In Colonial Radio Theater’s 2007 adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, a carnival arrives in a small Midwestern town in late October. Two thirteen year old boys, Jim and Will, discover something sinister is behind the carnival and its leader Mr. Dark.
The story itself is pure Bradbury at his best. Superficially, it’s about a couple of kids in a small town and a scary carnival. But there’s a lot of depths and themes here such as age and youth, innocence, and evil. Yet Something Wicked This Way Comes never seems like it’s trying to be profound and it never forgets to be an entertaining and scary story.
The dialogue is not typically the way most people talk either now or then. It has a stylized, almost lyrical quality.
The production qualities are solid. I’ve listened to hundreds of hours of Audio Drama from many companies. So far, Colonial has the best sound design this side of the Atlantic. Even though it was recorded twelve years ago, the sound design and music hold up and build that creepy small-town atmosphere. Colonial’s talented team of actors delivers good performances all around and manage to handle Bradbury’s unique style of dialogue.
Overall, this is a fun and well-done take on a Bradbury classic that’s definitely worth a listen.