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Publisher's Summary

Ben is having a difficult week. After five whole years of “drinking from Mommy’s boobies”, he suddenly has to step aside for his new baby sister, Beatrice, who may or may not be human. Mommy says he has to “support her appearance no matter how humiliating it is for us as family”, but that’s hard to do when your sister has branches for arms and legs. Plus, he just found out that Daddy is having “the sex” with his new kindergarten teacher and he’s not sure how to tell Mommy. As a five-year-old entrepreneur, Ben prides himself on always staying cool under pressure, but this time...he may just burst. 

Cast Size: Three Females, One Male, One Freaky Creation

©2016 Erin Mallon (P)2021 Erin Mallon

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What listeners say about Branched

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another winner from Erin

Seriously. How does Erin think of these plays? This one had me cracking up the whole time. And it also made me think. What’s real? What’s fake? It’s a witty play based in NYC that kept me listening to the very last second. I love audio plays and would absolutely love to see this one live in person. It’s one that leaves you thinking at the end about just how weird the world can be. But also how accepting and funny it can be. This play is the whole package.

Erin always picks the perfect narrator for each character. I honestly had no idea Joe Arden was the voice of the young son until the end with the bloopers.

2 people found this helpful

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Ha!

I loved the multi-cast recording. My favorite part was Joe's 5 year old!! No one does little kid voices better.

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Weirdly Absurd Story

Wasn’t prepared for the weird family Dynamics! The husband was the only somewhat normal one in the story. He went along to get along, anything to avoid conflict with his wife. The narrators were perfect for the characters they played.

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Another unique story from Erin

Ben is about to become a big brother with a new baby joining the family very soon. He has been an only child for five years and this will be a huge adjustment for him. He has a wide vocabulary and a vast amount of knowledge for someone so young. His parents have their own unique way of parenting and this includes some interesting daily rituals.

When their baby daughter arrives the family nucleus changes again. Mum definitely makes the decisions in this household and Dad struggles to find his own voice. In fact, I think Dad would rather be living a completely different life.

Okay, this was like nothing I have read (listened to) before. That’s not a bad thing at all because it captured my attention and didn’t let go of it until the end. Talk about an interesting family dynamic! I don’t know where or how Erin Mallon comes up with these unique plays but I definitely want more of them. The narration is magnificent, they all did a fantastic job bringing these unique characters to life.

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You are the dominatrix of your birth canal...

"Branched" is a hysterically bizarre, provocative satire that lampoons alternative lifestyle choices and family dynamics with thought-provoking messages concealed in the humor.

The laughable, over-the-top, but utterly believable characters were well developed, and the talented ensemble of voice actors did a spectacular job bringing them to life.

I want more!

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Weirdly hilarious!

This was a weirdly hilarious play with a perfect cast of narrators. They each performed their parts magnificently. But Joe Arden as 5 year old Ben was just brilliant!! If I didn’t already know it was Joe Arden, I would’ve believed that Ben was played by a young actor. Kudos to Erin Mallon for another entertaining play.

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Brilliant, unique, bizarre, EXCELLENT!

Branched is the most wonderfully delightful kind of twisted weirdness we can expect from Erin. Her imagination never ceases to amaze me! There is really no way to even explain it. You have to experience it.

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Absurdly Brilliant

I didn't know what to expect when I began listening to Branched, and honestly, when the family all got together for the first time, I was taken aback by the absurdity of their family ritual. I continued on and was amazed at how insane, absurd, hilarious, and at times heartbreaking this play really was. I absolutely loved it!

The narrators were all superb in their roles.

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Hilarious!

This play was hilariously entertaining! And the narration was wonderful! I love Erin Mallon's plays!

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Interesting concept!

It was pretty thought provoking, whacky & eerie kind of audiobook! You are truly thinking about the pressures of relationships, parenting, and the off-shoot from those choices. You truly see how adults’ mind works as well of a kids’ mind... from the innocent to the what you want to call “this is normal.” A little sense of off-best humor to recognizing a little bit of real ness/issues with couples nowadays. It’s up to you! The writing is great and the cast were lovely!!! For me, it was quite a lot for me it handle especially in this short period of an audio.

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  • Jules
  • 03-31-21

Erin Mallon creates something you can't turn off!

Erin Mallon has opened me up to her world of plays. Are they at times super wacky and bizarre, making you question everything? Sure. But they always bring hilarity, and real world issues, grabbing your emotions the second you look deeper.
This is another one of those, and you'll find yourself laughing out loud and then stopping to think about the consequences, as in the title.
Great actors as always bringing this one to life!

