Oliver Emanuel
Radio Plays

Oliver writes for theatre and for radio and is a part-time Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of St Andrews. His first radio play was broadcast in 2007, and since then he has written many more. His play 'Daniel and Mary' was nominated for a Sony Radio Academy Award for Best Drama in 2010. Oliver was Writer-in-Residence at the BBC Radio 4 / Children in Need in 2010. He had a hand in the 24-hour Zola epic which won the BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Adaptation, and in 2019 his play "When The Pips Stop" won the Tinniswood Award for best radio drama script. His series 'The Truth About Hawaii', a frightening medical story about antibiotic resistance produced by Kirsty Williams, was judged to be the best serial in the same year.


18 Apr 22: The Tenderness of Boys
By Oliver Emanuel, rpt. Itís a Monday morning. A writer walks into a supermarket and sees his mother. Itís an entirely ordinary scene. Except his motherís been dead for 15 years. Writer Ö Robert Jack, his mother Ö Shauna Macdonald, Boy Ö Daniel Smith. Producer: Kirsty Williams.

30 Jan 22: Classic Serial slot - Pale Fire
By Vladimir Nabokov. This is from the novel, dram. Oliver Emanuel. The novel was presented as a poem about a poet, a commentator and a would-be assassin. It's re-told here as an audio documentary; Charles Kinbote is the poet. Charles: Grant O'Rourke, John: Michael Nardone, Gradus: Finn den Hertog, Odon: Robin Laing, Sybil: Renee Williams, Gordon: Thierry Mabonga. Producer: Kirsty Williams.

26 Nov 20: Lanny
By Max Porter, ad. Oliver Emanuel. Ten year old boy, Lanny, and his mum and dad have recently moved to a village outside London. They are not fully accepted and the locals are suspicious of outsiders. The village is also the realm of Dead Papa Toothwort, a local mythical figure, who listens to the sounds and talk of the village. And to Lanny in particular. Then one day Lanny disappears. Dead Papa Toothwort: Ron Cook, Lanny: Jason Sparrow, Jolie: Lucianne McEvoy, Robert / Detective: Robin Laing, Pete: Michael Nardone, Villager and Laura: Ceciliia Appiah, Villager / Detective: Charlotte East, Villager 3 / Hack: Roger Ringrose, Villager / Mrs. Larton: Jane Whittenshaw, Villager / Publisher: Stefan Adegbola. Sound design and music by Jon Nicholls. Producer:Gaynor Macfarlane. BBC Scotland.

2018-10-11 14:15 When The Pips Stop
It's 2:13pm on a remote Scottish island where the only inhabitants are two sisters. One of them hasn't spoken to the other for over two years. They're listening to The Archers, and then Radio 4 goes off-air. Now they have to learn to live together and without the one thing they each cherish: Radio 4. We're indebited to Ian Messiter and the Ian Messiter Estate for kindly allowing us to create our version of Just a Minute. Additional research supplied by Dr James Purdon (University of St Andrews). Older... Shauna Macdonald, Younger ... Jessica Hardwick, Icelandic man...Jakob Jakobsson, Radio Announcer ... Ken Mitchell , Produced by Kirsty Williams.

    This was a very clever play, spliced seamlessly into the schedules. It's 2.13pm; The Archers has a couple of minutes to go - then, suddenly, it cuts out. There is silence. A very long pause. This, I realised later, is when the play begins. It ends in a similar way ... no closing credits; it suddenly stops, and is followed by a slightly confused continuity announcer. There was also false information posted in the radio Times regarding the title of the play; a nice bit of collusion. The drama won the 2019 Tinniswood Award, and in the words of Sarah Woods, who presented it, it showed an inspiring use of the form (ie radio drama). In his answering remarks, Oliver paid tribute to Kirsty Williams, the producer, in organizing the performance, and he commented that it is easier said than done to persuade actors to take part in a play where their names aren't even mentioned at the end. ( ..........N.D.)

2018-03-27 A History of Paper
By Oliver Emanuel. A man looks through the contents of a cardboard box. Each piece of paper he picks out holds a memory. Pieced together the memories tell the story of an everyday and extraordinary love affair. Folded into that is a brief, and sometimes fictional, history of paper. Originally broadcast 26 Jan 2016. Him ....... Mark Bonnar , Her ....... Lucy Gaskell, Producer...... Kirsty Williams.

