Follow by Email

Friday, 20 October 2017

New Live Audio Stuff - Exciting!

First up, change of schedule for today - I'm not going to be doing the last of the Martin Hewitt readings for a number of technical reasons, so instead I'm releasing the second podcast reading early - at 2pm.  Instead of the live reading of case seven, you'll get the podcast of case two - so you'll get a Martin Hewitt, just not as advertised.  Apologies for any confusion.
Second up, some changes to the schedule - it's all been a whirl of new things and I hate to change advertised things, but new opportunities to get things out there present themselves.  So - I'm abandoning the ustream channel and all live streaming will be on Mixlr from now on.  Ustream has always been a bit of a hack, using a video service to do audio.  Mixlr is dedicated to creating live audio and has all sorts of features I'll be playing with over the next weeks.  The Nicholas Nickleby readings will be every weekday at 2pm as advertised, but the Saturday show has been moved - so I'm doing that at 2pm, not 1pm.  I'm also not doing the repeat at 6pm.
Basically, there'll be a show most days at 2pm (BST until the clocks change to GMT again).  There may even be a 2pm Sunday show occasionally.

Now all that detail is out the way, to new stuff.  I've had a number of messages asking for when new things are going to come.  I don't like releasing a complete schedule, but I like there to be some play, but not that I've got the live streams going, recording for new material will now be happening on Saturdays.  That means the podcast version follows shortly after the live version - all edited and lovely.

The Saturday show is going to be a mix of, hopefully, at least three things, two new performances and maybe something from the archive.  NOW AT 2PM, REMEMBER - can be found on Mixlr, or listened on this player.

RobertCrighton is on Mixlr

Dates for known specific shows are as follows.

This Saturday (23rd Oct) - The U.N. Special Representative & the second The Other Day story.

October 28th - As it's close to Halloween, a ghostly theme. The Pub That Cried Ghost & a third The Other Day story.

November various - TBA

November 25th: The Bear Named Mo- Revisited.  Ten years ago a school teacher was arrested for naming a teddy bear Mohammed - I wrote a piece about the incident then and am going back to it and taking another look.  Find out how I managed not to get on local television dressed as a giant teddy bear.

December 2nd: Attack of the Christmas Squirrels - a comic story about a prolonged campaign to end early Christmas advertising gets out of hand.
Dec 9th, 16th & 23rd:  The Roial Unstitute Chris-mas Lectures - three comic lectures on impossible or silly subjects.

And, of course, I'll be performing The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby every weekday from Monday, so there's that to look forward to as well.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - there are bonuses and you can get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Live Streaming Hewitt, Dickens and More!

So, I've learnt something new this week.  I hate recording audio.  I hate it.  I'm self conscious, I'm alone, I'm sitting in a room talking to myself, it's shit.
BUT.
I really like recording audio, when it's also streamed live.  I'm focused, yet relaxed.  I'm much, much - better.  And happier.
SO.
I'm going to be live streaming a lot more now.  A lot more now.  Like, every day, in every way, getting better and better.
HUZZAH!
So, almost every day there is going to be a live stream - and I'm doing the live stream specifically to record and sometimes just for the hell of it.

Next week, I'm doing a mammoth record week for the Martin Hewitt series - recording stories 3-7.  Instead of sitting all depressed, reading words to myself, I will be performing it to the internet each day at 2pm and again at 6pm - and you can catch either performance.  These will then be the basis for the later edit and podcast.
The Worlds of Robert Crighton live stream will continue on Saturdays at 2pm - there'll be a mix of stuff I'm trying out and stuff I'm recording and maybe just some old stuff.  Looking to do about 30-45 minutes each week.  This coming Saturday I'm going to repeat my broadcast of The U.N. Special Representative, recording it for later podcast.
And then I'm going back to some projects I've been meaning to do for years - I used to do live readings at Barons Court, and did plan over a Christmas season to do Nicholas Nickleby and / or The Pickwick Papers.  Well, from Monday 23rd October until Christmas Eve (approx), I'll be doing daily performances of Nicholas Nickleby, live online and streaming at 2pm.  There maybe occasional hiccups to this plan - some episodes may not go out live and I am dependent on good broadband that day - but there's now a schedule for the rest of the year.  The podcast schedule will remain a bit random, but the same regular appearances of new work on Tuesdays and for patrons on Wednesdays.

