Drama Project Blog

It’s been a long road for the Unscene Suffolk drama group to get to this point, but after a year of hard work we were finally able to share our audio drama, The Mystery of Syleham Manor, written for us by the brilliant Pat Whymark, with an online audience last week. We finally decided to use the website Eventbrite, which is an event management and ticketing website, to host our event. The tickets were made to be Pay What You Can and all donations received will be used to help Unscene Suffolk run more workshops for visually impaired adults in the future.

Once the event was set up and ‘on sale’ it was down to Director Caroline and Workshop Assistant Rebecca to advertise and spread the word. After many (many!) emails, phone calls, tweets and Facebook posts later, The Mystery of Syleham Manor was featured in local and national news outlets. These included interviews with cast members and director on Felixstowe Radio, BBC Radio Suffolk and RNIB Connect Radio. Not to mention local newspapers and we were even featured on ACB Radio which is America’s Council for the Blind! Having an audio drama meant we were able to reach out further than ever before. On the night of the launch we had audience members attend from as far away as Manchester, UK and Maine, USA!

As the launch date loomed closer, we were highly anticipating the arrival of the mastered version of the play and after weeks of hard work putting it all together Amy, our sound recorder and editor, delivered the final edit. Bearing in mind no one involved had any experience of facilitating an online event, the learning curve had to happen quickly! With only days to go until launch, and with ticket sales continuing to grow, Caroline and Rebecca were able to facilitate a couple of test runs of the event on Zoom. After a couple of tweaks and late nights, and brilliant support from our own IT guru Clare Burman, we were good to go and just hoped that on the night technology wouldn’t let us down.

On Friday 9th July at 7:30pm, Unscene Suffolk took to the airwaves and shared our audio drama The Mystery of Syleham Manor. The launch event on Zoom began with a short introduction from members Wayne Witney and Julie Bennet, who talked about the process of rehearsals over Zoom and the consequent recording days in June.

The cast, along with audience members, then got to listen to The Mystery of Syleham Manor for the first time. I may be biased, but it was wonderful. The play was professional and engaging from start to finish. Feedback has been that audience members were transported to Syleham Manor – which is exactly what you want an audio play to do.

Once the final credits finished, the audience applauded. A Question and Answer session followed and the cast talked about being part of the production. It was nice to hear how each person had viewed the experience. The overriding feeling being that, although the rehearsals and recording were challenging, everyone enjoyed it and got to learn new skills that we hope will be carried over to our live performances in the not so distant future.

We will be sharing the audio play with people soon. Updates on how to access it will be given in our newsletter. To sign up to our newsletter please CLICK HERE

Image shows the cast and guide dogs outside recording venue The Hold and all raising their hands in the air in celebration.

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