As I left my warm cosy house earlier this evening to make my way from east to west London on a dark wet evening, I felt that it was appropriate that I was off to see the live show of Welcome to Nightvale.
For the uninitiated Nightvale is a cult podcast, similar in style to shows like Twin Peaks, X Files and the works of H.P.Lovecraft but presented in the format of a radio show. The podcast is an online phenomenon, being one of the most downloaded podcast of all time.
I went to the show having heard most of the podcasts and purposely avoiding any videos of the live show. I wanted to go in blind and experience the show without any preconceptions, my concern was how would the intimacy and stark simplicity of the podcast translate onto the stage?
The Shepherds Bush Empire is a cozy sit down venue and for tonight's performance was packed, I was high in the nosebleeds; the unreserved third floor. However I did have a clear and unobstructed view of the stage, though it was from a high angle. There was a real buzz and excitement and when the live theatre show started there was a huge roar.
For fans of the show this was an excellent live performance, there was the usual 'weather report' (music performed by Mary Epworth) and great lines like "If horses were wishes, they'd all run away," "... a librarian is on the loose," "... My dress is made of spiders" and my favourite of the night "The gazebo is on fire due to a routine maintenance check."
The stage was simple but effective and Cecil (played with his usual flair for the dramatic by Cecil Baldwin) delivered his lines with the usual gravitas and knowing wink. The audience were receptive and cheered when names, locations and tropes from the podcast were spoken, particular mention must go to 'Steve Carlsberg,' his name got the biggest cheer of the night!
Well, I can say that the show was well worth a view and I enjoyed it immensely. For people excited by the fantastical and slightly unsettling, Welcome to Nightvale is well worth a look and listen.