FOLKLORE is a fictional mystery horror podcast that explores the strange and unusual events surrounding Wiltshire legends and folklore. The podcast follows host, Tamsin Wheatley, as she explores the contents of a series of cassette tapes featuring recordings from the 1980s, and reinvestigates their contents now in 2020.

The character

Henry Kneale is a university professor teaching Anthropology at the fictional University of Kinwick. He also teaches extra classes in folklore, myths, and legends. He is particularly interested in the study of people in relation to old stories from the areas they live in, giving him the opportunity to study anthropology and folklore together. As a scientist Kneal applies rigorous research techniques to evaluate these stories and will excitedly go wherever the evidence takes him, keen to explore any mystery that comes his way, however far fetched it may be. In the 1980s Kneale embarked on a journey, collecting various local legends, myths, folklore, and other peculiar and supernatural encounters which he recorded through interviews, field notes and train of thought recordings on a series of tapes which he had intended to publish as a book. However, due to mysterious circumstances, he abruptly ended his work and took up residence as a professor.

The actor

The person playing Kneale will be able to use their voice in such a way as to portray both:

Kneale in the present day – age 65, highly intelligent, jaded, impatient, possessed of terrible secrets

Kneal in the 1980s – age 25, intelligent, curious, optimistic, excitable in the presence of new mysteries

Note: we are working on digital techniques that may enable us to support the voice actor in performing out of their natural age range, but the less filtered the voice is, the better it will sound.

We also want whoever plays Kneale to help shape the character – and by extension the show a whole – and create a voice for him. To this end, it is crucial that anyone who is interested in the part is able to adapt the script to fit Kneale’s voice as if it were their own, and thus produce a totally believable performance.

To audition

Read the story below:

In 1535, King Henry VIII stayed at Wolfhall Manor in Burbage, Wiltshire. It was here that he met Jane Seymour, who would later become his ‘true wife’ and produce him a son and heir. It is said that following their wedding in London, Henry and Jane held a wedding feast in the barn at Wolfhall. Jane sadly passed away 12 days after giving birth to their son, Edward, and was laid to rest in Windsor, where Henry himself was later buried. Despite her dying in London, it is said that her ghost returned to her familial home and haunts the woods surrounding the manor. In the 1920s, the barn where they held their wedding feast was burned down and sightings of Jane Seymour became more prevalent. There are also reports of a headless horsewoman haunting the forest. A young woman was out for a ride when her horse bolted, and the young woman was decapitated by a low branch. Some people walk through the countryside to try and spot either of the ghosts, and a few locals report an unnerving sense of sadness whenever they visit the area. Young Henry Kneale visited Wolfhall Manor to try and see the ghosts for himself, and also managed to interview a few people who lived nearby, although he was unable to reach the owners of the house in the 1980s.

Write a short 1-2 minute monologue of YOUNG Kneale telling the tale as if for one of his recordings. Think about:

  • What about it would intrigue him and capture his attention?
  • What would his attitude be to the story?
  • How would he approach it?
  • And what would his takeaway from it be?

Record this monologue and send as WAV or MP3 to keira@digitalwrites.org.uk

Thank you for your interest in this project! We’re excited to hear what you have to offer!