Charlie Josephine was awarded a commission through the Audible Emerging Playwrights Fund, an initiative dedicated to developing innovative original plays driven by language and voice. As an Audible commissioned playwright, they received funding and creative support to develop Massive.
Charlie has previously written Flies, Boxer Bitch and the critically acclaimed Pops.
Massive by Charlie Josephine is available exclusively to Audible and can be purchased here.
Massive is your new audio play exclusive to Audible, what can you tell us about the play?
It’s here! And I’m buzzin’ to share it with everyone. ‘Massive’ is messy queer love story about the chase to be perfect and the ugly things we do in the attempt to be beautiful for someone. It’s un-apologetically poetic, working class, queer and quick. The creative team is sick and I’m proud of what we made.
What inspired you to write it?
The commission from Audible. I’ve never written for audio before so my imagined audience was people squished up on the tube. Wanted to get in their ears and brighten their commute with something poetic and colourful. I’m always hungry for queer working class characters so Jax was a delight to write. I’m in recovery from an eating disorder so parts of Emily felt close to home. And Tom is the cool lad I always wanted to be growing up. They’re funny and poetic and desperately tryna find the words for huge feelings.
You were commissioned by Audible through the emerging playwrights fund, what support and opportunities did that give you?
It’s been really brilliant working with Audible. I’d have never pushed myself to write in this medium and I’ve really enjoyed the experience. The creative support has been fantastic, I’ve learnt loads about writing for our ears, and been blessed with a proper amazing creative team.
Did you have to think differently when writing Massive, knowing that it was for audio rather than staging?
Yeah definitely, when I write for theatre I’m thinking about bodies -sweaty, honest, hard-working, bodies trying to express something, and connect viscerally with the audience’s bodies. Learning how to write for audio, with my eyes shut, whilst hanging on to a raw honesty took a bit of getting used to.
Tell us about the cast, how have they brought your characters to life, and have any of them surprised you in the way they did it?
The cast is amazing. Sophie Melville plays Emily, a dancer who’s suffering from a car crash injury which introduced them to new love Jax. Jax, a non-binary chef, is played by Erin Doherty. Then there’s Tom, a DJ and Emily’s ex-boyfriend, played by Nima Taleghani. Sophie, Erin and Nima are proper phenomenal actors, I felt so lucky to be working with them. Director Julia Head has done a brilliant job of teasing out some beautiful performances. I was consistently surprised with their interpretations, they’re so nuanced and clever and funny and yeah, they’re just brilliant.
What would you say to anyone thinking of listening to Massive?
Get yourself a cuppa and settle in mate! Try and listen in one go if you can, with some headphones, because composer and sound designer Mikhail Fiksel has made some magic. Content warnings are posted on my twitter (@charli3jo3) and I’m happy to chat more about that if anyone wants to.
Main Image: Charlie Josephine