Quintet by Mike Murphy

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Download Quintet from Misfits Audio

Misfits Audio, July 2013
Another series of macabre tales from that prolific writer of radio dramas for Misfits Audio, the US-based drama outfit that boasts a huge repertoire of downloadable plays across all genres.  If you haven't visited it yet, then I urge you to do so (
Many years ago there was a series of anthology films produced by British studios based on the work of Somerset Maugham - Quartet and Encore - being two of them.  There was also Dead of Night (1945) an Ealing Studio-helmed anthology which featured Michael Redgrave as a ventriloquist being psychologically taken over by his dummy.  The attraction of all of these films was the ways in which the respective directors had taken an apparently normal situation and distorted it in unexpected (and frequently shocking) ways.
Murphy adopted precisely the same technique in Quintet.  In one tale "For an Eye," Mr. Lange (Russell Gold) was grateful that his doctor (Eleiece Krawiec) had agreed to see him out of hours.  She filled his eyes with a fluid, ostensibly to help his pupils dilate; but the consequences was certainly not what Mr. Lange expected, as he was made to pay for past misdemeanours.  "Under the Coats" concerned a pair of naughty kids (Maureen Boulter, Katie Dehnart) who discovered to their cost that the phrase "money talks" could have a literal as well as a metaphorical meaning.  "Pest Control" had a homemaker Edna Washburn (Kim Gianopoulos) inviting an operative (Glenn Hascall) into her house to try and rid it of insects, but getting more than she bargained for.  The anthology rounded off with the Edgar Allan Poe-inspired "Do You Hear What I Hear?" about a man (Russell Gold once more) cursed with unnaturally sensitive powers of hearing.  
Introduced by a macabre voice (Steve Anderson), inviting us to sit back and let our imaginations wander, Quintet was actually thoroughly entertaining listening.  Like the best thriller writers - Roald Dahl, for instance - Murphy has the ability to create tales of the unexpected out of the most mundane material.  He also acted as producer.