A horror podcast series from creator & writer Graham Tugwell
018: Those Were My Husband’s Eggs
Because he loved you. That’s why.
017: Those Are For Your Daddy’s Work
You’re curious. Who wouldn’t be? Tonight, you’ll find out.
The band strikes up. The host beckons. The lights are searing. Something stirs.
DBTR Christmas Special – ‘Lost Hearts’ by M.R. James
Down Below The Reservoir in collaboration with Words To That Effect present a very special Christmas treat – ‘Lost Hearts’ by the esteemed M.R. James, followed by WTTE’s exploration of the traditional Christmas horror story. Check out Season One of Words To That Effect at wttepodcast.com and watch out for Season Two, coming in February! […]
015: Romancing The Crab
Oh Jesus. It’s going to happen.
014: Francie And Dennis Are In Tonight
They can help. And all it would take is a little offering. A little sacrifice. You want to know, don’t you?
Customer ReviewsSee All
Well written , smart ... recommended .
Not my usual thing at all but this is great. Great stories with similarities to Stephen King and in nice bite-sized pieces. Highly recommended.
To open with full disclosure: I have been friends with Graham Tugwell, the mastermind of this podcast, for longer than is healthy for either of us; too long, anyway, to offer an entirely disinterested review. I know him to be a five-star writer, performer and overall gent, and so am inclined automatically to consider a podcast by him a five-star affair also.
But what can I write in favour of this specific project?
There’s much to be said for the care with which these stories, originally prose designed for on-the-page reading, have been reworked according to the requirements of a multi-performer radio play. The role of the narrator – the strong and shifty voice of the prose – has been both complicated and stripped back to create the appropriate additional room for characters’ voices, for silences, for sound effects (used subtly except where otherwise required, and always deployed with sensitivity to the narrative rhythm); listeners can expect cleverly dramatised storytelling rather than an audiobook. (Not that there’s anything wrong with audiobooks.)
Tugwell’s fellow cast members – Sarah Maria Griffin, Dave Rudden and Deirdre Sullivan, three significant young Irish writers whose commitment of time and energy to the podcast both speaks for and enhances the overall brilliance – impressively match the stories’ tonal range, adapting line-by-line to Cronenbergian body horror, bitterly tongue-in-cheek comedy Oirishness, creeping pagan dread and the bathetic quotidian with much skill. All this while the smart production gives a wonderful sense of duration and distance, of perspectives shifting, clocks stopping, and walls closing or falling in.
The theme song sounds a bit like Tom Waits without seeming to invite legal challenge; the grandmother’s vocal patterns in the first episode evoke ‘Reality Asylum’ by Crass, which was an odd and welcome surprise.
It’s slick enough to sound professional and trustworthy, yet raw enough to be dangerous. If it weren’t so unsettling it’d be silly. If it weren’t so funny it’d be depressing. It’s like Nightvale but it isn’t. It’s like The League of Gentlemen and Lovecraft and The Twilight Zone and Shirley Jackson and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and Neil Gaiman and Dave Allen and Ted Hughes’s Crow and atmospheric black metal but it isn’t.
Does this sound messy? It shouldn’t. It doesn’t. Listen.