As a family who spends a lot of time on the road, we are always looking for ways to fit in some learning in the car so when the opportunity came up for us to review the latest audio theatre from Heirloom Audio, St. Bartholomew’s Eve.
Available both in physical CDs as well as digital downloads, these recordings are easy to access. I was able to quickly add my digital version into Google Play Music so our whole family could have access to listen. It also worked well for us to listen in the car with our Blue Tooth connection.
To begin with, I listened to the recordings all the way through on my own. Being a Catholic, I was concerned at how Catholics would be portrayed in a story of Huguenot persecution (and massacre). Don’t get me wrong, it was a horrible and deadly time in history but just as in all times of battle and strife, I am sure there were at least a few good people who understood and supported people worshipping God in the way they felt in their hearts. I was pleased that this was indeed an idea that was included right at the beginning of the recording and continued with more than one Catholic helping the Huguenots to be saved from the mobs.
There was a character near the end of the recording who says it well. When asked if he is Catholic he responds,
“I am, but not a butcher like these others. I will hide the boy in my home.”
As it turns out he is already hiding another Huguenot family in his attic, much like those who hid Jewish families during WWII.
Another reason I listened ahead was to help me decide whether or not this would be suitable for EJ, and possibly his cousins to listen to. I have to say it is very realistic and portrays the brutality of the events quite boldly. While this makes for an exciting listen for adults and teens, I would be cautious about listening with youngsters who may be sensitive to the violence. (EJ, who is 11, felt that anyone younger than 10 might be frightened by some of the fighting scenes.)
I was very pleased with the quality and realism contained in this “movie for my ears.” I could picture in my mind the action and conversations as they occurred and found I had to listen through to the end once I had begun.
Next, I had my husband listen to this radio theatre with me on the drive to our daughters home. As he has in the past, he had a hard time hearing the dialogue during some of the more exciting battle scenes. Likely due to his hearing from years of driving a locomotive engine, this may be a common issue for some older listeners. I adjusted the equalizer on our car radio and it seemed to help.
This story that is told through the perspective of a pair of heroes (based on the book by G.A. Henty) who fight on the side of the Huguenots is an important one for us all to learn and know. It is important to understand history so we can work to ensure these dark and tragic times are not repeated.
EJ liked that he could follow through the story with the main heroes and get to know other characters along the way. He particularly connected with the young man named Argento who helped the two heroes and, later in the story, lost his leg after being shot in it. He thought the young man was very brave and good to stay by his sister to keep her safe as well.
It is in the small but important details like the choice of the hymn that I feel the quality and work put into creating this informative and enjoyable Christian audio drama. We will certainly be including this with our history lessons of the time period.
Our family thoroughly enjoyed St. Bartholomew’s Eve from Heirloom Audio and plan to look through more of their titles in the future. Several other crew families have been reviewing them as well and I’d encourage you to check out their reviews by clicking on the image below.