It is the oddest way to listen to radio. I don’t remember the last time I’ve sat in a darkened room with fifty-odd other people staring at the grey outlines of the cast who feature in the radio drama I’m listening to. It’s the anti-thesis to the variety of different ways we all consume radio whether its listening while ironing (director Dirk Maggs and actor Natalie Dormer’s preferred method), listening in the car (writer Neil Gaiman later explained that the acid-test for any good radio drama was whether it prompted the listener to remain in the car with the engine running until the end of the episode) or listening while we cook. Such events as this morning’s press launch turn radio into something approaching a cinema premiere. A buzz emerges from the audience: people applaud at gracious introductions, laugh heartily when treasured actors like Bernard Cribbins crack a joke or hang off the words of the heroes sat in front of them. It’s all .. very pleasant really, a bit of an indulgence and most important all, elevates the previously unfamiliar into something un-missable.
I am so excited about this.