All of these can be heard at the appropriate times on my new outpost - http://mixlr.com/robert-crighton/
If you miss the live show, you should be able to catch them again in some fashion - Nicholas Nickleby will probably go out as per, everything else with edits and changes.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - there are bonuses and you can get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Live Streaming Again

I've been playing around with the possibilities of live streaming over the years - live in studio, with audience, using different platforms.  I'm desperately waiting for facebook live audio to kick in so I can start there - I've been playing with the live video and it's just a sod with my bandwidth.
For the moment I'm going back to live streaming with ustream - there are adverts, but life's a bitch sometimes.  I'm also going to use it to drive my new storytelling.
Instead of doing new work for my patrons on Wednesday, streaming it Saturday and then releasing it again properly to the world on the following Tuesday, I'm going to use the Saturday live streams to try out works in progress.  They'll be full and proper things, just I might want to change it after the live stream and I'll be actively looking for thoughts and comments from the audience.  You.
Then I'll start work on turning that live stream into something for normal podcast release.  It's a process.
So, this week, Saturday at 1pm I'll be streaming the long promised bit of storytelling The U.N. Special Representative.
You can catch the live stream here, this Saturday at 1pm (BST) and there'll be something streamed every Saturday at the same time, unless advertised otherwise.  I will also start scheduling what will be performed prior to each show.
You're probably going to hear versions of other promised shows on the live stream first. We shall see, I may even do some live streamed drama.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - there are bonuses and you can get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Lenton Croft Robberies

Spoilers!  If you haven't read or listened to The Lenton Croft Robberies, please don't read on - listen here and then read on.


SPOILERS BELOW
*
BEWARE
*
SPOILERS BELOW
It's been a while since I did a reading of something not written by myself, and I'd forgotten the joys and the traumas of late Victorian prose style.  My god, the sentences are long.  Long enough to get very lost, as a reader.
Anyone familiar with other detective stories of the period (there's an example of some possibly famous detective that leaps to mind... Shermes Hollocks?) will know the kind of story you're getting.  This is genre fiction, created to order, but that isn't to say it isn't interesting.  It's fascinating.
The Lenton Croft Robberies begins by establishing the character of Martin Hewitt - a nice genial chap, nothing like the brash show off detective we might otherwise know.  I won't go into detail yet, not till we're further into his case load - though his genial manner hides a sharp mind and occasional arrogance.  The first thing he's said, as related to us, is somewhat insulting - though not intended as an insult.
The case itself is more a character study and a careful walk through of evidence.  Sir James Norris, the victim of a series of robberies, is rather a brilliant creation.  At first glance he's a caricature, the bluff English gent.  But I think there's a real rounding to him - he may be made of stereotypical materials, but the thing about stereotypes is that there are a lot of them about.  There's a subtle craft to the character of Sir James Norris - he may be stuffy, a bit misogynist, possible (though I may be stretching here) hints of the homophobic, but it's all totally believable - he lives and breathes as a character.  He's just my kind of creation - likable despite the fact you'd disagree about almost every aspect of his personality.
The other characters, brief though their appearances are, are mostly sharply drawn.  The various women of the story all have a clear brief as to their character - you immediately understand their various intelligence and wit levels in a few moments.
There are a few tropes that are found in other stories of this type.  The possibility of dishonest servants is almost an obsession - it is the default suggestion and fear of a household this size.  There's also the question of the honour of the host in relation to the property of his guest.  Having your own stuff stolen is fine, having your guests property nabbed is horrific.

What, oh what, do we make of a line like this?
It was a comfortable room, but with rather effeminate indications about its contents. Little pieces of draped silk-work hung about the furniture, and Japanese silk fans decorated the mantel-piece. Near the window was a cage containing a gray parrot, and the writing-table was decorated with two vases of flowers.
"Lloyd makes himself pretty comfortable, eh?" Sir James observed.

Do I detect, or am I future struck, code for homosexuality in the effeminate indications of Lloyd's rooms?  The fact that he is the guilty party is suggestive.  Is this similar to codes such as confirmed bachelor?  Answers on a postcard.

The next case will be available to some of my patrons on Wednesday, and later to the rest of the world.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - there are bonuses and you can get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Martin Hewitt Audio - First Case Out Now

Just a short one - today there drops the first Martin Hewitt case from Martin Hewitt, Investigator by Arthur Morrison and as read by yours truly.

Enjoy.



My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - there are bonuses and you can get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Fudging the Dismount - Electric Dreams

