IMISON AWARD "2017" - For plays broadcast from 1 Oct 2015-31 Oct 2016
WINNER, announced 29 Jan 17
Comment is Free, by James Fritz. Well done, James!
SHORTLIST, announced 3 Jan 2017
The Imison honours the best original script by a writer new to radio. The prize of £3,000 is generously sponsored by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation. The judges this year are: Elizabeth-Anne Wheal (Chair), Stefan Buczacki, Jamila Gavin, Isla Gray, Christopher William Hill , Catherine Johnson, Marcy Kahan, Hilary Robinson and Mike Walker. Photos and full details, including the judges’ citations, full scripts and audio clips, are available on the SoA website. We are delighted to announce the following shortlist:
COMMENT IS FREE by James Fritz
Produced by Becky Ripley, BBC Drama Bristol, 45’, BBC Radio 4
COMMENT IS FREE (R4, 1415, 5 Oct 2016) by James Fritz was a scathing comment on the superficiality of Facebook and other social media. People at the other end of the internet are an unknown quantity; they are not really friends, though they may become friends if you meet them. Secondly, there's a lot of useful information on Facebook and similar sites; it's a way of becoming better-informed about many topics, but the amount of superficial, ill-informed and spiteful comment also on there is enormous.
Anyway - to the play. A woman with an outspoken media-man as a husband goes through very hard times after he goes a step too far on a television programme and someone stabs him. The play then speculates about the sickly social-media aftermath to this event. You can imagine it ... platitudes plastered all over Facebook and twitter; comments like 'Love Matters', followed by the ubiquitous and mindless 'Share if you Agree'. Frighteningly realistic.
The cast: the wife was played by Rachael Stirling and the husband by Tobias Menzies. A few media personalities appeared as themselves and the producer was Becky Ripley. (....ND, Diversity website review, Dec 2016)
ND/RT synopsis: A woman with an outspoken media-man as a husband goes through hard times after he goes one step too far on a television programme. Loosely based on what happens on social media and the superficiality of the conversations between Facebook "friends". Hilary Cooper: Rachael Stirling, Alistair Cooper (who hardly appears): Tobias Menzies. Produced by Becky Ripley.
Judges' remarks: A fiercely current, socially relevant and dramatic depiction of free speech and mob mentality. A skilfully crafted cacophony of hundreds of voices, the script uses social media as a powerful and contemporary means of comment.
THE VIRTUES OF OBLIVION by James Meek
Produced by Peter Kavanagh, BBC Drama London, 45’, BBC Radio 4
19 Aug 2016: The Virtues of Oblivion, Synopsis Metaphysical thriller. A university professor, Carl, has devoted his life to the work of a philosopher living a solitary existence on a remote island in Estonia. When the man dies, Carl finds that he has been appointed executor to the literary estate... Carl: James Purefoy, Lena: Emma Sidi, Jonny: Tom Forrister, Andrew Simmons: Robert Blythe, Vice-Chancellor: Brian Protheroe, Boatman: Michael Bertenshaw. Producer: Peter Kavanagh.
Judges' remarks: What should a philosopher’s moral goal be: fame or obscurity? Original, unpredictable, and an out and out thriller, this hilarious satire plays with the politics and insecurities of academia, as a fading professor, an ambitious post graduate student, and a Ukrainian pole-dancer compete to lay their hands on a famous philosopher’s last work.
COMMUNITY SERVICE by Jonny O’Neill
Produced by Sasha Yevtushenko, BBC Drama London, 45’, BBC Radio 4
17 Dec 2015: Community Service, Synopsis A young man is in court for the first time, facing charges which risk putting his whole life in jeopardy. Tommy: Daniel Mays, Sam: Leo Bill, Lauren: Katie Redford, Robbo: George Watkins, Duty solicitor: Ewan Bailey, Probation officer: Richard Pepple, Magistrate: Amelia Lowdell. Produced by Sasha Yevtushenko.
Judges' remarks: This is a tightly focused and cleverly manipulative tale, providing a snapshot glimpse of a life destined to unravel. Tommy is the guileless protagonist, seemingly unable to forge any link between action and consequence. The dialogue is razor sharp, shot through with an appealingly dry wit and sparkling flashes of gallows humour.
Help us celebrate the best audio drama by sending in your writers’ productions. Please forward to all your networks and apply with all supporting materials before 29 September 2016.
Best original script by a writer new to audio drama - the award has doubled - it's now £3,000, sponsored by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation. Administered by the Society of Authors.
Previous winner: Eoin O’Connor for 30 Eggs (produced by Gemma McMullen, BBC Drama Belfast for BBC R4).
Finalists included Iain A J Ross for A Thing Inside a Thing Inside a Thing, R4 (produced by James Robinson, BBC Wales) and Emma Spurgin Hussey for The Churchill Barriers, R4 (produced by David Hunter, BBC, London).
Administered by the Society of Authors. Any questions? Email Jo: JMcCrum@societyofauthors.org
PAST IMISON AWARD WINNERS 2015 Thirty Eggs, by Eoin O'Connor
2014 How To Say Goodbye Properly, by E.V.Crowe
2013 The Loving Ballad of Captain Bateman, by Joseph Wilde
2012 Do You Like Banana, Comrades? by Csaba Székely
2011 Amazing Grace, by Michelle Lipton
2010 The Road Wife, by Eoin McNamee
2009 Girl from Mars,by Lucy Caldwell
2008 Adam Beeson, for The Magician's Daughter
2007 Mike Bartlettt, for Not Talking
2006 Nazrin Choudhury, for Mixed Blood
2005 Steve Coombs, for Mr. Sex
2004 Stephen Sharkey, for All You on the Good Earth
2003 N.Leyshon & S. McAnena for Milk; Celia Bryce for The Skategrinder
2002 Rhiannon Tise, for The Waltzer
2001 Murray Gold, for Electricity
2000 Peter Morgan, for A Matter of Interpretation
1999 Ben Cooper, for Skin Deep
1998 Katie Hims, for Earthquake Girl
1997 John Waters, for Holy Secrets (jt); Rosemary Kay, for Wilde Belles
1996 Lee Hall, for I Love You Jimmy Spud
1995 Gerry Stembridge, for Daisy the Cow who
Talked (jt) and James Stock, for Kissing the Gargoyle
1994 Gabriel Gbadamosi, for The Long Hot Summer of '76