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The Family Tree

When podcast producer Dave Pickering is approached by his dad with a mystery from the life of a long-forgotten friend, he decides to investigate it in the only way he knows how: by having conversations. Mark Sullivan, who went missing 15 years ago, has been found dead. His body still has the arm he should have lost in a car accident and seems to have died eight years before he disappeared. In a series of 12 episodes, Dave tries to uncover this mystery through conversations with Mark’s family and friends. As he gets to know them, his questions lead to more questions… the mystery runs deeper than anyone imagined. The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 15, 2016

The final Cutting of Season 1 gives you an extra slice of the drama: Dave takes the Sullivans aside as the cheesecake is served and asks them about their experiences since the podcast has aired.

Dec 11, 2016

In the season finale, Dave catches up with the Sullivan family. He’s eager to know how they’re all coping with the new information in their lives.

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.*

iTunes RSS

* We recommend starting at the beginning of the series to enjoy the full experience of the mystery.

Dec 8, 2016

In Monday’s episode, Dave talked to Sam. When they finished recording, they asked him to turn the mic back on so they could explain what being non-binary means. This week’s Cutting takes that as its starting point, and Dave talks to CN Lester and Sez Thomasin about being non-binary. Featuring poetry by Sez Thomasin.

Find our Guests!

Sez Thomasin: Twitter

CN Lester: Twitter, Trans Like Me: A Journey for All of Us, music

Dec 4, 2016

Dave talks to the twins’ cousin Sam about their views on the mystery and finds out how Melanie’s been coping in the month since his last recording.

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.*

iTunes RSS

* We recommend starting at the beginning of the series to enjoy the full experience of the mystery.

Dec 1, 2016

In this week’s Cutting, Dave plays clips from the series so far to members of his family and is as surprised and concerned about their reactions as they are about what they hear.

Find our Guests!

Peter Pickering

Tony Pickering: Twitter

Nov 27, 2016

Until this episode, every conversation on this show has been arranged in advance. But this one begins with an unexpected ring on the doorbell: Melanie wants to tell her side of the story…

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.*

iTunes RSS

* We recommend starting at the beginning of the series to enjoy the full experience of the mystery.

Nov 24, 2016

As the podcast audience widens and the Sullivans reveal more and more personal information, Dave’s concern about protecting their privacy grows. In this week’s Cutting, he talks to Alix Fox and Girl on the Net, both of whom regularly share personal information online, about maintaining privacy in a public forum.

Find our Guests!

Alix Fox: Close Encounters podcast, The Modern Mann podcast

Girl on the Net: Twitter, books

Also mentioned: Brook

Nov 20, 2016

Still in shock from Jane’s revelation, Dave arranges a conversation with the twins. He’s never conducted an interview like this before, and he’s nervous about how it will turn out. But only one of the girls turns up…

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.*

* We recommend starting at the beginning of the series to enjoy the full experience of the mystery.

Nov 17, 2016

Since Jane’s shocking revelation, Dave has been thinking about the impact of sharing true stories in public spaces. In this week’s Cutting, he talks to Joanna Yates, Kevin Allison, Andre Radmall and Azariah France-Williams about the importance and ethics of true storytelling.

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism and the arts. They are also a space to platform listener information. If you know anything about what happened to Mark, you can call 0203 290 0592. Please be aware that your message may be played on the show.

Find our Guests!

Joanna Yates: Spark London

Kevin Allison: RISK!

Andre Radmall and Azariah France-WilliamsThe ShapeShifters

Nov 13, 2016

Dave begins his second conversation with Jane planning to tell her about the oak tree and what he has learned about her late husband. He’s prepared for it to be a difficult conversation, but he’s not prepared for what she will reveal to him.

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.*

iTunes RSS

* We recommend starting at the beginning of the series to enjoy the full experience of the mystery.

Nov 10, 2016

Dave talks to his mum, June Hoy, about her experiences running an adventure playground in the seventies and about how she remembers Mark Sullivan. He also asks both his parents The Big Questions.

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism and the arts. They are also a space to platform listener information. If you know anything about what happened to Mark, you can call 0203 290 0592. Please be aware that your message may be played on the show.

Find our Guests!

June Hoy: Quiet Canvas

Peter Pickering

Nov 9, 2016

If you've been listening to the first half of Season 1 of The Family Tree, you'll have heard podcast producer Dave Pickering investigating Mark Sullivan's mysterious disappearance by having conversations with his family.

In Episode 6 everything changed. If you haven't heard the story so far, you might want to listen to the past episodes of the show before clicking play on this teaser, as it contains spoilers and suggests where this revelation might take Dave and what kind of answers he has uncovered so far.