I'm starting to think Electric Dreams is getting an unfair beating.  It's still very polarised out there, between those who love and hate it, there isn't that much middle ground.  But that's the internet for you, it's where the middle ground goes to die.  There's all the it's trying to be Black Mirror talk, which is plainly a red herring.  It shares a similar aesthetic feel, but that's because that's the default aesthetic of now - I will write about this in a future blog post, with special reference to 1980's television studio lighting.
That said, Impossible Planet left me feeling some of that internet disappointment.  The ending just didn't work and the outpouring of dismay on Twitter was fairly well justified - it was a really good story and it was changed by the adapter into a less good one.  The adapter went for the addition of a love story, where the couple end up in some kind of group hallucination at the point of death - or is it all really real?  If it were a 1950's B movie the words The End would come up and turn into a big question mark.  It was nowhere near as satisfying dramatically as just leaving her to die alone with her android, and the crew missing that the planet is really Earth all along.  The original story left us with empty lies and missed opportunities.  Much more fun than a suggested have cake and eat it ending.
I've adapted science fiction before, with a stage version of The Time Machine (published script pending) and so I am at risk of being an hypocrite for attacking changes in adaptation.  The writers were encouraged to do so, and with an hour to fill, something else probably needed to be added to the narrative.  Probably.  I'm not convinced that something else could have been done to fill the time, especially when the rest of the world was so convincingly created.  So far the two universes created in the first two episodes have been realised incredibly well - showing us their world with as little telling as possible.
Let's address my hypocrisy for a moment.  As I say, I did an adaptation of The Time Machine for stage this year and it's interesting looking back at my version, because I thought I'd changed quite a lot.  It's a sod to stage because it's set in a world without language - or at least a language that is used.  My version used storytelling and narrative tricks to get inside and outside of the Time Traveller's head to get round this, but in terms of narrative I only made three explicit changes.  1. I reset it in the present/slight future day - but as it was originally set in the then present/slight future day, that seemed fine. I'm sure some people cursed my name.  2. I ditched his excessive use of matches, which was never practical or plausible. A phone with a faded battery filled in for much of the necessary plot actions. 3. I made it so as the Time Traveller possibly never came back from his trip to the future.  Now, there are similarities there to the ending of Impossible Planet, in that there was a hint that the ending wasn't necessarily real.  The difference was that I changed a bleak ending to a bleaker ending.  The Time Traveller was dead, and the story told was just a recording sent back in time, rather than he was somewhere in the future.  The change to Impossible Planet was to take an ending that's bleak and uncompromising and making it... well... a bit mushy.  And a bit mushy isn't really very PKD, which is why a lot of people went - oh, magic sort of happy ending, bleargh.  All that needed to under cut this mush were brief snatches of the two sort of lovers suffocating, turning blue, coughing up dark liquids as their lungs collapsed.  Just fractional cuts - from smiles to horror and back.  Then everyone would have been happy.
The real shame was that, until that final drift of shots, it was a really great episode - silly red killer robot eyes aside.  (I actually rather liked them, but they were silly.)  But anthology / short stories stand and fall by the dismount.  I think Asimov made the point about the short story that they're all about the idea - get in, get out and get out with a punchline.  (I can't find the essay in question at the moment, but it was something like that. Or I've made that up and it's by someone else.)  The previous week The Hood Maker did, to some degree, the opposite.  Teep stories are always a bit of a sod, they don't really have anywhere to go, so any flaws in the narrative were forgiven because it ended on a nice bleak note of chaos.  Whichever way that society was going, it was going via Hell.
And bleak is the operate word here.  We are largely here for the darkness, not the light.  We want the bleak and if you take it away from us without some payoff, we will be annoyed.  And by we I mean me.  There are always obvious problems with complaining about authenticity in adaptation.  How proper are these adaptations.  How much should we take with us when we cross over to a different medium?  My primary complaint, as I've said, is not with the accuracy of the version, just that the new ending just didn't work tonally.
So, two down, and they have been different enough from each other, and generally good enough to make me keep coming back.  I cannot fault the visual style, the scripts have been mostly tight, I am mostly happy.  It's just that landing.
More thoughts will probably come after tonight. #ElectricDreams

Metal Harvest - Script Available Now!

Now in paper form!
Metal Harvest - a storytelling music drama essay show - seriously, I don't know precisely where to place it. But it is, in my humble opinion, rather good. The audio version is available to listen to now - for free - but there is now a script version, should you wish to produce it yourself. Or would like to read the marvellous words. All the proceeds from sales go directly to my producing... more work.

To buy Metal Harvest, just click here. And then do all the other stuff. Like pay.
Metal Harvest
Written & performed by Robert Crighton
With Richard Fawcett

“This is the story of a shell...” Throughout the First World War the armaments created passed through many hands – from those in the mines and factories who made them, to those who transported the boxes and those who fired the guns.  This is the story of one shell, the story of those who touched it and whose lives were changed by it.  Told in words, music, image and song, Metal Harvest is the latest work from award-winning theatre producer Robert Crighton, made in collaboration with musician Richard Fawcett.



