Dunedin’s Town Belt plays a special role in a three-part thriller podcast penned by local writer Emily Duncan.
Dark Dunedin: Heaven Looks On was presented as part of this year’s Dunedin Fringe Festival programme by Prospect Park Productions, formed in 2016 by Ms Duncan and Wellington-based producer H-J Kilkelly. The series was recorded and edited at OAR FM Dunedin and received its premier broadcast on 11 March.
It is now available as a podcast to be downloaded and shared.
Ms Duncan said the Town Belt provided the setting for the drama, which has a violent crime and “nostalgic and gothic Dunedin” at its heart.
“The podcast is set around quite a small geographical area where this crime takes place and where the protagonist, Louise Hepburn, resides. She lives alone and regularly walks the area at night.
“We begin not really knowing what her connection is, apart from being in the proximity. As the story unravels we see she is somewhat closer to it.”
Listeners could discover – or re-discover – historic, natural, and supernatural features of Dunedin including “the whoosh of Lamson pipes at Penroses Department Store, twinkling stars in the St James theatre, and Kēhua, sprites, and demons dancing under the moonlight in the Town Belt.”
Creating a podcast was a departure from writing for theatre, where once a production had been staged it was gone. A podcast could “live forever” on the Internet and be listened to at any time, in any location.
“We also have some fantastic talent and resources in Dunedin, so I saw a podcast as a way we could beam Dunedin talent to the world.”
The cast was headed by Julie Edwards, who played the part of Louise Hepburn, and included Dougal Stevenson, Terry MacTavish, Cheryl Amos, Robert Shand and Phil Vaughan.
Original music had been composed and performed by Marama Grant.
Dark Dunedin: Heaven Looks On is available as a podcast from OAR FM Dunedin website www.oar.org.nz and from iTunes.