Supermind is a new live radio show from AUK Studios. Stepping into the role of Supermind is Colin McFarlane, star of Gillian B. Loeb in The Dark Knight trilogy and Ulysses in Outlander. 1980s music legend Toyah plays Lady Daphne Witcombe whilst children’s voice actress Julie-Ann Dean plays Professor Fenella Vaytell. You can also expect to find Darrell Mclaine as Cecil B de Phillmakker and director, writer and producer Barnaby Eaton-Jones as Frampton.
AUK Studios Presents… SUPERMIND – Series 1: The Brain Drain
AUK Studios is pleased to announce the release of the first of its first fully-produced ‘in house’ audio dramas, created by Barnaby Eaton-Jones.
Starring film and TV actor COLIN McFARLANE as Art Hardwicke (Batman, Outlander) and iconic musician and actress TOYAH WILLCOX as Lady Witcombe
With BARNABY EATON-JONES as Frampton, JULIE-ANN DEAN as Professor Vaytell, and DARRELL MACLAINE.
In 1930s New York, cabaret’s hot new sensation is urbane illusionist Art Hardwicke, whose stage name “Supermind” hints at real mentalist powers. Aided by Lady Daphne Witcombe and her manservant Frampton, he fights villainy wherever he finds it.
In this instalment of the comic melodrama, styled after classic American radio serials/plays[S1] , Supermind rescues heiress Anastasia Del Ray from a kidnapping attempt. In return, she declares her intent to produce a movie based on Supermind’s life –starring herself as him!
Meanwhile, Professor Fenella Vaytell develops a weapon to hijack the entire country’s minds as part of her Nazi paymasters’ nefarious scheme to control the USA!
Will Supermind’s prestigious powers save the day? Will Lady Witcombe profit off his powers once more? Will Frampton faint at the sight of fisticuffs? Will Vaytell enslave the entirety of America?
Find out the answers in: The Brain Drain!
Available from Audible, Google, and all good audio sites to purchase and stream!
For review copies please contact AUK Studios via email@example.com
Quotes from the cast and production team –
TOYAH WILLCOX (Lady Witcombe)
“I adored the chaotic, fun and observational world of SUPERMIND. My character, Lady Witcombe, allowed me to develop her private school entitlement and inner greed with relish and total glee. I can assure you Lady Witcombe’s title does not a “lady” make, she simply perceives herself as a better class of ambitious, exploitative, and totally selfish manager! It was a joy to work with Colin Macfarlane and the entire cast on this entertaining and unpredictable farce.”
COLIN McFARLANE (Art Hardwicke, AKA Supermind)
“SUPERMIND is a super concept and a super script by Nic Ford and Barnaby Eaton-Jones that I simply could not resist! For those old enough to remember, it reminds me of Saturday morning serials at the cinema when I was a child. When I read it, it immediately brought to mind the episodic adventure of an Indiana Jones crossed with the delicious wit of ‘Allo Allo at its best, like Supermind they both have those dastardly Nazi’s as their main foe. The trickiest part when recording was trying to keep a straight face! It was a joy to record it with the inimitable and brilliant Toyah Willcox and bounce off her vocal talents in our separate home studios (very Covid!), as well as hearing some wonderful stories from her in the breaks! All beautifully marshalled by the ridiculous talent of Barnaby Eaton-Jones as he jumped in and out of various characters. I also loved Julie-Ann Dean’s various female characters across the series too. If you need something to distract you in these strange times, I can assure you that Barnaby and his team have come up with a real gem and the music and sound design by Darrell Maclaine and Joseph Fox that goes along with it lends another layer of magic that takes you right back to those rollicking Saturday morning cinema adventures of old. SUPERMIND really is rib-ticklingly SUPER!!”
JULIE-ANN DEAN (Professor Fen Vaytell, and other Voices)
“After cry-laughing my way through the script, accepting to perform in Supermind was a no “brain”er. Set in the 1930’s, it’s a sort of send-up of the original Batman/The Lone Ranger style melodrama. The brilliant writing by Nic Ford and Barnaby Eaton-Jones is gag and innuendo-fuelled; and takes us into the world of Illusionist extraordinaire Art Hardwicke AKA Supermind (AKA Colin McFarlane) and his trusty fight-phobic bodyguard Frampton played by Barnaby Eaton-Jones. Attempting to manage Art is his manager Lady Witcombe, pitched perfectly by Toyah Willcox. They all find themselves caught up in trying to save the world from the Nazi’s Brain Drain Machine, led by the most unhinged of them all – Professor Fen Vaytell. Recording such a wonderful role as the Professor was an utter pleasure, with her unpredictable outbursts and maniacal laughs – it certainly was a great way of releasing some stress! In all, I took on seven roles in this series, and our recording session, directed by Barnaby, was almost as gloriously silly as the show itself. Give it a listen – it will bring a titter or two or ten to your day.”