My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - there are bonuses and you can get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Thinking In Sound, Not Space

I've been making theatre for nearly twenty years. I got quite good at it.  Still lots I want to do, still much to learn, but, by and large, I know what makes theatre tick.  It is a known thing.
I think in theatre.  I think in terms of space and entrances, in light and movement, sound and text.  My move to audio has taken about four years, and has taken this long partly because I still think in theatre.  I've been adapting my stage works, creating things that live somewhere between the theatre and audio universe.  Comedy was good for that.  A live audience for recording, I could do that.
But now I'm, by and large, no longer making theatre.  Theatre is the great love of my life, but it's slightly killing me.  Theatre has rarely loved me back.  Now that I've made that decision to stop actively making theatre (I expect I'll do one proper show a year, plus any live audio recordings I need for the podcast) I'm starting to think ahead, thinking about projects and how they work in this medium.  And I do mean thinking.  Actively sitting and thinking about sound, noises, shapes, waveforms, text, Foley, music, not music, soundscape - the range of possible universes that audio wants.  Can I do something exciting and new and different?  I'm learning to think in terms of sound, not space - which is ironic, as a do want to write a sci-fi series set partly in space.
At the moment I'm doing new versions of old projects and well as readings of other peoples stories - this is partly because it's fun, but also to buy me some thinking time.  And a little time to look at the competition - to see what I like and what I don't.  I already know radio, I've been listening to the BBC all my life, but the new wave of podcasts is a different world.  A wild west of invention and also cliche.  I'm hearing a lot of very similar work, similar quirks of sound, similar design.  Partly this is because these podcasts are of a theme - horror, science fiction, comedy - and that's what they do.  And many do it well.  But my podcast platform is not that.  It's different each week (most weeks), it's shaped around how I think, which is to never do the same thing twice, where possible.  I suspect this is probably why I never make any money.  But what can you do?  This is who I am. 
And I'm happy.  I can create different worlds, no questions asked, no marketing policy, no issues, no drama (beyond the drama I create) - and move on if it doesn't work.  And move on even if it does.
Audio, so far, hasn't tried to kill me.  We shall see.
Visit 'The Worlds of Robert Crighton' by searching it in itunes or whatever podcast app you use - or subscribe by visiting... here.


My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - you get to listen to my new work before anyone else.  It's like audible, just cheaper and with no control over the content of your next listen. But you can download and keep my work forever.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

September Audio Round Up

This month from The Worlds of Robert Crighton I've created for you, all this audio.

The Shakespeare Delusion

The Wheel of Shame 

Metal Harvest


& for my patrons
Martin Hewitt, Investigator - The Lenton Croft Robberies by Arthur Morrison
Which will be released online soon.

Four new audio podcasts all for the fantastic price of nothing.  Of course, this could not happen without the support of my patrons - my silent backers and those who use patreon.  Starting at just $1 a month, or less if you have a sympathetic exchange ratio, there are a whole host of rewards for your support.  From getting all these audios in a first release before everyone else, getting the audio to download and keep for all time, plus there will be bonus free audio coming soon as well.
Go on, become a patron - the more you give, the more diverse my creations will become.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - you get to listen to my new work before anyone else.  It's like audible, just cheaper and with no control over the content of your next listen. But you can download and keep my work forever.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Metal Harvest - New Audio Drops Today!

“This is the story of a shell...” 
The wait is over, one of my favourite works has now landed and everyone can listen.  Enjoy!
Next week: Martin Hewitt, Investigator by Arthur Morrison - the first of seven Victorian detective stories (complete release schedule tba).


Metal Harvest
Written & performed by Robert Crighton
With Music by Richard Fawcett

“This is the story of a shell...” Throughout the First World War the armaments created passed through many hands – from those in the mines and factories who made them, to those who transported the boxes and those who fired the guns.  This is the story of one shell, the story of those who touched it and whose lives were changed by it.  Told in words, music, image and song, Metal Harvest is the latest work from award-winning theatre producer Robert Crighton, made in collaboration with musician Richard Fawcett.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - you get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Sunday, 24 September 2017

More Electric Dreams

It's been a week since my last post about the Channel Four series Electric Dreams and I've thought a bit more about that whole anthology series thing and how they are received.  Electric Dreams seemed to get a rough ride last week - my damning praise of the opening credits aside - and that brings us back to Out of the Unknown.
I mentioned Out of the Unknown last week, a science fiction anthology series from the 1960's on BBC 2.  What survives, because often little survives, are clusters of episodes from the four series - including their choice of an episode one.  With the nature of filming schedules, the turn around of episodes and the general timing of things, their choice of the first episode was more constrained than maybe Electric Dreams was.  Far fewer episodes were complete prior to transmission, so the choice was more predetermined, in theory.  There was some disagreement about which episode should lead the series.  But, to some degree, a dud was less their fault, more that of their schedule.
And Out of the Unknown chose a bit of a dud.  No Place Like Earth based on the John Wyndham story isn't great.  I have a fondness for most episodes, barring the final series which is pretty vile, but even I can't help but smile at the first episode and say... bless.  The story is very out of date, even for the time, the production is a bit creaky and the script... often not the best.  But there were Martian space dogs (actual dogs with extra furry costumes - one for the RSPCA) so it wasn't all bad.
Out of the Unknown grew to be a well respected series - a bit too adult and serious to be properly mainstream, but well liked.  The first episode, however, was gently savaged.
The reason I ramble on about this is because Electric Dreams got a rather mixed response to its first episode.  On twitter the reactions veered from hate to love and back again.  The papers were largely... snooty I think is the best word.  Not enough like Black Mirror, not quite up to date enough, too much money spent making it look grim etc.  I thought it had a lot going for it, but I can't say it set my world on fire - why else would I write a blog about the opening credits?
My questions prior to watching the next episode tonight are:
Was The Hoodmaker indicative of the quality of the whole series or is this first episode a one off?
Will the rest of the series be written off, or will the modern fast moving world allow it time to grow?
Was Twitter right, and it's both terrible and amazing at the same time?

