Not a usual review post today! Last week, Julie Mayhew, Carnegie nominated author of Red Ink (which I loved! Review here.), asked me if I’d be interested in listening to and reviewing her new radio drama, The Electrical Venus. It’s a forty-five minute radio play that’s set to broadcast this Friday (October 3rd) at 2:15. Click here to go to the radio programme’s page!
I wasn’t very sure if it was my thing, at first. I don’t listen to radio drama – I haven’t even listened to an audio-book in ages! However, after I read that Julie intended for this play to be directed at teens, a demographic that I don’t think is ever explored by radio drama, I was very interested. Also, of course, I loved Julie Mayhew’s YA novel Red Ink and I’ve been wanting to experience more of her writing ever since.
Though I was excited to try it, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from a radio drama, or if I’d get into the story properly given the unfamiliar format. I plugged in my earpieces and started listening to it while I was doing some art homework… And was completely blown away! It did take me a few minutes to get used to it but once I’d become familiar I started to really enjoy it. The Electrical Venus was simultaneously a new entertainment experience for me, and a great story too, with plot themes I didn’t see coming at all.
I really loved the voice acting. I was really unsure of how I’d be able to connect and relate to the characters, because I’d have no visual and no descriptions to go on. However, I felt like I got to know the characters, especially Nim, so well, even though I only heard the voices and only for a forty-minute listen! The characters were really well developed and realistic, I loved them. Nim, the protagonist, has a great back-story that was explored really well throughout the play.
Another thing I loved about the play was the setting, which was fun but dark and mysterious too. It was really inventive and well-described through the plot. The Electrical Venus is set centuries ago in a travelling circus, and scenes, especially like the opening one (a circus performance), I felt like I was transported back in time… something I really wasn’t expecting.
Overall, The Electrical Venus was a really great play. I’d definitely recommend listening to it once it’s out – whether you’re a regular radio listener, or not, like me. Mayhew’s story was memorable and thrilling; After finishing it I just wanted to listen again! It dealt with things I wasn’t expecting and the story was very cleverly written. The voice actors were brilliant too, and really captured the personalities of the characters. Now I’ve tried listening to radio drama, something I would never have done otherwise, I’d definitely listen to it again. I’d love to see Julie Mayhew (and other writers!) writing more radio plays aimed at younger audiences. It was really fun. (:
I received a copy of The Electrical Venus from the author, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.