Great stories are just like great music – they need a little bit of everything to win over a big crowd. Marry Me Margaret, the new spoken word story series from Mr. Randall Wheatley reminds me a lot of a classic rock record; it’s littered with introspection, commentary, a brooding connection to strangers and places unknown, as well as elements of sex, illicit substances and the characters born of both. With his voice to lead the way, Randall Wheatley guides us through fourteen chapters of a gripping new tale from behind the mic in Marry Me Margaret this June, and amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it couldn’t be arriving at a more pivotal time for English-speaking audiences around the globe. Imaginations are stirred while provocative notions are conjured on the spot in the debut, self-titled episode of this series, but as anyone who follows through the next few aural pages of the story will find out, things tend to get even more enticing as Wheatley begins to unveil one layer of his players after another.

URL: https://randallwheatley.com/home

I absolutely love the juxtaposition of music and spoken word in the second, fifth and tenth episodes of Marry Me Margaret more than I did any others. “I Like Liquor,” “The Pale Blue Pillow” and “Everything You Need To Know Is” were some of my favorite excerpts from the whole of the series, but without the chilling soundtracks they were each afforded (especially in the case of the piano play in “Everything You Need To Know Is”), I don’t know if they would be as memorable to me as they are here. The tense atmosphere of Marry Me Margaret is made all the more smothering by the particular way in which Wheatley’s voice is treated behind the EQ in “Nomads” and “The Red Kettle” (chapter 3 and 7, respectively), and though some might deem them unnecessary, I believe it’s the minor intricacies like these that give the series such a unique edge. I haven’t listening to anything quite as spellbinding outside of this in 2020, and if it’s the sort of quality I can anticipate hearing from Randall Wheatley in the future, I’ll be looking for more content out of his camp soon.

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Fans of storytelling from eighteen to eighty-eight really can’t go wrong in picking up on Marry Me Margaret when it debuts this June 19th, as I think it has the potential to be one of the more lauded new audio series out this summer. There have been no shortage of interesting podcasts and spoken word releases coming to the surface since the start of the COVID-19 lockdowns, but few that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to have boasted the kind of multidimensionality that Marry Me Margaret does seemingly around every one of its turns. Over the course of seven weeks, I think listeners are going to find themselves becoming more attached to the identity of its characters, and more importantly, the relatable emotionality that they each create in the scenes comprising this epic play.

Nicole Killian

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