Mark Sullivan, who went missing 15 years ago, has been found dead. His body still has the arm he should have lost in a car accident and seems to have died eight years before he disappeared. Dave has found out that Mark isn't who everyone thought he was. Well, almost everyone. It seems that Reverend Beech knew more about this than he let on in the beginning...

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.

 

Nov 6, 2016

This week, we take a breath to process last week’s revelations and try to get to know Mark. This conversation continues on from the one in Episode 1, in which Dave talks to his dad and Tony, and they read through Mark’s letters and talk about his relationship with Peter.

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.*

iTunes RSS

*Last week, Dave finally got some answers, and this episode contains spoilers. We recommend starting at the beginning of the series to enjoy the full experience of the show.

Nov 3, 2016

Since Beech’s revelation, questions about humanity have been playing heavily on Dave’s mind. In this week’s Cutting, he asks his guests the big questions: ‘What does it mean to be human?’ and ‘What is Consciousness?’ In this episode, you’ll hear voices from both past and future Cuttings.

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism and the arts. They are also a space to platform listener information. If you know anything about what happened to Mark, you can call 0203 290 0592. Please be aware that your message may be played on the show.

Find our Guests!

Helen ZaltzmanThe AllusionistAnswer Me This!

Martin Zaltz Austwick: The Sound of the LadiesSong by SongGlobal LabBrain Train

Andre Radmall and Azariah France-WilliamsThe ShapeShifters

Sonja Todd: Erwin (a comic about Erwin Blumenfeld)

 Charlie Phillips: The Guardian, Article about PopCo

Jackie Hagan: Some People Have Too Many Legs

Samantha Asamadu: Media Diversified, The Feminist Filmmaker, twitter

Musa Okwonga: twitter

Alix Fox: Close Encounters podcast, The Modern Mann podcast

Girl on the Net: Twitter, books

Zoe Prosser & Gary Blake: Zoe & Gary on Getting Better Acquainted

Rusty Quill: The Rusty Quill Gaming Podcast, Rusty Quill Twitter

Dean Haglund & Phil Leirness: The Truth is out There, Chillpak Hollywood Hour, Dave on Chillpak Hollywood Hour, Chillpak Hollywood Hour Twitter, The Lady Killers

Joanna Yates: Spark London

Kevin Allison: RISK!

Sez Thomasin: Twitter

CN Lester: Twitter, Trans Like Me: A Journey for All of Us, music

Oct 30, 2016

Before their scheduled meeting, Reverend Beech leaves a message for Dave asking him to meet him at St James’ Park. There are “one or two things it might be useful for you to see,” he says. In this episode, Dave finally gets some answers.*

*If you’re new to The Family Tree, we suggest going back to Episode 1 before you listen to this. From here on, there’ll be spoilers you can’t unknow!

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.

Oct 28, 2016

Today’s Cutting comes in two parts. After hearing Nathan’s concerns about the conflict between live action role play and table top gaming, Dave investigates this issue with the table top role-playing gamers from The Rusty Quill Gaming Podcast and LARPers, Zoe Prosser and Gary Blake. In the second half of the show, Dave focuses on some of Nathan’s other interests and speaks to the makers of the documentary, The Truth Is Out There, Dean Haglund (from The X-Files) and Phil Leirness, about conspiracy theories and other-worldly views.

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism and the arts. They are also a space to showcase listener theories about the mystery. If you have a theory about what happened to Mark, you can call 0203 290 0592. Please be aware that your message may be played on the show.

Find our Guests!

Zoe Prosser & Gary Blake: Zoe & Gary on Getting Better Acquainted

Rusty Quill: The Rusty Quill Gaming Podcast, Rusty Quill Twitter

Dean Haglund & Phil Leirness: The Truth is out There, Chillpak Hollywood Hour, Dave on Chillpak Hollywood Hour, Chillpak Hollywood Hour Twitter, The Lady Killers

Oct 23, 2016

After his previous two conversations, Dave’s pleased to find that Mark’s second son, Nathan, is much more willing to talk about his father’s disappearance than his other children. Back in the Sullivan family home, Dave discovers that Nathan has some interesting theories about what might have happened to Mark.

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.

Oct 20, 2016

Having personal conversations in public is always a risky business, but Dave is particularly aware that his guests this week were under sixteen. With Melissa and Melanie’s well-being at the front of his mind, he reaches out for guidance and advice. In this week’s Cutting, Dave explores issues of privacy, sharing your private life publically, navigating the internet as a young person, and sex and education. He talks to journalist, broadcaster and sex educator, Alix Fox; writer and sex blogger, Girl on the Net, and podcasters Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn from One Bad Mother.