2018-01-22 The Truth About Hawaii
By Oliver Emanuel. 10 x 15m drama set in a near-future in which doctors can no longer prescribe antibiotics. Episode titles, on successive weekdays, beginning 22 Jan 2018: The Scratch, Infection, Crisis, The Choice, Disaster, Storm Warning, Lies, The End of Everything, The Accident, Resistance. As for the drama: Sarah is 10 years old. She scratched her knee and developed an infection. When the infection threatened her life, her parents agreed to have her leg amputated. But the amputation didn't stop the infection. Her family have been told she has days to live, but a scientist has offered them a glimmer of hope. The drama was developed through Wellcome Experimental Stories in consultation with Prof. Joanna Coast, of Bristol University Medical School, and Dr Adam Roberts, specialist in Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and Resistance at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Sarah ....... Jocelyn Brassington, Lizzie ....... Christine Bottomley, Paul ....... Roderick Gilkison, Minister for Health ....... Kevin Mains, Matron ....... Adura Onashile , Headmistress ....... Anita Vettesse, Producer: Kirsty Williams. Judged Best Serial, Audio Drama Awards 2019.

2016-10-28: Blood, Sex and Money by Emile Zola
Season 3: Money. Episode 7: Fate. Adapted by Oliver Emanuel. Two Rougon brothers, Eugene and Aristide, head to Prussia. One is on a diplomatic mission to prevent war; the other is chasing an arms deal. When their worlds clash, the repercussions are monumental. Dide ....... Glenda Jackson, Eugene ....... Robert Jack, Aristide ....... Samuel West, King of Prussia ....... John Bett, Ancient Woman ....... Colette O'Neil, French Paperboy and passer-by ....... Gavi Singh Chera, Prussian Paperboy ....... Sean Graham, Producer....... Kirsty Williams.

2016-05-08 Blood, Sex and Money by Emile Zola
Season 2: Sex. Episode 2: Power Part of the 24-hour BBC Zola epic spread over three seasons; this episode adapted by Oliver Emanuel. Eugene Rougon is at the peak of his political power when his lover gives him an ultimatum. Dide ....... Glenda Jackson, Eugene ....... Robert Jack, Veronique ....... Victoria Beesley, Photographer ....... Laurie Brown, Minister ....... Laurie Brown, Clorinde ....... Laura Dos Santos, Delestang ....... Alasdair Hankinson, Gilquin ....... Jonathan Keeble, Emperor ....... Jonathan Keeble, Producer: Kirsty Williams.

    Season 2. Sex. Episode 1. Performance.
    2016-05-07. A story of sexual desire and the birth of a celebrity, dramatised by Oliver Emanuel. Glenda Jackson returns as Dide, the matriarch to a family of wolves - the Rougon- Macquarts - and drawing us into the decadence and degradation of 19th Century France. Nana's been living and working on the dangerous streets of Paris when a theatre manager buys her for the night and realizes just how potent she could be. Dide ....... Glenda Jackson, Nana ....... Holliday Grainger, Mignon ....... Ben Batt, Fauchery ....... John Catterall, Copeau ....... David Crellin, Rose ....... Kimberly Hart-Simpson, Paul ....... Reece Noi, Satin ....... Kate O'Flynn, Produced by Kirsty Williams.

23 Nov 2015. Season 1 - Blood. Episode 3. Food
Adapted by Oliver Emanuel. Lisa Macquart's brother-in-law turns up on her doorstep and her entire future seems threatened. Dide ....... Glenda Jackson, Lisa ....... Jodie McNee, Florent ....... James Anthony Pearson, Old Man ....... Jonathan Keeble, Revolutionary ....... Jonathan Keeble, Quenu ....... Graeme Hawley, Pauline ....... Millie Kinsey, Gervaise ....... Julie Hesmondhalgh, Producer ....... Kirsty Williams.

