The Graveyard Slot, a 'live radio show', attempts to throw its audience back to the days of must-listen wireless drama with a story of death, deception, spectres, spirits and all things ghoulish.
The six actresses, accompanied by an onstage pianist, use their impressive vocal ranges to portray multiple characters each and bring to life a mystery that entangles the audience and reeks of the narratives of Edgar Allen Poe, enacted within the context of old-fashioned live radio recordings. However, an underwhelming commitment to the form means that The Graveyard Slot should probably be left tapping at your chamber door.
Very much akin to the superb Fitzrovia Radio Hour, whose premise is almost identical and whose show adds to the 50s throwback effect with ingenious physical sound effects and hilariously caddish script writing, Hecate Theatre Co. appear to have leaned rather more unimaginatively on the premise and have failed to further develop it. This lack of experimentation leads to a 45-minute show of people reading off scripts in clipped, plucky Brit accents and, sadly, not much else. Furthermore, instead of fully mining the comedy potential of sound effect creation, the group regularly resort to vocals for the scene setting aural aspects – from obvious ones such as the troubling wind to cringeworthy ones such as a doorbell. Despite their best intentions, Michael Winslow these girls are not.
Their performances are admirable, full of gusto and verve, and their character portrayals are varied yet consistent and effective. Even when two characters both played by the same actress converse the differences are obvious without being wacky and the group's sending-up of the stock characters of 1950s radio are well-observed and reasonably funny. Be that as it may, they can't much help this underdeveloped, tried-and-tested show format to become any more than a mildly-amusing audio exercise.