We'll have some clues shortly, as, with the anthology series, you're only ever as good as your next episode.

Martin Hewitt, Investigator

Many years ago I did readings of the complete canon of Sherlock Holmes - the whole lot - as a series of readings during the last proper winter we had in the UK.  It didn't stop snowing during the run, and it hasn't really snowed since, so I can only conclude that climate change is connected with incidence of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Or massive amounts of industrial pollution.  One of the two.
Anyway, I've not done anything similar since, but I've had a hankering to do more - though not Mr Holmes as he's a trademark and I refuse to pay money for work that is in the public domain.
That meant looking for a similarly dead, suitably dead, author - and Arthur Morrison sprung up before me.  Of the same sort of time and similar genre, he created two rather good detective characters, Martin Hewitt and Dorrington.  I would rather have started with Dorrington, a wonderfully psychopathic creation, but the narrator is Australian and that's a little beyond me at present.  I've put him to one side for a while and I think I might do a full cast audio adaptation of his stories later instead.  Suggestions on a postcard.  Martin Hewitt is much more suited to what I need at the moment, a good set of stories for performance that I can get cracking on straight away.  I intend to blog about each story as I release them, as there are lots of interesting things that emerge from this late Victorian world - little questions and quirks of language and phrasing that tickle my curiosity bone.
If you're a patron then you'll get the first story from Martin Hewitt, Investigator on Wednesday (if not, you'll have to wait, but it's easy to sign up for here).  It's called The Lenton Croft Robberies and features the mysterious appearance of burnt matches.  I've already recorded the second mystery, but I don't know when I will release that quite yet.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - you get to listen to my new work before anyone else.  It's like audible, just cheaper and with no control over the content of your next listen. But you can download and keep my work forever.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Wheel of Shame - Available Now!

The Wheel of Shame has dropped this morning - listen to it now for free in the player below. Enjoy!

Of course my patrons have had it for a week now, and as a download that can be kept.
Which is another way of saying, become a patron - it's great.  For only $1 a month (and that's my ideal, preferred amount) you'll get a new audio every week, to download and keep, before everyone else - and there will be special bonus audio drops every month or so.  If I didn't have the support of my patrons, visible and invisible (i.e. those who use the patreon site and those who don't - I don't mean magical creatures), then I wouldn't be able to share my work with the rest of the world.  Do give it a look.

This week: The Wheel of Shame or, The Noises of the Hamster in the Night-time
Classic comic ghost story for everyone who's ever brutally murdered their hamster as a child.  Out now.  For those who listen to audio via a video platform, here's the same on YouTube.


Next week (or tomorrow, if you're a patron!):  Metal Harvest - a reimagined version of the stage show, mixing live and studio recordings for the podcast.

Metal Harvest
Written & performed by Robert Crighton
With Music by Richard Fawcett

“This is the story of a shell...” Throughout the First World War the armaments created passed through many hands – from those in the mines and factories who made them, to those who transported the boxes and those who fired the guns.  This is the story of one shell, the story of those who touched it and whose lives were changed by it.  Told in words, music, image and song, Metal Harvest is the latest work from award-winning theatre producer Robert Crighton, made in collaboration with musician Richard Fawcett.  

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - you get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Monday, 18 September 2017

Question or Nominate

Nominate us - go on! Please, please, please...
If you could, take a moment to nominate an audio play I'm rather pleased with - it's a solo play The Project After and features two great performers, but we're hoping for a general production nomination.  Below are the details - it takes literally thirty seconds if you're a fast typer. Obviously, I wouldn't want you to nominate something without listening to it first, so here it is in the player below.  If you like it then follow the instructions underneath.  Any questions, tweet me @RobertCrighton


How to nominate us...
1. Go to - www.audioverseawards.net/site/nominate
2. Enter your name/details
3. Enter nomination for PRODUCTION
4. Click next
5. Add the show name - The Project After
6. Put in the full link - https://audioboom.com/posts/6144050-the-project-after-by-robert-crighton
7. Submit for one lonely episode
8. That it's over twenty minutes
9. That there are no more than 6 actors
10. That it's a Drama
11. And that, Yes, it's new


Sunday, 17 September 2017

Do Opening Credits Have Electric Dreams?

