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From Beyond by H. P. Lovecraft, adapted by Julie Hoverson

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19 Nocturne Boulevard, March 2012
 
Written in 1920, From Beyond is a macabre tale told from the perspective of Herbert (Carl Gubbedge), who recounts his experiences of encountering a mad scientist Tillinghast (Jack Kincaid). Tillinghast has created a sophisticated device that through a complicated process enables an individual to see outside the scope of what passes for 'reality.' 

In the course of the story, we become aware that the narrator has been exposed to an alien environment, peopled by alien creatures that defy description. Tillinghast reveals that he has used his machine to transport two of his house servants into the overlapping plane of reality. He also reveals that the effect works both ways, and allows the monsters of the other world to view human beings. As a result Tillinghast's servants were attacked and killed. Herbert is informed that another monster is right behind him: terrified beyond measure, the narrator picks up a gun and shoots it at the machine, destroying it. Tillinghast dies immediately thereafter, and is blamed for killing the servants.

Staged rather like an Agatha Christie whodunit, with a group of male characters discussing the experience at second hand, Julie Hoverson's adaptation made ingenious use of radio's capacity to suggest alternative worlds through sound effects. As the drama unfolded, we became more and more confused as to which was the 'real' world, and whether it could be distinguished from Tillinghast's manufactured universe. As a result, we were led into an ontological speculation as to who we really were.

Despite the enthusiasm with which the cast delivered their lines, I did think that From Beyond was a rather talky piece: the odd coup de theatre would have come in very handy as a way of breaking up the action. Nonetheless I congratulate Hoverson on creating yet another intriguing podcast to add to 19 Nocturne Boulevard's ever-expanding collection.