Durham Town Hall
Review by Chase Miller
Ferryhill Philosophers is a radio show on BBC 4 set in the town of Ferryhill in Durham and based around the social workings of the many residents. Not being the biggest fan of radio shows myself, the actual physical show was surprisingly entertaining, despite lasting two hours and catering clearly towards an older audience. The writer and director of the show were there, as well as most of the actors for the particular scene due to be performed. The show itself confronted moral issues of sex and adultery, but put a comedic twist on them, and I could certainly see it being the type of thing you’d listen to on the radio on a long road trip somewhere. The philosophical aspect (hence the ‘philosophy’ of the title) was interesting too, as the episode confronted ideas of sex and adultery, but also of forgiveness, which was nice to see. Despite the ending lacking the weightiness of gripping drama,, it was about as satisfying as the rest of the show.
Seeing the voice actors in person was somewhat strange. I’m used to shows being acted out on stage, but I can see that the show was going for a more authentic kind of radio show feel, even in person. It was the sort of thing you could close your eyes to and just listen, like a podcast but in person. The actors simply stood up when it was their part, and sat down when it wasn’t and that was their only movement during the entire show.
At the beginning of the show, the director pointed out the orchestra (the actual Ferryhill brass band, surprisingly enough) and began to talk about their thought process when directing the show. It was the same with the writer of the show, who talked about how and why they were writing it and who it was intended. The orchestra played, which really created a powerful atmosphere, and at the end the director and writer once again took questions and talked about their show and its history.
The Ferryhill Philosophers was certainly an interesting show to watch. I will now be able to say, “oh, look I’ve seen them live” at every opportunity, however rare.