Visually I thought the first episode of Electric Dreams (Channel Four) was excellent - not so much because the aesthetic was particularly original* (hints of Blade Runner with a fair dash of High Rise etc) but because the visual world told the background to the story.  Yes, there were the odd clunky lines about violence in the city kicking off sometime, but that happens when you're cramming so much information into a one off.  But they didn't need to say much more than the detail that was vital to the plot - the background of the world, the green rain, the general decay etc was a complete world and didn't need more words.  Good on them.
Money was spent, money was well spent, intelligently spent.
Until we come to the opening credits.
Money was spent.  But it's a bit of a mess.
But.
I don't think it was ever going to be any other way, because this is an anthology series and anthology series have weird, largely unsatisfactory, opening credits - and so Electric Dreams is part of a long and noble tradition.
Take some of the earliest science fiction anthology series - Out of this World (ITV) and Out of the Unknown (BBC).  Credits were montages of science shots, faces looking strained, falling bodies, anything that looked odd - mixed together into a weird mush.  Electric Dreams had more to go on in terms of theme, so there was some unity to the images picked, but it might as well have been a deliberate homage to these earlier shows.  It probably wasn't, but it didn't half look it to me.  Except that the earlier shows (and there are countless other examples from other genres - Scorpion Tales is my personal favourite) were working on no money and spliced film, and so retain some inventive charm, the montages of Electric Dreams just bounce off one as another not quite good enough CGI blob.
I understand it's difficult to create a good credit sequence for a show that is different every week.  The best solution is the Inside No.9 or Black Mirror route - a brief ident, a sting, cut.  But I can bet the makers of Electric Dreams didn't want to look like they were influenced by Black Mirror at all.  Especially as they would argue, strongly, that Black Mirror was more influenced by PKD than the other way round.
One day I will write the definite guide to the art of the credits sequence in British science fiction - there will be an entire chapter on the effective use of tympani in theme tunes - but till then, let this serve as an introduction.

*As if being original really matter, execution people!

Metal Harvest in the Edit

This weekend has been all about the edit of Metal Harvest.  That isn't quite true, I've done some other stuff - recorded some audio for the Martin Hewitt, Investigator releases/watched season two of The Expanse/drank some coffee/wrote an outline for a new possible sci-fi show - but Metal Harvest is the main thing.  I've got audio from the live show, I've got a studio record and a mix for the music.  I've so far done a rough cut of the first third of the show.  By the time the day is over the rough edit should be done, the foley and re-records (for some reason I said entirely the wrong word in the first record - doh!) will be in the can, and tomorrow I can do the finishing touches and the mix.
Metal Harvest isn't perfect as audio - I have got video recordings of the show, but that edit will be a long time in coming - but it should still be rather good.  It lived naturally on stage, but there is a lot of cross over.  It was originally slated for production in 2014, when I pitched the idea to a musician friend Richard Fawcett.  In the end we had a good six months to work on it on and off, premiering it in 2015 - and I have to say it came out well.  Well enough to take it out again in 2016, which is when we recorded the live show.
This version will mix the best of the live show, with the moments that are best from the studio.  It'll be out to my patrons via patreon on Tuesday, will get a lo-fi stream on Saturday, and be released generally a week Wednesday.  To get the download and keep version, become a patron - it's easy to do and really makes a difference.  I can't create this work without your support - and every little helps.

Richard Fawcett & me, during my favourite part of the show
Metal Harvest
Written & performed by Robert Crighton
With Music by Richard Fawcett

“This is the story of a shell...” Throughout the First World War the armaments created passed through many hands – from those in the mines and factories who made them, to those who transported the boxes and those who fired the guns.  This is the story of one shell, the story of those who touched it and whose lives were changed by it.  Told in words, music, image and song, Metal Harvest is the latest work from award-winning theatre producer Robert Crighton, made in collaboration with musician Richard Fawcett.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - you get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Saturday, 16 September 2017

