All posts by Narrelle

The Neighbours of Night Terrace: Petra Elliott

The Kickstarter for the third season of the brilliant radio SF comedy, Night Terrace, is entering its final third. In celebration, I’m interviewing a number of people involved with the previous two seasons and the current series!

Today it’s:

Petra Elliott

portrait photo of Petra Elliot

who is a Night Terrace co-creator and actor (playing Sue Denholm) in Night Terrace Season 1, Season 2 and the current Season 3 Kickstarter.

How did you get involved in Night Terrace?

I met Ben when I first moved to Melbourne, and we’d worked together before on Museum Comedy. He invited me to co-host the very first episode of Splendid Chaps, which is when I met John, David and Lee. It was only supposed to be a one off gig, but I must’ve done okay, coz they asked me back for every future trillion episodes.

By the end of a year of Splendid Chaps, we knew that project had to end but wanted to keep working together, highlighting each of our individual set of creative skills, and … TA DA!! Night Terrace was born. 

Why did you get involved?

I’d enjoyed bringing the comedic scripts written by John and Ben to life for each Splendid Chaps episode, and by the end I was comfortable enough to riff along with them – and even insert gags to surprise them! It was a dynamic I loved, and I honestly would’ve signed up to continue doing anything with them.

When John announced the Night Terrace concept to the Splendid Chaps Christmas episode live audience, and they responded with SUCH a big cheer, I knew then and there it was a project worth making. 

What do you love about the show?

Our recording days are such a big hoot, so it’s undeniable that I love the process of making the show. How the hell did we convince such amazing humans to share their talent with our little project? 
But also, I’ve listened to these episodes A LOT! Not just for dramaturgy and promo purposes, but because I legitimately enjoy them. And I still enjoy them, after all the re-listens. The jokes, concepts and story arc conceived by John, Ben, David and Lee are simply delightful. I can’t believe I not only get to add my 2 cents to these adventures, but also get to speak the lines as Sue. I’m a lucky girl.

What’s your favourite line/quote from NT?

This is from the live episode, written by all of the lads (see how I don’t pick favourites?!). We got together to do a table read of this episode: it’s always fun when the whole cast can get together ahead of recording days to bond, discover our characters, explain the scifi gags to each other and watch the script come to life. Also, I’ve always loved the Schrödinger dilemma. 

ANASTASIA: No, that was Schrödinger. And also wasn’t Schrödinger. Long story. 

Bloody Ben. Copy cat. Scratch that. My favourite is.. 

SUE: How much do you know about the Uncertainty Principle? 

EDDIE: I’m not sure. 

What’s the best feedback you’ve had about the series?

Being broadcast by BBC Radio 4 Extra was amazing, and helped me realise we’d truly made a high quality product worthy of recognition by industry peers we’ve admired for a very long time. 

The ultimate feedback, though, is the number of Splendid Chaps fans who not only believed in this project enough to back us the first time, but then jumped straight back in for another season, and another. That tells me we’re getting it right! 

I really hope we reach our crowd-funding target as I want to continue sharing the stories of Anastasia, Eddie and Sue for everyone who’s shown us such magnificent support. 

What key skill would you bring if you ended up travelling in time and space with the crew?

More ginger. 

Would you like to travel in time and space with Anastasia, Eddie and Sue?

I think I would. Being stuck in one time and place means you can lose perspective, so taking a look at things on a different planet or alternate point in history might give me the insight I need to make sense of what’s happening in our own hectic world right now.

Really?

I dunno. Ask me tomorrow. 

Would you like to be part of the next season of Night Terrace? Zip over to Kickstarter to listen to the very first episode, and pick your pledge level!

The Neighbours of Night Terrace: Ben McKenzie

The Kickstarter for the third season of the brilliant radio SF comedy, Night Terrace, is entering its final third. In celebration, I’m interviewing a number of people involved with the previous two seasons and the current series!

Today it’s:

Ben McKenzie

who is a producer, writer and actor (playing Eddie Jones) for Night Terrace Season 1, Season 2 and the current Season 3 Kickstarter.

