle for some time, and when Simon Barnard at Bafflegab Productions offered me the opportunity, I went for it.

The idea had been cooking for a while. I've always been a fan of Night of the Demon, in which Bennet and Tourneur brought the tale forward in time to a '50s setting to produce a remarkable movie and a classic of the genre. There's an underlying power in the story that doesn't only survive translation, but energises the retelling.

I revisited the film before I tackled the script (one of the joys of the job, and you get to call it research). But that was for the sole reason of ensuring that I took nothing from it.

I was there for the day of the recording in West London. It went well. If you want to know anything further, you'll need to give it a listen.

(You can read about Audible's free 30-day trial at audible.co.uk; if you leave Audible you get to keep your purchased material, so technically you could get the download for nothing. When I signed up last year it was to get hold of Adam Roche's remarkable podcast series The Secret History of Hollywood, only to find that Audible-exclusive podcasts are bundled in with your membership at no extra charge. So I got my free stuff and stayed to graze, on items like Bafflegab's own award-winning production of Blood on Satan's Claw; which is why such offers make commercial sense, I suppose.)

As soon as I get that firm release date, I'll post it here and on Twitter.

(Cast photo by Lisa Bowerman)

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