The Barren Author

The Barren Author (Series 1) is a 6 episode audio comedy-drama produced by Award-Winning Spiteful Puppet Entertainment. Starring the amazingly versatile voice of Richard O’Brien as The Brigadier and Sophie Aldred as Smith.

Inspired by the stories of Baron Munchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe, our tales are not a literal adaptation but instead take the satirical, provocative and absurd spirit of the original tales and reimagines them for 2020. 

These fantastical stories are perfectly suited to an immersive audio experience which has, at its heart, the powerful, witty and commanding storytelling of its central character.

But don’t get too comfortable. 

Something dark always lies just underneath the comedy.

Something desperate to get out.


Richard O’Brian as The Brigadier

Sophie Aldred as Smith

“I find it enjoyable being allowed to play someone who views the truth as a moveable feast. Should I improve on doing so, I shall, most likely, turn my future ambition towards running some great nation; or other.” – Richard O’Brien, The Brigadier

“We’re back, we’re bigger, better and even more bonkers! I hope you enjoy listening to our latest antics in this crazy world as much as I did recording it!” – Sophie Aldred, Smith

Written By: Paul Birch

Music By: Abigail Fox

Songs By: Darrell Maclaine

Cover Artwork: Robert Hammond

Sound Design: Joseph Fox

Producer: Barnaby Eaton-Jones

Executive Producer: Andrew Swaisland, Gary Haberfield

Listen to the songs from The Barren Author, written by Darrell Maclaine.

“In the confines of lockdown, Barnaby Eaton-Jones invited me into the mind of Brigadier Munchausen – a man whose stories had to be told and simply could not be contained! It was such a liberating experience to rethink these tall stories for contemporary listeners and escape the everyday with his excellent company. Audio, too, is also such a perfect medium for these extraordinary adventures that stretch both credibility and imagination to their very limits. I’m so delighted too that these extraordinary tales are told by such an extraordinary actor and when I heard Richard’s magnificent voice, I found myself transported again by the power of his tour-de-force performance. Sophie provides a perfect foil and the whole production is such a comic delight I am sure it should come with the opposite of a health warning. It has to be heard to be believed and, I am obliged to report, some of it happens to be true.” – Paul Birch, Writer

“I’ve always loved the madness and satirical bite of the Baron Munchausen tales, and was bowled over by Terry Gilliam’s film version in 1988 as a youngster, but I’d had an idea kicking around for a while of taking the core concept, keeping some of the well-known elements, and updating the tales in a contemporary setting. I wanted to keep the surreal nature and that blurring of fantasy and reality (is it real or is it not?). I am very lucky to share a sense of humour and a close friendship with the writer I asked to adapt my treatment, Paul Birch, and his six episodes really have flown off into a direction that’s extraordinary. The great thing about audio is all of this scope can be achieved, whereas would have been astronomical for television or film! Right from the very start, I could hear Richard O’Brien’s voice in my head as our main character and I was so bowled over that the scripts excited him enough to take on the role (and suggesting his own creative enhancements to them – which is always the sign of an actor properly engaging with the material). Pairing him with Sophie Aldred, who’s a delight as his confidante and possible future nemesis, just created the perfect chemistry for a must-listen-to-tale in six half hour episodes. My fingers are crossed for people loving it enough to ask for people loving it enough to ask for another series of escapades!” – Barnaby Eaton-Jones, Producer/Director