How did you get involved in Night Terrace?

It’s the old old story: friends start a Doctor Who podcast, podcast ends, friends have an audience, friends realise they’re all writers and actors, friends decided to create an audio series in order to work together more. A tale as old as time!

Why did you get involved?

I love audio comedy. I listened to The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy quite early on and my Poppa introduced me to The Goon Show. I had a Walkman and listened to spoken word and comedy stuff as much as music! Also I missed acting a lot. I started out as an actor and transitioned into comedy and apart from some sketch shows haven’t done nearly as much as I’d like. Much of the work I have done is in voiceover, but since until recently there’s been so little audio drama produced in Australia, that was mostly narration.

What do you love about the show?

I love that we’ve managed to make our own version of the Doctor Who formula – the characters can go anywhere in space and time, and indeed they do! Plus like early Doctor Who they’re not in charge of their travels, only what they do once they arrive. I love the openness of the premise and how well it works in audio, since we can afford lavish sets and special effects (all entirely thanks to David Ashton). Plus while it’s a comedy we try to make it about things and have plots that go somewhere and make sense.

What’s your favourite line/quote from NT?

This is an unfair question to ask a writer of the show, so instead I will pick my current favourite nerdiest exchange, from the live special “Situational Awareness”:

“Is Heisenberg the one who put the cat in the box?

“No, that was Schrodinger. And also wasn’t Schrodinger. Long story.”

What’s the best feedback you’ve had about the series?

Look, I can’t lie: hearing Neil Gaiman say he thinks it has heart and ideas was a big deal. Like a lot of us making this show, he’s been a big influence on me and I’m a big fan. But I haven’t made much else that lasts – most of my work is live performance and much of it improvised or a one-off. To have people I don’t even know listening? Or people who believe in what we do enough to fund it with their own cash, and make it happen? That’s huge and wonderful. There are also some specific bits of feedback from listeners and supporters that have meant a lot, but I don’t think I could single one out. They know who they are, I hope.

What key skill would you bring if you ended up travelling in time and space with the crew?

I’m kind of a geek of all trades, or as a friend once said, a nerd for all seasons. I certainly don’t know the most about anything, but I know a bit about lots of things. I’d like to think that makes me adaptable and useful in a lot of places and times! Also I love to research things so that might prove helpful too.

Would you like to travel in time and space with Anastasia, Eddie and Sue?

Um…yes! Of course! It wouldn’t be weird at all for Eddie and I to be in the same room at the same time! And sure it’s random, but dinosaurs were around for ages, so the chance of seeing a Stegosaurus would totally be worth it.

Really?

…no. Not really. I mean, the adventure is great, but the never going home part is a sticking point. And Eddie seems oddly okay with it, except for a few times. What’s up with that? I would miss so many people…

Would you like to be part of the next season of Night Terrace? Zip over to Kickstarter to listen to the very first episode, and pick your pledge level!

The Neighbours of Night Terrace: Tansy Rayner Roberts

The Kickstarter for the third season of the brilliant radio SF comedy, Night Terrace, is entering its final third. In celebration, I’m interviewing a number of people involved with the previous two seasons and the current series!

Today it’s:

Tansy Rayner Roberts

who is a guest writer on the bonus audiobook for the Season 3 Kickstarter (in the Digital Stories reward level and above)

How did you get involved in Night Terrace?

When Ben McKenzie asked me to write a tie-in story for the Kickstarter, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Why did you get involved?

It’s a fantastic, unique Australian show with an awesome creative team behind it. Why wouldn’t I want to write for those characters?

What do you love about the show?

I really appreciate how it grew out of Doctor Who fandom – you can see how so many of the creative choices are in dialogue with some aspect of Doctor Who history, tradition (or responds to areas that Doctor Who has fallen down on). But also it’s very much it’s own thing, as well. I adore audio science fiction, going back to Hitchhiker’s Guide, Earthsearch and the Foundation series which I first discovered on ABC Radio.

What’s your favourite line/quote from NT?

“Have you seen the cows?”

What’s the best feedback you’ve had about the series?

