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

Tamsin Wheatley is a 25 year old late night presenter on community radio, playing folk music and talking about local news with her listeners. But this was never meant to be her career. Tamsin had recently finished her MA in Anthropology at Kinwick University, where Professor Henry Kneale was her tutor, and with whom she had an academic rapport. She had been working as a Research Assistant when covid struck and she was furloughed. The radio work was meant to be something to fill the time, but she soon realised how much she enjoyed it and is in no rush to move on, despite it not being relevant to her academic work.

After receiving a package of old tapes in the post, Wheatley realises they are the old research notes from Professor Kneale’s investigations in the 1980s. Believing her old tutor has now passed away, Tamsin begins to follow up on his investigations as a way of honouring his memory, spurred on by listeners of the radio show who are keen to hear more of Kneale’s stories …

The actor

Much of Professor Kneale’s investigation work is far from the straight and narrow of academic anthropology. The person playing Wheatley will be able to inhabit her frankly skeptical temperament, but also her curiosity in what her old tutor was up to. Wheatley had immense respect for Kneale and was deeply saddened to hear about his death, despite having not seen him for over a year.

Tamsin is, in many ways, a typical ‘millennial’, and uses social media and modern technology for her investigations. The actor should be able to represent this in their speech, using modern terminology and understanding of these processes to get the stories across.

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 Wheatley telling the tale as if for one of her podcasts. Think about:

  • What about it would intrigue her and capture her attention?
  • What would her attitude be to the story?
  • How would she approach it?
  • And what would her 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!