DARRELL MACLAINE (Composer and Voices)
“I’ve been a huge fan of the brilliant Colin McFarlane ever since the days of staying up after my bedtime to watch The Fast Show, and have long hoped someone would see fit to ask him to head up his own comedy series. It’s such a delight that, not only has this finally happened, but I get to join in all the fun as an array of increasingly barmy characters! I also loved rising to the various, byzantine musical challenges of the script, in my dual role as SUPERMIND’s composer. From orchestral bombast to big band jazz, via the Golden Age of Hollywood and the unique experience of creating the sound of a hundred singing seals, I have never laughed so much sat at a piano! This project has been a JOY to be involved with, all thanks to the sheer enthusiasm and goodwill of the whole crew – Barnaby, Colin, Toyah, Julie Ann, Nic, Joseph and the team at AUK have all been completely dedicated to making this unashamedly silly, feelgood romp happen in these most complicated of circumstances, and I think that really shines through in the final product. Everybody that listens will be instantly won over by the outrageous charms of this winningly daft, joyfully unconstrained, and only very slightly naughty, audio comic strip. This is the breath of silly air we all need right now and, like all good superheroes, SUPERMIND has arrived just in the nick of time!”
NIC FORD (Co-writer):
“Writing SUPERMIND: The Brain Drain, was definitely one of the best times I’ve ever had with my clothes on, whilst a man called Eaton-Jones cracked a whip. I mean, there was that time in the Mumbles with Tom Jones but this is definitely Top Three after that. Then, to have performers I genuinely grew up loving and respecting (no hyperbole, despite what it sounds like) be cast and perform it, is a dream come true. I can’t wait to see what Art, Daphne, and Frampers get up to next – especially now I’ve signed with Lady W as my agent. As she would say: ‘Lovely dollars!’”
BARNABY EATON-JONES (Frampton, Chief O’Carroll and other Voices, Co-Writer, Producer/Director)
“The idea for SUPERMIND came about from one joke I expanded by chatting with my wife on a half an hour car journey with her. This was a rare occasion where our children weren’t with us and we could actually talk. Ahem.
My silly idea was that reading someone’s mind would be a rubbish superpower on radio because it would translate as dead silence when it’s being done. Which amused me greatly. Coincidentally, from that initial joke (made because this was originally going to be on stage and a visual gag), the alternative came true. It is a great superpower to have on audio because you get to explain everything! Ahem.
I just imagined the whole thing in the vein of those melodramatic serials on American radio in the early years; like The Shadow, etc. This was developed as a live radio show on stage, in association with a local professional theatre, and then the pandemic happened and it became the easiest project to turn into an actual radio show – binging on board the writing prowess of Nic Ford when AUK Studios had the foresight to allow me to do it as an audio production.
I’d always envisaged the voices in my head for the main characters and Colin McFarlane and Toyah Willcox fit the bill perfectly, and I’m so delighted they jumped on board after reading the initial script. Both of them bounced off each other beautifully and elevated the material wonderfully.
Julie-Ann Dean is a marvel in the vocal booth and someone I’ve known for years but haven’t worked with, so it was a delight to offer her a workout for her larynx as she portrays every other female in the series aside from Toyah’s Lady Witcombe.
Likewise, Darrell Maclaine got pulled away from his epic music composing on this serial to join in the vocal fun too. I had huge fun being Frampton, the manservant/bodyguard of Art Hardwicke (AKA Supermind) – who is scared of everything and anything. As well as leaping into the role of Chief of Police, O’Carroll; who couldn’t be anymore Irish if he dressed as a leprechaun drinking a pint of Guinness.
Of course, these audios are only halfway there without the superb sound design by Joseph Fox, my regular cohort in audio adventures. The best sound design sometimes gets overlooked, as it so fits the situation and helps the listeners transport themselves into the scene – it has to enhance rather than hinder and Joseph is brilliant at bringing the production up to a superior level.
Providing the series in 15-minute episodes gives a gloriously contained quickness to proceedings, with a cliff-hanger at the end of each one. This first series is called The Brain Drain and – whisper it quietly – but a second series is in the pipeline, for more delightfully devilish shenanigans.”
PAUL ANDREWS (AUK STUDIOS and Executive Producer)
When Barnaby pitched this idea to me and who he wanted to cast for it, I had no hesitation but to say yes, and how soon can we start? We have been working with Barnaby for some time now but this is the first of many productions which he is leading for the AUK Studios family of creatives, so keep listening, well after you have listened to SUPERMIND first of course!
Full cast and credits –
COLIN McFARLANE as Art Hardwicke
TOYAH WILLCOX as Lady Witcombe
BARNABY EATON-JONES as Frampton
JULIE-ANN DEAN as Professor Vaytell
All other voices – DARRELL MACLAINE, JULIE-ANN DEAN and BARNABY EATON-JONES
Script – NIC FORD and BARNABY EATON-JONES
Sound design – JOSEPH FOX
Music – ABIGAIL FOX
Artwork – ROBERT HAMMOND
Executive Producer – PAUL ANDREWS
Produced and directed – BARNABY EATON-JONES for AUK Studios © 2021