The creator of The Rocky Horror Show is taking on a rare acting role to star in a new six part audio comedy-drama inspired by the fantastical stories of Baron Munchausen.

Illustration: Robert Hammond

Forty-seven years after creating the sci-fi stage and film cult favourite ‘The Rocky Horror Show’, Richard O’Brien is to star in The Barren Author’, a new six-part audio comedy-drama inspired by the stories of Baron Munchausen by Rudolf Erich Raspe.

O’Brien is set to play The Brigadier, who is telling the tale in sessions via video calls to the mysterious Smith (Sophie Aldred). But is she all she says she is, and what – in fact – is she? A publisher, a psychiatrist, or in league with forces of evil?

The original stories about Baron Munchausen first appeared in 1785 in the book ‘Baron Munchausen’s Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia’.and told of his impossible achievements as a sportsman, soldier, and traveller including riding on a cannonball, fighting a 40-foot crocodile, and travelling to the Moon.

This new audio comedy-drama has been written by Paul Birch and produced and directed by Barnaby Eaton-Jones, is not a literal adaptation of the Munchausen stories but takes the satirical, provocative and absurd spirit of the original tales and reimagines them for 2020.

Talking about the news Producer/Director Barnaby Eaton-Jones  said: “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 Barren Author features sound design by Joseph Fox, music by Abigail Fox, songs by Darrel Maclaine, design and illustration by Robert Hammond and is produced by Spiteful Puppet in association with AUK.

The Barren Author will be released on the 31st October. For more information visit: https://spitefulpuppet.com/