With younger children heading back to school after a prolonged period of home educating, there is perhaps no better time to immerse them in a dynamic and interactive audio adventure that will reintroduce them to some of the sounds of the real world. Shoreditch Town Hall’s Curse of the Crackles!, written by Bea Roberts, is a delightfully fanciful audio play designed for those aged seven to eleven, and could even provide adults with a much-needed giggle too.
All that’s required to enjoy Curse of the Crackles! is an internet connection, although earphones also come in handy due to the sophisticated binaural sound design. There’s nothing to actually watch, so it also means a break from screen time, which all of us could take advantage of. Instead, the adventure is played out completely in sound, a modern-day radio play with plenty of added sound effects.
The listener becomes friends with an excitable puppy named Riff, and together they set out on a mission to put things right, for the naughty ‘Crackles’ have mixed up all the sounds in the universe and it’s all gone a bit chaotic.
Curse of the Crackles! encourages us to not only listen, but to also move; we must use our ‘fingerlings’ to draw sound doors, taking us to exciting new realms, such as a pirate ship or a hive filled with bees named Neville.
It’s incredibly good fun, with all the sounds of these new worlds pouring in to our eardrums. There are silly songs, explosions and pops all over the place, plus the occasional fart and burp which is sure to amuse the younger listeners. Norah Lopez Holden and Sam Swann, directed by Ed Stambollouian take on all the characters in this madcap adventure, but it honestly feels like there’s a cast of thousands.
Ben and Max Ringham are well known for their immersive, 3D sound design which has featured on prestigious stages such as the National. Here they create a magical soundscape that will enchant young listeners, moving at a pace that will keep them entertained but without losing sight of the enjoyable storyline.
Curse of the Crackles! will definitely appeal to youngsters, even those with shorter attention spans, and may even give them an introduction to theatre without the need for them to be glued to a screen.
Curse of the Crackles! is available from Shoreditch Town Hall until 11th April. Tickets are on sale here.