    Blood, Sex and Money by Emile Zola....2015
    24 Nov 2015. Season 1 - Blood. Episode 4. Politics.
    Adapted by Oliver Emanuel. Eugene Rougon was once at the heart of government. Now he's just another member of the public, and it's killing him. When his cousin, Lisa Macquart turns up with proof that her brother-in-law is embroiled in a plot to assassinate the Emperor, a game of political chess begins. Dide ....... Glenda Jackson, Eugene ....... Robert Jack, Clorinde ....... Laura Dos Santos, Lisa ....... Jodie McNee, Merle ....... James Anthony Pearson, Quenu ....... Graeme Hawley, Gilquin ....... Jonathan Keeble, Producer ....... Kirsty Williams.

    Blood, Sex and Money by Emile Zola....2015
    25 Nov 2015. Season 1 - Blood. Episode 5. Drink.
    Ad. Oliver Emanuel. Gervaise Macquart has spent her life chasing happiness. Now, as she sits across the table from a bottle of brandy and a quiet, handsome man, she realises just how priceless that feeling is. A story of how other people's addictions have shaped one woman's life, dramatised by Oliver Emanuel. Gervaise ....... Julie Hesmondhalgh, Goujet ....... Mark Holgate, Producer ....... Kirsty Williams.

2015-01-16 Take Me to the Necropolis
A journey through Glasgow's infamous Necropolis. Alice and Sasha are celebrating their graduation when Alice takes Sasha on a secret trip to a graveyard. Sasha is not impressed. But, after they've downed a bottle of bubbly and smoked a joint, they find themselves in the middle of a surreal space where imaginary boys and dead people talk to them and something more sinister can penetrate their minds. Alice ........ Emerald O'Hanrahan , Sasha ........ Rebecca Benson , Willy ......... Lewis Binnie , Gypsy Queen ......... Alison Peebles , Lead Buchanan Sister ........ Rosalind Sydney, with Liam Brennan. Producer....... Kirsty Williams.

5-episode 15-minute drama beginning 13 Aug 2012, on successive days. By Oliver Emanuel. Drama inspired by a set of true events exploring the nature of identity and the notion of family. Ep. 1: A twelve-year- old girl's world turns upside down when she's told an unbelievable truth. Laura ....... Natasha Watson, Mum ....... Frances Grey, Dad ....... Robin Laing, Producer ....... Kirsty Williams.

    Ep.2: Following a DNA test to establish paternity, a mother and father have discovered that Laura, their twelve-year-old daughter, isn't biologically related to either of them. Now in the knowledge that the life she's been living should have belonged to someone else, Laura visits the detective investigating how it might have happened. A tense and moving drama, inspired by a set of exceptional true events, that explores the nature of identity and the notion of family. Cast: as before, with Detective ....... Meg Fraser.

    Ep.3: Laura turns detective and tracks down the medic in charge on the day she was born and swapped. Dunlop ....... Finlay Welsh.

    Ep.4: After finding that the life she's been living should have belonged to someone else, Laura has ran away from home to find the answer to who she is. Today she tracks down the woman she believes is her biological mother and discovers what her life could have been like. Laura ....... Natasha Watson, The Woman ....... Meg Fraser.

    Ep.5: Laura has spent the last few days tracking down her other family. Now she and her parents prepare to meet the girl who was accidentally swapped with Laura at birth and the parents Laura should have had.

2013-02-22 The Spare Room
Michael lives in Stephanie's spare room. He knows everything about Stephanie; how many pairs of shoes she has; how often she has sex. But Stephanie doesn't know anything about Michael. He's an asylum seeker from Eritrea. He has recently had his last asylum claim refused, been evicted from his flat and lives on handouts from the local church. And she definitely doesn't know that Michael lives in her spare room. Until today. Today Stephanie and Michael will meet for the first time. The Spare Room is a 'Rapid Response' play (commissioned close to transmission) inspired by the Scottish Refugee Council's recent report (October 2012) stating that one in four asylum seekers in Britain will face destitution. Stephanie ........... Candida Benson, Michael ........ Babou Ceesay, Police ...... Hannah Wood and Michael Shelford, Producer ........ Lu Kemp .

By Oliver Emanuel. 5 Nov 2012. The story of a 14-year-old girl who spends seven days in a refuge for runaways.

From Fact to Fiction - Series 12. 30 Jun 2012; rpt 1 Jul 2012. By Oliver Emanuel. A husband returns from a celebration following President Mursi's inauguration to find his wife packing to leave the country. In the week when the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate became Egypt's first democratically elected president, this is a real-time drama set in Cairo exploring what democracy might mean to the country. Heba ... Meg Fraser, Omar ... Simon Tait, Rabiah ... Hannah Donaldson. Produced by Kirsty Williams.

