The cast from the popular cult series podcast, Welcome to Night Vale will perform a never-before-released episode live on stage in Brisbane, this February – as part of their Australian tour.
If you’ve never heard of it, Welcome to Night Vale is a twice-monthly serial podcast bringing listeners stories from the strange town of Night Vale in the form of a small community radio show, hosted by one optimistic, Cecil Palmer.
Complete with local news, announcements from the Sheriffs Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark-hooded figures with unknowable powers and cultural events, Welcome to Night Vale has become one of the most popular podcasts in the world.
This year’s Australian tour will see Welcome to Night Vale’s cast take to stages around the country, including QPAC on Monday 8 February, for a special episode of the weird and wacky podcast written specifically for the stage.
Cecil Baldwin, who plays radio host Cecil Palmer in the show, says it’s a really exciting time for the cast.
“About a year into (the podcast) a lot of people started getting really interested in our stories and because we are all theatre performers, writers and actors we thought doing a live show was the next logical step,” he says.
“A live show is a fun and interesting way of taking something very intimate like a scheduled podcast and bringing out into the world and giving people the chance to see the show performed live.”
“This year’s live show is called The Investigators and it’s made to be performed mostly to fans who follow the podcast, but then also for people who may have never listened to the podcast before or only listened to a little bit of it.”
Cecil says performing the show live is a great feeling.
“It’s a great energy, to get up in front of a live audience and perform something that I think is extremely funny, smart and in some ways scary,” he says.
“That’s the joy of live theatre, even though it’s scripted it’s very much in the moment and you can feel the energy of the audience change and shift and you get the chance to look people in the eye and tell them a story.”
“It’s a reward to be able to go literally all over the world and meet people who are fans of this strange little story that we’ve been working on for the last few years.”
Cecil says he enjoys playing the role of Cecil Palmer, as he is very optimistic.
“He’s a very happy go lucky kind of guy. The sky may be literally falling down around him, but his character very much tries to look for the best out of anybody and the best out of any situation,” he says.
“He really loves his town and the people in the town and even though weird and horrible things happen he really tries to look for the positive outcome.”
“I think people really appreciate that, we live in a world where there is a lot of scary stuff going on and it’s kind of nice to hear this character that tries to make everything positive.”
Cecil says he is similar to his character in some ways.
“Were both very passionate people, if I like something I really like something, if I hate it I really hate it, but I’m a little more assertive in expressing those opinions,” he says.
“My character has a tendency to get on the radio and express those opinions to everyone, whether they need to know or not. He’s a little bit of a town gossip.”
Cecil says although the live show is full of action and mystery, it’s kept very simple.
“We’re an independent production so we don’t have corporate sponsorship or big giant budgets so our shows are very simple,” he says.
“We don’t have a big set and we don’t have costumes or props, it’s all about the talent of the people on stage and the talent of the writers. It really keeps us focused on creating quality work.”
“It also allows myself and the other actors on the show to take more risks in the story that we’re telling.”
If you are thinking about coming along to see the show, Cecil says you’re in for a treat.
“The live shows have a tendency to be something in between the golden age of radio, like Orson Wells meets Rocky Horror Picture show,” he says.
“A lot of the fans dress up as their favourite characters or they come wearing costumes. We anticipate all this and we have built a little bit of that into the show where there is some audience participation. We also travel with a band so there will be live music as well, including a piece by musician Dessa who is an amazing rapper from Minneapolis, Minnesota.”
“I just hope the audience will have a really fun, interactive story-telling kind of experience.”
Welcome to Night Vale’s live show will be held at QPAC on Monday 8 February. For tickets visit www.livenation.com.au/artists/welcome-to-nightvale