TEMUJIN: AN AUDIO DRAMA by Andas Productions is an audio-only historical drama launched in 2020 adapting the Central Asian epic The Secret History of the Mongols. This adaptation follows the rise of Temujin - who would become Genghis Khan - and the fall of Jamukha - the Gur Khan, his most bitter rival and dearest friend.
Told from Jamukha's perspective on what seems like the last night of his life, TEMUJIN reveals a rarely-told moment that shaped human history: the ill-fated bond shared between two young warlords caught between rivalry and friendship, empire-building and tender brotherhood.
An Origin Story
As many productions do, TEMUJIN began as a conversation. Specifically, one between showrunner Roshan Singh and his best friend, Amarbold. After Roshan mentioned someone's troubling suggestion that "the world had run out of epic histories," Amarbold pointed Roshan towards Genghis Khan as "more dramatically compelling than Hamlet".
This conversation instigated a two-year long research process (involving archival research, travel to Mongolia, correspondence with esteemed scholar Jack Weatherford, and intensive writing/re-writing) and culminated in Temujin - a script which won Outstanding Capstone for Arts & Humanities at Yale-NUS College in 2018.
Originally scripted for theatre, Temujin was first showcased as a live dramatised reading. After two full-house nights, the team discovered something unexpected: Temujin simply sounded beautiful. The lack of costumes and stage props heightened the audio experience in the tradition of oral storytelling by the fireside under a starlit sky.
It dawned on the team that this wasn't a 'play without the frills', so much as a complete experience in itself. Not to mention: one that could be shared with the world.
From Kickstarter to Global Launch
And so Temujin became TEMUJIN: AN AUDIO DRAMA, an audio-only podcast drama project piloted on Kickstarter. Launched for crowdfunding in May 2019, the TEMUJIN team sought to record, mix and release the story of TEMUJIN: AN AUDIO DRAMA as a free-to-access high-quality audio drama on major audio distribution platforms by early 2020.
Most importantly, the team strived to create an immersive and cinematic experience that could be accessed by anyone regardless of their background or location.
With a crowdfunding goal of S$9,500 (approx. US$7,000), TEMUJIN raised S$10,311 (approx. US$7,600), garnering the support of an international base of backers and the Mongolian Embassy in Singapore.
The production process, which formally began in December 2018, was lengthy and intensive. For half a year, Roshan conducted weekly live rehearsals with the actors, workshopping scenes for character motivation and audio clarity.
This culminated in a two-day "recording bootcamp", where the actors performed the entirety of TEMUJIN together in a live stereo recording set-up.
Following this, Roshan worked closely with our Sound Designer & Audio Engineer Nathaniel Mah over a period of seven months. They met weekly, for sessions that lasted up to six hours, to bring out the best in the show's performances and sound design. Over this process, they decided to keep the soundscapes minimalist and mood-driven, always in service of the story.
On January 30, 2020, TEMUJIN: AN AUDIO DRAMA was globally launched. Since launch, it has garnered over 7,000 total plays by listeners from Singapore, the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, India, Mongolia, Germany, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and many more.
Testimonials and Coverage
“The Secret History of the Mongols spends a lot of time eliding over the battles and conquests. It doesn’t revel in the bloodshed, nor the action. Instead, it spends its time deep in conversation with Temujin, with his family, with the people who knew him, and those who were his rivals. It spends most of its time in close dialogues, the telling of history, and scenes better suited to a strummed instrument rather than a beaten drum.
This TEMUJIN that you are about to hear is an adaptation of that epic, having found it beautifully suited to audio. It is careful about its approach to representation – no tortured Hollywood so-called Mongolian accents here – and to honesty, to the reality of a man who did lead armies to conquer places and people.“
Elena Fernández Collins
The A.V. Club, The Bello Collective and Radio Drama Revival
“I've never listened to an audio drama quite like TEMUJIN, and I mean that in the best possible way...
... the writing starts intimate, expands out and adds layers and layers of conflict and obstacle and growth, and then brings you back to where you started, where you always knew you'd end up: with these two men who shaped each other’s lives for better and worse, in a perfectly built confrontation that was destined to happen but is uniquely surprising, rich with subtext, and holding deep, lived-in, personal stakes.”
Lauren Grace Thompson
Actor, Podcaster, Producer, and Director, The Vanishing Act
“The podcast tells the story of the Mongol conquerer Temujin, better known as Genghis Khan, from the perspective of Jamukha, his sworn brother and frenemy, played with sly wit and swaggering poise by Aditya Karkera.
The script is cleverly structured and the voice acting well done, with atmospheric sound effects used judiciously to recreate the sounds of the steppes and nomadic life.
Moreover, at just five episodes that run for between 19 and 49 minutes, this is long enough to be satisfying and short enough to binge-listen in a day.”
Ong Sor Fern
Senior Culture Correspondent, The Straits Times
Interviewed and showcased on Radio Drama Revival
September 9 & 16, 2020
Interviewed and showcased on Asian Podcast Network
August 26, 2020
Writer • Director
Roshan Singh Sambhi
Roshan Singh Sambhi
Koh Zhi Hao
Sound Designer • Audio Engineer
Roshan Singh Sambhi
Sya Le Roux
Marketing & Outreach Executive
Natalie Christian Tan
Temujin • Genghis Khan
Evannia C. Handoyo
Betina K. Choa
Ong Khan • Beghter • Yesugei
Ryan Matthew Dennis Lim
Slave no. 1
Slave no. 2 • Fiancé • Captor • Hadan
Special Thanks to
The Mongolian Embassy in Singapore
Creatives in Spirit