It isn’t often that I go rambling through the iTunes Podcast directory just aimlessly. Usually I am hunting for something recommended by a friend or to fix some stupid mistake I made with my Podcast subscriptions. However, the other night (or should I say early hours of the morning) I found myself doing just that. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular and was just reading a few of the descriptions of Podcasts to see if anything took my fancy.
I happened to come across Limetown under a collected heading of “Modern Audio Drama”. It also listed a few other Podcasts that I had previously heard of through friends and general good vibes online. I took a punt on Limetown due to its description:
Ten years ago, over three hundred men, women and children disappeared from a small town in Tennessee, who are never heard from again. In this podcast, American Public Radio host Lia Haddock asks the question once more, “What happened to the people of Limetown?”
To me, that description just leapt out as something that wasn’t ordinary as an Audio Drama. It was more akin to something NPR would do in something like Serial (and they did). The fact is Limetowns concept predate Serials broadcast by about a year according to a Vox.com article on the piece from September of last year beware of spoilers in that article, read with caution.
In this age of binging on Entertainment product it can be very easy just to wait for everything to be done and then just listen in one go. I had this opportunity as I was a Johnny come Late to the podcast. If and When the Two-Up production team decide on a second series, I will be taking the slow drip route. Listen as it goes, I really felt that this story would have much better benefited from that method of listening. As it was, I listened to 4 of the episodes in one sitting and the other two a couple of days later. Not that the All in one method didn’t give me a great end result, I guess, the “serialised” version would have yielded a better experience.
The story itself reminded me slightly of The Midwich Cuckoo’s by John Wyndham. Not in a rip off way, just that “whole Village attacked” thing and that is pretty much where the similarities end. Whilst that much of a comparison may not be much to hang my hat, I would emphasise that it was a “feeling” more than anything else. The story is very well crafted and it is clear that tremendous effort went into the writing as well as every other aspect of the production. The Two-Up team certainly realise that a good story/base is needed before anything else.
The actors in Limetown inhabit their parts, there was never any point during the 7 episodes and several “updates” did I get sucked out of the suspension of my disbelief. I would advise listening to this with headphone and maybe, just maybe not with a hot drink in your hands… just saying… and no one come running to me if you ignored that last piece of advice; I warned you. atmospherically Limetown gives everything I wanted. It set up the premise of its story in episode one and then you are sucked down Alice’s Rabbit hole. Don’t try and grab a rail on the way down, just go with it, you’ll enjoy the trip more. The main character in Limetown is Lia Haddock; an investigate Journalist, who has a personal link to Limetown, her Uncle was a resident.
Haddock is embodied so well that I didn’t go looking for a cast list until after I had finished the series, it didn’t really matter to me who was playing the part, as it didn’t really seem “a part being played”. That is to me the mark of great Audio Drama, if you don’t think of what goes on behind the scenes and can still become totally invested then, BAM, you have a hit. Sometimes, you are jarred out of that listening to reality thing by a clunky performance or an actor over egging the pudding a bit. Fortunately for Two-Up they have gotten it all right. (Just for the record, Lia Haddock was portrayed by Annie Sage Whitehurst.
It could have been so easy for this to fall into a bad parody of an X-Files episode, but it didn’t. It took a slight hand and a deft touch and took elements from The X-Files and modern culture and blended it all so well and served Limetown up in 11 slots of podcast joy. I was rather surprised at the end of the last instalment that I was “content” to know that Limetowns story had been told. If (just if) there is no more to come after it, I am happy at that. They have provided a most excellent story and I believe that they have completed what they set out to do, if not, bring on more and I’ll be there month after month following the story. However, having said that, I will be stalking Two-Up Productions just in case they slip anything in whilst my eyes are averted hunting for Lia Haddock.
Check out Limetown at their website – www.limetownstories.com – where you can find links to listen to the series via Soundcloud or Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes and sign up to their newsletter and all of their Social Media outlets..
I am pretty sure you will love this story, it floats on so many levels.
Since this post was published Two-Up Productions have released an email via their Newsletter regarding the future of the LimeTown Podcast and what they have coming up. I have to say I am really excited by what they have to say and I offer Skip and Zack all the best in what’s to come and I hope they achieve everything they want.