What would you do if you were offered an opportunity to disappear? To imitate your own death and restart life anew? The Amelia Project is a podcast based on this premise.
What would you do if you were offered an opportunity to disappear? To imitate your own death and restart life anew? At Amelia, this is exactly the one and only service they offer. Although it sounds sinister and existential, The Amelia Project - a podcast based on this premise — is nothing short of hilarious.
While the traditional October is all about spooks and horrors, perhaps it’s time to enjoy a different kind of entertainment within that genre: comedy horror. The Amelia Project, created by Philip Thorne and Øystein Ulsberg Brager, is an audio fiction drama set in the modern day about an institution they refer to as ‘Amelia’. Listeners get to tune in to Amelia’s day-to-day business conversations which are all about helping high profile clients escape compromising or life-threatening situations by making them disappear after arranging their so called ‘death’ in the public eye. In short, they are truly orchestrators of organised chaos.
The plots are witty, characters eccentric, and the writing quite brilliant. Apart from that, the sounds and background scores are infused so well within the podcast that it often feels less like a show and more like eavesdropping on a private conversation. Each episode consists of clients calling Amelia only to be greeted with a bizarre voicemail followed by an in-person appointment where they are interviewed for the sole purpose of checking if their problems are ‘interesting’ enough.
So far, the podcast has developed wildly absurd yet tremendously enjoyable storylines. Some of the characters who want to avail Amelia’s services are: a man who loses his sense of humour on the eve of his performance at London’s Apollo theatre; a distinctly vengeful and imaginative divorcee; a woman who can travel just one hour ahead in time; and even a 1-D fictional character trying to escape a podcast (meta much?). Some of the episodes even have a ‘Black Mirror’-esque feel: a pop star who struggles with her identity and a super sentient AI out to destroy the world. Yet, despite these ominous problems, The Amelia Project never fails to make light of the situation.
If all these narratives seem complex and impossible to resolve in just 20 odd minutes, you are absolutely right. But that is where the writers’ finesse comes through. The Amelia Project does a splendid job in satisfactorily closing all the loops. Finally, I must not forget to mention here the voice actor who plays ‘The Interviewer’: Alan Burgon. He adds zest and skilfully brings this fictional persona to life, leaving you with an unforgettable character whose cocoa-loving histrionics leave you in splits.
With rising popularity among podcast listeners and bagging accolades at podcast awards, The Amelia Project is well on its way to success. What more? They also have a release schedule so you know exactly when you can get your next dose of Amelia. This October, get yourself a cup of hot cocoa and don’t forget to tune in. Available wherever you listen to podcasts.
Pooja Ramakrishnan is studying MSc Environmental Engineering and has recently joined the Delta team as their book and podcast pundit. A science student during the day and a poet by night, she balances the two with her curiosity and fascination for the world we live in.