What I've Been Training For - Possibly

Some people spend their lives training to be fighter pilots, to be doctors or to do other such useful things.  In theory I've spent my life training to be a writer and performer, which I have, to some degree.  I've mostly produced theatre, and I've mostly done quite well.
But I suspect this is not what I've actually spent my life training to do.  I suspect my life has been heading in one direction since I was a child.  Yes, I have finally decided to embrace my destiny.
I'm going to write and produce a science fiction series.  It was inevitable.
Now, I'd love to say I've been handed a budget and a platform to do this, but I haven't.  It'll be on my own time and will, one day, be a podcast.  But it will happen.  Because I was born this way.
I first started my training in science fiction as a child.  I worked my way through all the basic courses - Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars etc. - the low hanging fruit, sci-fi, rather than SF.  I took intermediate courses in SF with the classics - HG Wells, Asimov, Clarke etc. - and second module work on the television sci-fi of higher plains.  I took special courses in the radio dramas, the comedy, the odd.  I still have a lot of catching up to do with modern SF, but, hey, it's a journey, we all take different paths.
I served my apprenticeship in various theatre works, half and half sci-fi shows that hid their colours within other genres.  Theatre and science fiction are slightly uneasy bedfellows.  I was fairly pleased with my version of The Time Machine, but it wasn't without issues.
But now I'm working in audio, full time, and the reasons not to do science fiction disappear.  I want to write something that touches on the influences that matter to me.  Journey into Space, Hitchhikers Guide, Earthsearch, The Foundation Trilogy - all BBC, all radio.  All made a fair while ago now.
So, I made the first step.  I've started my project.  It's stupidly complex, and long.  Actually, I have no idea if there is an end point.  I'm universe building, and it's fun.
And, because good titles can be lost from under you before production begins, I'll declare the title now - even though this show won't happen for a while.

Welcome to The Overnight Empire.

Friday, 15 September 2017

What is 'The Worlds of Robert Crighton' and where can I get one?


What is 'The Worlds of Robert Crighton' and where can I get one?
I'm glad you asked that question.  Many people do.  (At least in my head.  I like the things my head says, so much nicer than the things other heads say.  Though I did get a nice comment below the line on something I posted this morning, which is rare.  Recently I've mostly had either silence or untranslatable nonsense that could be an insult against me, my mother... or canals.)

'The Worlds of Robert Crighton' is my podcasting umbrella title - now that I've moved away from full time theatre production I'm producing new audio every week.  Yes, you read correctly, every week.  Not all of it will be my new work, some of it will be readings of classic texts, and the odd random thing, but it will be stuff that interests me, stuff that orbits the sun of my enormous ego.
I think this simile is running away from me.
The point is that there's a lot of new audio coming your way.  Some of the planned projects were announced earlier in the year, many of them have come to fruition, some will take longer than originally planned - and there's a whole host of new stuff coming your way.
To get this material, you can subscribe to 'The Worlds of Robert Crighton' via any good podcast outlet/app/thing (just type it into the search engine) or you can go to my Audioboom page, my website or my YouTube channel (even though it's audio, some people like audio on video, don't ask).
But - if you do it that way then you can only stream the material.  If you become a patron then, not only do you help pay for all this content (ensuring it continues to happen) but you get if earlier than the rest of the universe and you get access to a downloadable and keepable copy of the podcast.  And that's just for those who give $1 a month, give more and there are more returns for your money.  All you need to do is go to my patreon page and become a patron - it's easy and it makes a huge difference to my work.

Here's my planned weekly 'broadcast' timetable: It will get disrupted as we go along, but that's the basic pattern of activity.
Wednesday - New podcast released to patrons on Patreon
Saturday at 1pm - The podcast 'live' streamed online via Facebook Live (I'm currently using the Live Video app, it's not perfect, I'm waiting for the Live Audio app - one day!)
Tuesday - Podcast then released to general internet platforms
REPEAT

So, what's coming up?
This Week: Saturday live stream of the audio that's already dropped for my patrons - The Wheel of Shame or, the Noises of the Hamster in the Night-time - a storytelling piece that I've been performing for about six years now, a comic ghost story featuring Molly, who appeared in the story Bink!
Next Week: Metal Harvest - based on my stage show, a mix of live and studio recording, featuring the music of Richard Fawcett.  The story of a shell from the First World War, from manufacture to detonation and beyond.
The Weeks Beyond: Martin Hewitt, Investigator by Arthur Morrison.  These are detective mysteries from a contemporary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - seven readings of this first collection of mysteries.  I may not release one every week, I may break them up with some new material, but I don't know yet.


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Wheel of Shame - Patron drop

This week the new audio is The Wheel of Shame, a story I created about six years ago.  It premiered during an evening of comic ghost stories and it has done good serve as a live event.  It now lives on in audio and can be listened to, downloaded and kept, by my patrons, now.  One day early too!  But for everyone else, you'll have to wait until the end of the week, and then only to stream.
Which is another way of saying, become a patron - it's great.  For only $1 a month (and that's my ideal, preferred amount) you'll get a new audio every week, to download and keep, before everyone else.  If I didn't have the support of my patrons, visible and invisible (i.e. those who use the patreon site and those who don't - I don't mean magical creatures), then I wouldn't be able to share my work with the rest of the world.  Do give it a look.
This week: The Wheel of Shame or, The Noises of the Hamster in the Night-time
Classic comic ghost story for everyone who's ever brutally murdered their hamster as a child.  Out now.

