GORDON HOUSE Over the years, ex-Head of BBC Radio Drama Gordon House has supplied a number of articles for the website. His latest contribution is a set of answers to questions posed by students about his chosen medium. I am grateful for permission to publish it - many thanks, Gordon.
15 Apr 2021
FRONT ROW & RADIO DRAMA Front Row is now covering radio / audio drama more frequently. In the weeks following the David Mamet programme (mentioned earlier); they also reviewed the new Community Radio soap opera Greenbourne, spoke to Mark Ravenhill about his new play written as an audio drama and to Giles Terera about his new play for Radio 3. I also heard an extended interview last night with Tempest (the beatboxer, who was shortlisted for the Imison last year)
about his new project 'Orpheus in the Record Shop'. Excellent; I trust that this will continue.
15 Apr 2021
RADIO DRAMA FESTIVAL UPDATE The schedule is now published and on the website.
I've also put an easily printed one-side summary on our own festival page . For further news about the 2021 festival, plus a list of participants and winners, please go to the festival page. The Audience award will be made at the end of April.
25 Mar 2021
RADIO DRAMA REVIEWS More radio drama reviews by Harry Turnbull: a talk with Mary Peate about her new production of "Tess", plus Roderick Smith's "Brummie Iliad" and Christine Entwhistle's "Murmuration".
12 Mar 2021
FRONT ROW - STILL NOT INTERESTED IN RADIO DRAMA One of the grumbles I have about the Radio 4 Arts programme is that it rarely mentions radio drama. I was hoping in these times of coronavirus that the attitude of the producers might change, but no such luck. Tonight they reviewed David Mamet's play "The Christopher Boy's Communion", but this is because it was David Mamet, not because it was good radio. There have been no other mentions of radio drama on the programme since 26 August 2020, when a lost play by Agatha Christie was aired on Radio 4..
UPDATE .... see note above, 15 Apr.
4 Mar 2021
7th UK INTERNATIONAL RADIO DRAMA FESTIVAL, 22-26 MARCH News about the Festival: The unprecedented situation with the coronavirus has affected our plans, but they are now formulated. Canterbury won't happen this year; we will be online, but as for the festival itself, it's all systems go. Details below. You'll also notice a change in the title. We're now the UK International Audio Drama Festival ; there have been great advances this year in the number and quality of podcasts and 'Radio' no longer covers everything we do.
A note from the festival director, Jonathan Banatvala: Covid 19 continues to create enormous restrictions on the festival world – on travel, on meeting, on creative expression .
We are determined that the 2021 festival will not just such survive through an online presence but be one of the most exciting Audio Drama Festivals yet – for the first time coming together to make audio drama as well as to listen to it.
This year’s virtual festival 22 – 26 March 2021 will combine collaborative creative sessions with real-time and on-demand listening and real-time collective jury discussions.
We will send people a zoom link shortly before the event, and the start time will be announced soon.
1 Mar 2021
SHORTLISTS FOR IMISON & TINNISWOOD The shortlists for the Imison Award and the Tinniswood Award are now out. These are accessible via the links on the main radio plays page.
10 Feb 2021
PHILIP MARTIN Alistair Wyper has contributed a piece about Philip Martin, who died at the end of 2020. Philip worked in film, television, theatre and radio as actor, writer, director and producer. During the 80s he was a familiar figure at Pebble Mill. ....Many thanks, Alistair - Ed.
9 Feb 2021
DON TAYLOR Don Taylor's play "The Jacobean Box", a tale of lost manuscripts, is being repeated on R4X on Saturday (more than once, though I know it's scheduled for 3 o'clock.) This is a very good drama; nice and light for a Saturday afternoon. Try not to miss it.
9 Feb 2021
GB NEWS: ANDREW NEIL A new TV news channel is about to be launched: GB News, headed by Andrew Neil, who recently left the BBC. We are told it will be pro-UK. Andrew Neil has said that he joined GB News because he believes the direction of news debate in Britain is increasingly 'woke' (denoting extreme political-correctness) and out of touch with the majority of its people.
Ian Botham pointed out on 13 Jan that people from the countryside are tired of the Corporation's virtue-signalling presenters. He said that the Corporation was doing particularly badly in the countryside; many country people write to him. They dislike how the Corporation increasingly uses its programmes to promote the narrow 'woke' views of its senior staff. In Botham's words: "They say it abuses its power to push these urban-progressive ideas as if they were mainstream".
The Guardian is attempting to dissuade advertisers from supporting this new project; the paper no longer shows the open-mindedness which its followers used to be famed for. What better evidence could there be for the need for this new channel?
8 Feb 2021
THIS COVID LIFE In April 2020, with the UK in the midst of the first wave of the Covid 19 pandemic, Script6, a Norfolk-based writers’ collective, teamed up with award-winning scriptwriter Nicholas McInerny to launch a short film scriptwriting competition – ‘THIS COVID LIFE’, looking for ten minute scripts based around online facetime conversations during lockdown.
At the time it felt like the vast majority of online competitions were prioritising stories of cheerful reassurance and resilience as we all dealt with our new reality.
We knew even then this wasn’t the whole truth. We wanted to find those stories that explored the darker side of life under Covid restrictions: tales that would possibly reveal a more complicated truth about ourselves, our hopes and fears, as the stress of lockdown inevitably exposed faultlines and gave us an insight into who we really are. ...more...
2 Feb 2021
RADIO REVIEWS A new version of Heart of Darkness reviewed along with some input from the writer Anita Sullivan. Also reviewed: Rogers & Hart & Hammerstein; Breaking Blake. See reviews on main radio page. Thanks again to Harry Turnbull.
IN CONVERSATION WITH RUSSELL T DAVIES WGGB member, screenwriter and producer Russell T Davies talks about writing, bringing gay drama into the mainstream, and his Channel 4 series It's A Sin, a dramatization of the 1980s HIV/AIDS crisis. He is interviewed by Nicholas McInerny on Youtube; click the link to hear it.
30 Jan 2021
HEDLEY'S LIMERICKS Another contribution from my friend in London:
While visiting one of his aunties,
The writer Miguel de Cervantes
Said "My new word 'quixotic'
Sounds strange and exotic -
Does that make my work better than Dante's?"