I haven’t had much yet because only Ben and John have read my story! But they liked it a lot, so I’ll take that. My story is very Eddie-centric, so submitting it to Ben was a bit nerve-wracking! If he thinks I got the voice right, I must be doing OK.

What key skill would you bring if you ended up travelling in time and space with the crew?

I have a good memory for weird history and celebrity trivia, and I feel that would come in super handy if the scriptwriters were kind to me. I’m also very good at drinking cups of tea made by other people.

Would you like to travel in time and space with Anastasia, Eddie and Sue?

Hard no! If I was going to travel in time and space I’d prefer it in a house than anything else, but I’m quite content on this planet, thank you very much. I’d happily have the gang over to my place to chat about their chaotic adventures, though.

Really?

Yeah, no, if I’m travelling in time and space I want an itinerary, and a reliable source of transport. Sorry, Night Terrace! I only want to admire you from afar.

Would you like to be part of the next season of Night Terrace? Zip over to Kickstarter to listen to the very first episode, and pick your pledge level!

The Neighbours of Night Terrace: George Ivanoff

The Kickstarter for the third season of the brilliant radio SF comedy, Night Terrace, is entering its final third. In celebration, I’m interviewing a number of people involved with the previous two seasons and the current series!

Today it’s:

George Ivanoff

Whose roles in Night Terrace include being the Scientist in Hello, My Name is Eddy; the Scribe in season 2 ; and a short story writer for the Season 3 Kickstarter (in the Digital Stories reward level and above)

How did you get involved in Night Terrace?

It started off with a small role as a rather incompetent scientist in the prequel mini-series Hello, My Name is Eddy. I guess the lovely people who make the show thought I did okay, as they then offered me the role of Scribe in the second season episode “A Verb of Nouns”. [I blogged about the experience] And now I’ve been asked to write a short story for the Kickstarter campaign. Which I am super excited about.

Why did you get involved?

Because I’m a fan of the show. OMG… I love it so much!

Right after listening to the first season I started emailing the creators begging them to let me be involved in some way… any way at all. I would have been happy with a one-liner. Oh… so if any of the creators are reading this… you could have my voice back for season 3, you know. I’d happily come into the studio just for one line. Or one word. Maybe you need a random dying scream? Hey, you know, I could buy one of the Kickstarter packages that gets me a line in season 3. Sorry… getting distracted. Now I’m getting the chance to write a story.

Did I mention that I’m super excited about it?

What do you love about the show?

Everything!

It’s funny and smart; it’s full of pop culture references; and it’s kind of Doctor Who-ish without being a rip-off. I love the cast. The three leads are awesome, but what I really enjoy is picking through the who’s who of the Australian entertainment industry in the guest cast. And I adore the fact that this show is Australian. Yay, Australia!

What’s your favourite line/quote from NT?

There are so many that I love. But I’m going to have to go with one of Scribe’s lines. Actually, I can’t pin it down to one line. There are three that I really loved delivering…

“I’m so sorry your majesty, was I scribing too loud?”
“Strangers in both custom and dress. They had weird hair as well. But who am I to judge?”
“Oh there are many ancient traditions and rights that the people must observe. Or else the Beast of Sevdalis will tear their hearts from their living flesh and eat their souls.”

What’s the best feedback you’ve had about the series?

On a personal note, I had feedback from several people I know saying they didn’t realise I was voicing Scribe until the end of the ep where they tell you the cast. As an actor, that is really nice.

But overall, I’ve been really stoked by the feedback the series as a whole has got from Neil Gaiman. I’m a HUGE Gaiman fan, so him liking the show is a wonderful collision of fandoms for me.

What key skill would you bring if you ended up travelling in time and space with the crew?

The ability to spot a pop culture reference at ten paces.

Would you like to travel in time and space with Anastasia, Eddie and Sue?

Seriously? Would I like to be lost in time and space with Susan from Neighbours? You bet!

Really?

Well… Maybe! 🙂

Would you like to be part of the next season of Night Terrace? Zip over to Kickstarter to listen to the very first episode, and pick your pledge level!