Welcome To Night Vale @ Summerhall

Welcome To Night Vale’s brand new live episode is every bit as hilarious and delightfully creepy as the popular podcast is known for being

Review by Caitlin A. Kearney | 18 Sep 2018
  • Welcome To The Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale brings all the energy it would for a full house to a modest three rows of patrons. Perhaps it was the relatively hefty ticket price, or maybe the late-Fringe starting date, but the podcast’s live shows are used to selling out much larger spaces worldwide. Either way, to their credit, the team were anything but perturbed by the intimacy of the turnout, and plunged us headfirst into the well-loved world of the strange desert town where time doesn’t work and all conspiracy theories are true.

In this stand-alone instalment we submit to the quirkiest of audience interaction as radical teenage bookworm Tamika Flynn (Symphony Sanders) pursues an untrustworthy secret-keeping shapeshifter. Cecil Baldwin’s sonorous, friendly voice guides us smoothly through all-but-standard local radio segments as reports of the Mink weave in and out of his eponymous character’s regular broadcast. Somehow we are still sweetly surprised by the unconventional yet thought-provoking takeaway message we are ultimately led to, even though this is the formula with which the vast majority of Night Vale episodes are made.

The show’s appeal lies more in the pleasure of familiarity than the intrigue of newness, but Night Vale has never been broken so there is nothing to be fixed. Meg Bashwiner remains the consistently well-dressed bookends to the show, laugh-out-loud funny in her recurring role as Deb (a sentient patch of haze). Disparition’s music creates the signature mystical atmosphere. Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor have crafted yet another package that we cannot deny contains everything we’ve always liked best about the franchise.

After year upon year of success, Welcome To Night Vale is still that elegantly written and masterfully delivered portal through which we can escape to a world where uncertainty is just as certain but in a much spookier, kookier way.

Welcome To Night Vale, Summerhall, run ended