Other than the 20 Things ebook, one of the things I’ve been involved with over my career that seems to have resonated most with people was a radio drama series called Claybourne. It was something I helped produce in the late 90s with Belinda Todd, Jim McLarty, William Davis and a handful of really lovely actors and musicians.
To be honest, we didn’t really know what we were doing. To a large extent, we were making it up as we went along. We really just wanted to make a radio series that we would enjoy. And so there were things about it that are probably unique to that series. It was funny, romantic, genuinely scary in places, convoluted, full of great characters and it has perhaps the most ambitious sonic design of any radio programme I’ve come across. We were going for ‘cinematic realism’, if that’s even a thing.
Now, 15 years since it first went to air, a group of German fans are making their own version. In German.
Given that the core of the story is centred around an American who finds himself a fish out of water in a small town in New Zealand where bad things are happening, translating it into German must be an incredibly complex affair. Especially since whole chunks of dialogue were in Maori.
I wrote a short piece on the Claybourne Hoerspiel website:
It’s so great to see Claybourne continue to reach new ears, 15 years on from when we first created it. And to have it translated into German and remade for a whole new audience is such an incredible honour, and so incredibly appropriate – because if nothing else, Claybourne is about what happens when one culture encounters another.
Claybourne is one of the things I have been most proud to be part of in my life. The fact that other people like it too makes it even better. I’m so excited to see this project come to fruition. It’s a real tribute to the universality of those stories where love, greed, power, misunderstanding, legend, prophecy, good coffee, whales, psychotic computers, and subterranean monsters all play an important part.