Penguin Random House has teamed up with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama for a “pioneering” audio adaptation of Joseph Knox’s True Crime Story, commissioning several of its students to lend their voices to the project over lockdown.
The book is the fictional story of one woman’s personal investigation into the disappearance of a Manchester University student “which uniquely blurs the lines between fact and fiction,” PRH said. The title is published today (17th June) by Transworld in hardback, e-book and audio, and is the latest in the debut crime series Transworld secured back in 2016.
PRH said: “The audio format lends itself to a creative opportunity to present the audiobook as a true crime podcast, exploring the narrative with 17 actors playing 30 characters. For this exciting opportunity, Penguin Random House Audio have partnered with Guildhall School and commissioned a number of third year students from Guildhall School’s Acting programme to voice some of the characters from locations across the UK, providing the students with insight into the audiobook industry and paid acting work during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“Due to the impressive quality of the talent and production, Penguin Random House Audio hopes to continue working with these students after their graduation.”
PRH Audio has commissioned other unusual projects recently, including the FutureBook Book of the Year-shortlisted Edinburgh Unlocked, an audio-exclusive comedy festival launched in August 2020 to capture the spirit of the cancelled Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the award-winning campaign for five audiobook adaptations of the 2000AD comics.
Audio editor Oliver Grant said: ‘We are delighted to have been able to partner with Guildhall School on this exciting audio project. All the students involved were a joy to work with; they were professional, diligent and creative in equal measure, and each of them delivered extremely compelling performances. It’s wonderful to be able to offer work and experience to young emerging talent and we will look to expand this initiative moving forwards wherever we can.”
Orla O’Loughlin, vice-president and director of drama at Guildhall School, said: “This project is a powerful example of the exciting creative sweet spot that can exist between the industry and artists in training. As Guildhall School reimagines artist training for the 21st century, our many creative collaborations with world-leading companies and artists at the forefront of the creative landscape, such as this innovative partnership with Penguin Random House, remain an essential part of our student experience.”