By Oliver Emanuel, 30 Nov 2011. Drama about a sixth-former who decides to take a stand. Since Christmas, strange words have been appearing all over the school - on the walls of the maths department, across the windows of the gym, scratched into the deputy head's Mondeo. A protest of sorts it would seem. Apparently written in Ancient Greek. On the last day of school, Alex King walks into Head's office and admits that the work is all his. He's one of the brightest students in the school. Now he wants his chance to speak. Alex King - Alex Austin, Mr Desai - Vincent Ebrahim, Lorraine - Sophie Stanton, The Chorus - Caitlin Fitzgerald, The Messenger - Austin Moulton. Produced by Lu Kemp.

Afternoon reading; not a drama. By Oliver Emanuel.28 Sep 2011. A young man, devastated by a messy relationship break-up, finds solace in bird watching. Second in a series of specially commissioned short stories inspired by the social networking phenomenon, Twitter. The series title derives from Twitter's format where "tweets" - the postings - can be no longer than 140 characters.)Read by Robin Laing. Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

By Oliver Emanuel. 17 Nov 2010. One of two special Radio 4 Afternoon Plays, commissioned with BBC Children in Need, 'Everything' tells the story of a fourteen-year-old girl who spends 7 days in a refuge for runaways. Earlier this year, Oliver worked with ROC - Running Other Choices, part of the Aberlour Child Care Trust, a 'Children in Need' supported project. Under Scottish law, any young person under the age of sixteen is allowed to stay in ROC's refuge for up to seven days without parental notification. This is one of only two refuges for runaways in the UK. Oliver worked with young people who had either been involved with ROC in the past or were currently staying at the refuge. In July 2010, the group spent a week at Pacific Quay (BBC Scotland) writing, acting, playing games and talking about what it means to be a runaway. After this experience, Oliver wrote 'Everything'. "On the last day of the workshop, I quizzed each of the young people about their experiences and what they felt about their lives. My last question was what would they want if they could have anything in the world. One girl said she wanted a big house. Another boy said he wanted a boat for him and his mates to hang out. Someone else said they wanted their mum and dad to get back together again. When I asked the last and youngest of the group he didn't know what to say. He just shrugged. I asked him to think about it and he eventually said 'Everything. I just kind of want everything'." Girl: Natasha Watson, Sam: Sandy Grierson, Beth: Meg Fraser. Producer: Lu Kemp.

30 Oct 2010. Saturday play. Tim Krabbe's cult novella dramatised by Oliver Emanuel. Rex and Saskia stop at a petrol station. Saskia goes in to buy drinks and is never seen again. Eight years later, Rex is so haunted by her disappearance that he sets out to discover what happened to her, regardless of the cost. A chilling love story that takes us to the heart of the perfect crime. Rex ... Samuel West, Saskia ... Melody Grove, Lieneke ... Ruth Gemmell, Lemorne ... Liam Brennan, Denise...Natasha Watson, Cashier/Woman ... Claire Knight, Jean-Pierre Gallo/Manager ... Robin Laing. Producer: Kirsty Williams. Rpt. 2011.

By Oliver Emanuel; afternoon reading, not a drama. 23 Feb 2010. Series of three stories celebrating 50 years since Elvis Presley's only trip to Britain, a brief stopover at a small Scottish airport on his return from military service in Germany. A shy young girl who doesn't even like rock 'n' roll is dragged to the airport by her best friend, who is determined to catch a glimpse of the American superstar. Read by Laura Fraser.

2007-04-11 Joseph and Joseph
By Oliver Emanuel. Identity theft is something that happens to other people, and it looks like the person who stole Joseph's life is having a lot more fun with it then he is. Joseph: Shaun Dooley, Sonia: Helen Longworth, Marie: Christine Kavanagh, The Old Man: Sam Dale, Mathers: John Dougall, Christophe: Philippe Smolikowski, Hotel manager: Mark Straker, Croupier: Rachel Bavidge, Producer/Director Colin Guthrie.

Compiled by Nigel Deacon / Diversity website.

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