Theatre from the comfort of your own living room is delivered in the most wonderful and atmospheric style in The Tale of the Winter Sun from Fowk Productions. The show is described as ‘a magical audio adventure story suitable for all ages, influenced by winter folktales from around the world and adapted with a new modern moral’. This is an ambitious premise, tying a multitude of tales to one mast, but the production blends and intertwines narratives beautifully, to create a layered and satisfying result.
When the sun disappears from a town called Prosper, the townsfolk descend into panic. Enter the plucky and brave Cei, a young girl who volunteers to go on an adventure over the wall and far, far away to find the sun and bring it back. Along the way, she meets an array of magical talking animals, each of whom teaches her something about the importance of rest and provides a gift for helping make it through a long winter.
It’s incredibly timely content, given the long pandemic winter we’re all experiencing, and although it is a little on the long side for younger ears (1.5 hours) without accompanying visuals, it’s an excellent listen – and perfect for a cozy night in.
There’s something ASMR-esque about this exquisitely crafted tale. The background noises are intelligently curated and calming, and there’s a wonderfully paced tone to it. Occasionally, the musical interjections, while tuneful and enjoyable, do get a little loud compared to the narrative, and the spell is broken somewhat as you’re required to lean over and adjust the volume. But it’s overwhelmingly charming and lovely.
The voice artistry in this performance is excellent. Lawrence Neale as the Narrator, Michelle Bayly as Cei, and Liam Scarth as both The Bear and The Sun are particular joys, but everyone brings a unique life and distinctiveness to each of their characters.
It’s family friendly, and incredibly wholesome. There are life lessons shared here which can benefit listeners of all ages, along with some very touching moments.
This production was created by actors who have lost work during lockdown, and is done on a voluntary basis, with each actor recording their portion at home. The show is free to enjoy, but you can make a contribution to the cast by buying them a coffee or a donation in form of a theatre ticket here www.ko-fi.com/fowktales.
Created by: Liam Scarth and Michelle Bayly
Produced by: Fowk
Edited by: Liam Scarth
Music by: Matthew Nicholson, Liam Scarth and Michelle Bayly
Video Edit by: Michelle Bayly
The Tale of The Winter Sun is available for free on either YouTube or Spotify via the below links.