Thursday, 4 February 2021

REVIEW: On Record for the Living Record Festival Online

As part of the Living Record Festival, Cameron Essam and Ella Dorman-Gajic bring us ‘On Record’ a new audio thriller. 

Behind the scenes of a radio show the cast and crew take a break on recording. We overhear conversations with actor Naomi, who plays Mona, and a male director who sounds menacing from the get go. It is obvious that something is not as it seems but it remains unclear if the secrets are between the recording team themselves or the characters they portray.

Recording resumes and it becomes apparent the radio show centres around a woman’s refuge. With the cliché backdrop of a heavy rain, Hannah arrives at the refuge looking for somewhere to stay. Mona, a support worker, attempts to question her on the circumstances that led to her arrival but Hannah is reluctant to offer up any information and so she is shown to bed and left to her own devices. It is clear that something mysterious is going on but we are left to wait and listen…

Before we know it we are deep in Hannah’s story and speeding through the drama surrounding domestic abuse. Script and memory soon blend into one and thanks to some excellent sound design it is seriously gripping right until the end. 

The piece was recorded in lockdown and whilst quality is good, the audio levels were somewhat erratic with some audio being extremely quiet and difficult to hear. The cast do a fantastic job of portraying so many clear and concise characters considering the length of the piece. At 35 minutes long the drama is short without compromising on any shocks, twists and thrills. I would have welcomed more so there is no doubt that the duos writing could easily evolve into a popular series or indeed an excellent stage show. 

If you’re looking for a short and snappy thriller that leaves you wanting more then On Record is available to stream until 22 February 2021 as part of the Living Record Festival. 

Review by Alyssa Tuck

Rating: ★★★

Seat: Online | Price of Ticket: £4
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