Exciting new audio drama FOLKLORE premieres online and on Swindon 105.5 on Boxing Day

By Jamie Hill - 24 December 2020

Arts and Culture

When Tamsin Wheatley receives a series of mysterious cassette tapes from her late University Professor, Henry Kneale, she finds herself drawn into a world of ghosts, demons, standing stones, and terrifying black dogs.

These tapes, from the 1980s, contain interviews, field notes, and train-of-thought recordings from Kneale’s investigations into the myths and legends of Wiltshire and beyond.

Tamsin has now embarked on a quest to uncover the truth behind these mysteries, questioning her own beliefs and knowledge along the way.

Join her on Boxing Day for Episode 1, premiering at 7pm on Swindon 105.5 and then online at various streaming platforms after, including Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify.

The show will be repeated on 105.5 during Literary Speaking on Sunday at 4pm. New episodes air online every other Saturday.

Theatre of the Air

How did this amazing story come about?

At the beginning of the first lockdown, community and educational arts company, Digital Writes, realised there were a lot of local theatre practitioners who were suddenly unable to work or practice their craft in any way. So they applied to Arts Council England for one of their Covid Emergency Response Grants, and set up this project to bring local writers and actors together and enable them to discover a new way of telling dramatic stories.

Actor Rebecca Harrison said: “Being involved in this project with Digital Writes has made a huge difference to my life as a newly blind woman. It has given me focus, the inspiration to be creative and has allowed me to be more engaged with the community, to feel part of something special and unique. Being disabled can be really isolating but everyone has made me feel so welcome and valued.”

Keith Phillips, one of Digital Writes’ founders, said: “We’ve been through something of a renaissance at Digital Writes. At the start of lockdown, it was looking like that was it for us, but the Covid Emergency Response Grant from the Arts Council has meant we are now more resilient than ever, with a continually growing community of writers, artists and performers of all ages that it has been immensely rewarding to work with.”

After being awarded the Arts Council grant, Digital Writes was able to offer employment to Alex Secker, a Creative Media Practitioner and editor of the project. Alex said: “This has been amazing for me, being able to earn a living for me and my family, doing the work I love.”

Swindon 105.5

Keira C Georgeson, Creative Producer added: “We’re thrilled to be working with Shirley Ludford at Swindon Radio 105.5. This is an amazing opportunity to get our participant’s work properly aired on the radio and to give many of them their first broadcast credit. Shirley has been a fantastic supporter of the project, providing a wealth of experience and advice that is helping us to lift the project to new heights. We love that she is an ardent supporter of the arts and drama on the radio, and seems to be having as much fun with this project as we are.”

One of the actors on the project, Dee Thompson, acting coach at the Pauline Quirke Academy in Swindon said: “It’s wonderful to be able to be artistic again in these strange times, when opportunities have been so limited. And to be able to tell intriguing stories that originate from close to home means so much more. And to be telling these stories in this original format is inspiring and exciting.”

Local actor and project participant, Karen Payne said: “It’s so refreshing as an actor to work with such amazing local talent and also to be able to be so involved in the development of the project.”

The producers are also on the lookout for interesting stories, spooky encounters, and personal experiences that people may like to have featured on Bonus Episodes of the show. If you have your own tale you would like to share, please do so by contacting Tamsin Wheatley on tamsin@folklorepod.co.uk

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