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  • Voracious Book Addict
  • 03-31-21

Hysterical and Unique Audio Play

I was laughing out loud within the first two minutes. This play was so funny and the comedic timing of Erin Mallon, Lance Greenfield, Joe Arden and Carly Robins was effing fantastic. I loved Tamara's overly crunchy overly eccentric parenting style. Maybe because I have met people like that to some extent but I was hysterical and Erin performed it so seriously, I have no idea how she did it without laughing at every line. Joe Arden was incredible as Ben, truly, he maintained a child voice throughout that sounded so natural I forgot that it was an adult performing. Lance Greenfield stole this show for me though. His character is clearly struggling with his life choices, trying be a good dad, and balance the feelings he has for his wife and family with his desire to see if the "grass is greener". Carly Robins did a great job as the rambling school teacher/real estate agent, I both liked and disliked her throughout the play. I think that could be said of all the adults though. There wasn't one I was rooting for they were beautifully flawed.

Erin Mallon not only narrates the play but is the author/playwright. What I have learned as a consumer of her work is that she will bring me to tears with laughter but also with deep thought and difficult subjects. Some of the content of this play made me uncomfortable, in a way that felt intentional. The play is called Branched, and yet the character of Beatrice, the baby with branches for arms is not the focus of the play, or clearly explained during the play, however she clearly influences the actions of the characters. In one minute she is referenced as a unique child, and in the next an embarrassment to the family. She becomes the "elephant in the room", the focus of stares, awkward pauses and unfinished sentences.

What does it all mean, I'm not sure. I think all families have some form of disfunction and maybe Beatrice is the catalyst to this family realizing theirs? What I do know is this 80 minute play gave me a lot of laughter and emotions and some interesting things to ponder. I think this is a play that will sit with me a long time. I hope one day I am able to see it performed live (in an actual theater) because I think I would get even more out of this play with some of the stage direction and physical interaction between the characters.

I received an ALC of this play and voluntarily give my review

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  • Readers Together
  • 03-31-21

A brilliant audio play

Every single time I see or hear something from Erin Mallon, I think this is the time she’s not going to have my full attention. This is the time that she isn’t going to captivate me. Not because I don’t have faith in her, but because I’m a firm believer in not every book or play being for every person. The thing is, Erin has yet to let me down. Every time I listen to something she has created, I am blown away with her mind and skill.

Branched was quite the mind-trip. It was funny and thought-provoking, classic Erin, but it was also weird as hell. I have no idea where Erin comes up with these ideas. I listened to it once to take it in, a second time to pick up on all the subtleties I missed, and a third to just enjoy and bask in the awesomeness of talent. This is a must listen audio play that will have listeners scrunching up their faces, laughing out loud, and doing a double-take before leaving them wondering what the heck they just experienced. Five stars!


The cast was everything. Erin Mallon, Lance Greenfield, and Carly Robins were fantastic but Joe Arden stole the show with his performance of five-year-old, Ben. Each of them brought something special to the role they played and the interactions were just everything I needed.
Zachary Webber’s violin skills were showcased beautifully. Nick Long did an amazing job with the sound effects. If you’ve read any of my reviews or talked audiobooks with me at all, you’ll know that sound effects are not my thing, but Nick does such brilliant work that it didn’t overpower the dialogue. And Tyler Whitlatch worked his usual magic for a seamless production.

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  • PATRICIA
  • 03-31-21

Laugh out loud enjoyment!

Laugh out loud funny. That is what this audio play is! Erin Mallon has introduced me to a whole new genre with her witty audio plays, and this one had me in stitches! It's a family of 4 and a kindergarten teacher with over the top personalities bringing out all their eccentricities. Mallon has captured the essence of each person and and given them traits we all can relate to, just not quite that excessive! This is a refreshing listen and a great way to start my day with a smile. If you want a fabulous listen, grab this!

Mallon chooses her narrators that fit the parts so well, you would swear they are real. These seasoned performers work so well together, bouncing the comedy back and forth and bring the story alive. I loved every one, and the bloopers are hysterical. Give me this cast anytime! Add in violin by Zachary Webber and it's a one click purchase for sure!

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  • Clare Tunilla
  • 03-31-21

Unique was invented for stories like this.

3.75 Stars I'm not sure entirely how to rate this or how to write this review. But this was weird. Not in a bad way. In a hilarious way. It made me smile and I had NO IDEA AT ALL how it was all going to play out. So if you're looking for something funny, wacky and a little bit...cracked. Then Branched might just be the play for you. I volunteered to listen to an ALC of this. All opinions are my own.

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  • Claire Annovazzi
  • 03-31-21

Let the words sweep you away

That was so unexpected, and yet so incredible! In the end, everything sort of makes sense, though you’ll have to think about it a lot to get to a conclusion. Don’t worry, you WILL be thinking about it a lot.

As usual with the author, the play is a delicious mix of humor, drama, original situations and unforgettable characters. Here she tackles weird family dynamics, cheating, and child abuse. And yet you’ll laugh, and feel for the characters–even the deranged mother, because in the end, she only wants the best for her family, in her very weird way.

The narrators play their role perfectly, and the addition of noises gives another dimension. Close your eyes, and let the words sweep you away.