Twitcher, by Megan Smith, is one of the digital sharing pieces that was uploaded to the KickItDown platform. They 'wanted to find exceptional pieces of new writing that would work in a digital space'. This particular piece takes the form of an audio drama. Performed by Ruth Syratt, the piece follows a woman who finds new excitement in passing her time by learning her neighbour's routine.
The concept reflects the classic Hitchcock film 'Rear Window', but I find that Twitcher more closely resembles features of its reimagining, the 2007 film 'Disturbia', which shows the protagonist 'spying' on a specific individual; a dark thriller with light-hearted moments. Thrown into lockdown, this concept has new relevance, and this piece shines through as a fabulous portrayal of a climate we are all too familiar with.
The script and its performance accumulate to a relatable and funny piece of work, definitely bringing a smile to my face and a nod of understanding of the situation we are all in. The nature of the piece, being an audio drama, leaves the visuals to the imagination, allowing each listener to paint the scene for themselves, and making each experience unique.
In how a good author omits just enough detail to allow the reader to insert themselves into the scene, Smith creates the perfect setting for an immersive drama that takes listeners on a journey, worlds away from the place they began.
Just when the listener is settled in the character's front room, finding light relief in the comfort of a relatable situation, Smith turns the tables in a wonderfully unexpected way, and nothing is at all as it seems.
With credit to the leading lady Ruth Syratt, directed by Nessa Wrafte with Lachlan McCall's casting, the performance relies on being natural and casual, which Syratt delivers brilliantly. It is so easy as a voice artist to overact to compensate for the inability to visually express what is happening, especially with the nature of the script being an internal monologue.
The entire drama is carried by one woman talking to herself as she makes her way around her home, with one eye on her neighbour, which is much easier said than done. With the lack of visual aid, her performance is essential to create the atmosphere of an everyday situation for the audience to invest in the story – and Syratt certainly pulls this off. It is refreshing to see an all-woman team create such a dynamic piece of work, and I was certainly gripped throughout.
Twitcher is perfect for those seeking a different form of drama or the people who prefer audiobooks to a Netflix series. By placing somewhat of a psychological thriller into such a relevant and relatable situation in such a unique format, Smith offers her work to such a wide audience, and certainly one that will start a conversation.
Watch Twitcher here: