Welcome to Night Vale is a podcast which I have been following now for the better part of two years, having caught onto it around the beginning of Year Two. A few months ago a friend mentioned that they were doing a UK tour. Last night, four of us went along to the Cardiff showing.
The venue was the St. David’s Centre, in a room I haven’t been into since I graduated last year. Needless to say, the atmosphere was rather different this time, though the undercurrent of excitement was the same.
The evening started off for us at the merchandise table, just by the doors. We queued with people dressed as various characters from the show (and based only on Cecil’s descriptions, it’s wonderful to see the different interpretations of the same character), to pick up posters and t-shirts. Very nice posters and t-shirts, I might add.
I won’t say much about the show itself, but the opener by Jason Webley was fantastic fun, with an honestly touching back story about one of the songs, Pyramid. He was also responsible for the weather for the episode.
The story of the episode was designed perfectly for stage, with a live audience, and involved a lot more audience interaction than I was expecting. With a couple of tongue in cheek jokes to remind us that Cecil was, in fact, alone in his radio station booth, of course. While there were many short sections including characters that anyone who knows the show will recognise, it was mostly Cecil’s show, much as a usual episode of the podcast. And Cecil definitely knew how to make the most of an audience that was more than willing to follow him into the world of Night Vale. There is something strange, and wonderful, about seeing a character you’re only used to hearing up on stage.
I am left with just one question, really, from the evening. How does Jason Webley not loose his hat with all the jumping around he does?
(The episode ‘The Investigators’ will be available online at some point after the tour has finished.)