Next week:  Metal Harvest - a reimagined version of the stage show, mixing live and studio recordings for the podcast.

Metal Harvest
Written & performed by Robert Crighton
With Music by Richard Fawcett

“This is the story of a shell...” Throughout the First World War the armaments created passed through many hands – from those in the mines and factories who made them, to those who transported the boxes and those who fired the guns.  This is the story of one shell, the story of those who touched it and whose lives were changed by it.  Told in words, music, image and song, Metal Harvest is the latest work from award-winning theatre producer Robert Crighton, made in collaboration with musician Richard Fawcett.  


My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - you get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to my mailing list

* indicates required

Saturday, 9 September 2017

New Audio - The Shakespeare Delusion

New Audio drops today - The Shakespeare Delusion - a reimagining of my stage play for audio.  You can listen to it below, or you can search for The Worlds of Robert Crighton in your podcast provider, where all my audio lives.
Happy Saturday.



The Shakespeare Delusion
Written and performed by Robert Crighton
Professor Ashborn invites you to share in his latest discoveries and lead you through the terrible secrets behind the man people call Shakespeare.  Did he really write the plays?  Was he really bald?  Did he really like cheese?  Using recently uncovered documentation Professor Ashborn can finally tell the true and completely true, truly true, utterly true, true, true story of the truth behind the Shakespeare delusion! 

Audience Comments for The Shakespeare Delusion (2014):  “Fabulous production... Just recovering from high octane performance of @RobertCrighton The Shakespeare Delusion #immense...  I SO knew where The Shakespeare Delusion was going - & I was SO wrong!!! Chekhov meets Berkoff as  performed by Stephen Fry.”

Next Up: The Wheel of Shame or, The Noises of the Hamster in the Night-time
Classic comic ghost story for everyone who's ever brutally murdered their hamster as a child.  Should drop sometime on Thursday.

My work couldn't happen without the support of my patrons - if you think you could contribute to the work I create, go to www.patreon.com/robertcrighton and see if you can help - you get to listen to my new work before anyone else.
Also, as there's a lot being planned at the moment, if you want to keep up to speed, why not join my mailing list.  I know, so last century. 

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The Project After - New Audio Version

I've finally finished editing and producing the last audio version of Fantasy Terrorist plays, The Project After.  The previous two plays were online the other year, but the last has taken longer, partly because I wanted to get the original cast together, but also because there was another version online and that took any sense of urgency out of the equation.
I am now working on creating a whole new sequence of works that will play around the world of the War on Terror, so finishing this trilogy seemed important.  Each play can be listened to separately, or together, they exist on their own, but there are little links between each.  Ideally start with Fantasy Terrorist League, then Keynote Speaker and then The Project After acts as a little coda.
Thanks to the original cast, Keith Hill and Simon Nader, for recording this on location one very windy day this spring.

The Project After by Robert Crighton
With Keith Hill as Mark and Simon Nader as Art

Fantasy Terrorist League - written and performed by Robert Crighton


Keynote Speaker - written by Robert Crighton
With Simon Nader as Sir John Spencer


The Project After - by Robert Crighton
Alternative version by Frequency Theatre (External Link) - http://www.frequencytheatre.co.uk/play/the-project-after/

A Little Learning - by Robert Crighton

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Final Summoning

It's been nearly five years in the making, but at last I'm bringing my much acclaimed version of The Summoning of Everyman to London.  I had a go with a one off a few years ago, but it didn't come off.  This time I'm doing a short run and I've got a new bonus feature for the show - after Everyman, and a short interval, we're doing a reconstruction of a lost play Dux Moraud.  Or Duke Moraud - another morality play, but one that is somewhat more... insane.  Or it will be by the time we finish with it.  The Duke will be played by my good friend Mr Simon Nader, whilst I will fill in the gaps of the rest of the story.  It's going to be a great show.  More details to follow soon...

Milk Bottle Productions Presents...
The Summoning of Everyman
Adapted and performed by Robert Crighton with Simon Nader

Everyman has been summoned by Death to meet his maker - and he doesn't want to go.  This interactive performance brings his struggle directly to the audience, asking them to become part of the story, to stand in the footsteps of Fellowship, Good Deeds and even Death himself.  Will you help Everyman make his peace?
Previous audiences have said of the show:  “A one man tour de force... gripped from start to finish... a mix of pathos and humour all done with a light touch... a real privilege and honour being there... having volunteered, with no acting experience whatsoever, was guided expertly throughout by Robert... an hour very well spent...  I’ve come to see it again!  What more do I need to say?  In awe of the intensity!”

The Bread and Roses Theatre, Clapham
Tuesday 8th to Saturday 12th August at 7.30pm
Tickets available here - www.breadandrosestheatre.co.uk/everyman