Halifax’s Lions Den Theatre was tailor-made to move to the virtual world during the pandemic with its history of producing audio dramas.
But after two years of creating shows on its YouTube channel, including a true-crime series and an audio release of the cult-classic Santa Claus Conquers The Martians, the company is transitioning back to the stage for this year’s Halifax Fringe Festival with a new production based on a classic radio detective series.
We’ve really found our niche producing entertainment that re-creates the feeling of being in a live audience during the recording process of a classic radio story.
The indie theatre company’s The Shadow: A Live Audio Play will take audiences back to the Golden Age of Radio, complete with live sound, music and even some hokey vintage commercials.
“We’ve really found our niche producing entertainment that re-creates the feeling of being in a live audience during the recording process of a classic radio story,” says Lions Den’s artistic producer Keith Morrison in a media release.
Debuting on the radio in 1937, the serialized drama featuring Orson Welles was an immediate hit. Over the years, it spawned numerous comic books, spin-offs, and remakes, including a 1994 film starring Alec Baldwin.
“The Shadow is the spiritual successor to the likes of Batman, Superman and Dick Tracy; a hero with a secret identity who fights for the rights of the average person,” says Morrison. “In many ways, though, he’s more timeless and more applicable to the interests of modern audiences in that his arsenal is made up of psychological tactics like hypnosis, sense memory and mind control than gadgets and weapons.”
And while more senior audience members may wax nostalgic as they remember when the radio was the go-to for family entertainment, younger audiences are finding the format just as fun. “This format definitely crosses the generations,” says Morrison.
The Shadow: A Live Audio Play plays as part of the 2021 Halifax Fringe Festival at Neptune Theatre’s Scotiabank Stage from September 3 through September 12. Visit halifaxfringe.ca for complete details on this and the other shows at this year’s festival.