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism and the arts. They are also a space to showcase listener theories about the mystery. If you have a theory about what happened to Mark, you can call 0203 290 0592. Please be aware that your message may be played on the show.

Find our Guests!

Alix Fox: Close Encounters podcast, The Modern Mann podcast

Girl on the Net: Twitter, books

Biz Ellis & Theresa Thorn: One Bad Mother podcast, One Bad Mother Twitter

Also mentioned: Brook, BISH

Oct 16, 2016

Dave thought it was awkward speaking to Ben, but it turns out that was nothing compared with speaking to Mark’s teenage daughters, Melissa and Melanie. Nervously sitting down with the twins in the family home, Dave didn't expect it to be easy, but he was surprised to find they were less happy about giving an interview than he'd been led to believe.

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.

Oct 13, 2016

Picking up on some of the themes of this week’s episode of The Family Tree, Dave speaks to founder of Media Diversified, Samantha Asamadu; Nikesh Shukla, editor of the brilliant state-of-the-nation essay collection, The Good Immigrant and poet and journalist, Musa Okwonga about issues around representation and lived experience in fiction, drama and the media.

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism and the arts. They are also a space to showcase listener theories about the mystery. If you have a theory about what happened to Mark, you can call 0203 290 0592. Please be aware that your message may be played on the show.

Find our Guests!

Samantha Asamadu: Media Diversified, The Feminist Filmmaker, twitter

Nikesh Shukla: The Good Immigrant , twitter

Musa Okwonga: twitter

Oct 9, 2016

Dave talks to Mark’s eldest son, Ben, and his partner, Kora. With their daughter Mia playing in the room next door, the couple host Dave in their busy kitchen. He said he was happy to talk, but Ben is more defensive than Dave – or Kora – anticipated.

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.

Oct 6, 2016

In Mark Sullivan’s absence, Dave is aware of the dangers of discussing issues without involving those affected by them. Mark’s decision to become a vegan was one that shaped the life of both himself and his family, so Dave talks to Sonja Todd and Charlie Philips about their experiences living in the world as vegans.  Another issue that affected Mark deeply was the loss of his arm in a car accident. Dave speaks to poet, theatre maker, comedian and community arts worker Jackie Hagan about her experiences as an amputee.

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism and the arts. They are also a space to showcase listener theories about the mystery. If you have a theory about what happened to Mark, you can call 0203 290 0592. Please be aware that your message may be played on the show.

Find our Guests!

Sonja Todd: Erwin (a comic about Erwin Blumenfeld)

Charlie Phillips: The Guardian, Article about PopCo

Jackie Hagan: Some People Have Too Many Legs (The Frog and Bucket, Manchester 23/10/16)

Oct 2, 2016

Having spoken to Reverend Beech, Dave contacts Mark Sullivan’s family. His widow, Jane, agrees to come on the show to discuss their relationship and her feelings about the mystery. Dave talks to her in the family home surrounded by pictures of her family.

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.

 

 

Sep 29, 2016

The Family Tree is a very different podcast from the one Dave normally produces, so he talks to podcasters Helen Zaltzman and Martin Zaltz Austwick about what it's like to change the kind of show you make, and asks for some advice on the craft and ethics of podcasting. And to give more context to the life of Reverend Philip Beech, we hear from Andre Radmall and Azariah France-Williams about their experiences as priests in the community.

The Family Tree's Cuttings discuss the real issues raised in the show with special guests from podcasting, journalism and the arts. They are also a space to showcase listener theories about the mystery. If you have a theory about what happened to Mark, you can call 0203 290 0592. Please be aware that your message may be played on the show.

Find our Guests!

Helen Zaltzman: The Allusionist, Answer Me This!

Martin Zaltz Austwick: The Sound of the Ladies, Song by Song, Global Lab, Brain Train

Andre Radmall and Azariah France-Williams: The ShapeShifters

Sep 25, 2016

A body discovered years after its death with more arms than it should have had: this is the story Peter and Tony come back from a funeral with. In Episode 1, they introduce Dave to the mystery and suggest he talks to the vicar who officiated the funeral. Reverend Philip Beech is happy to oblige, and Dave talks to him about Mark Sullivan and his family and begins to explore the mystery surrounding Mark’s death. So begins a journey that will change Dave’s understanding of reality forever.

The Family Tree is a magical realist drama about family, belonging, change and identity.

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