Lenny Henry

Tinniswood Award shortlist 2017

We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the Tinniswood Award 2017. The Tinniswood Award is organised by WGGB and the Society of Authors and presented annually to the best original audio drama script.

A prize of £2,000 is sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and will be presented at the BBC Audio Drama Awards, hosted by Sir Lenny Henry (pictured above) on 29 January 2017.

The shortlist is as follows:

Timothy AtackTHE STROMA SESSIONS by Timothy X Atack

Produced by Nicolas Jackson, Afonica, 84’, BBC Radio 3

The judges said: “As a ghost story it drew on many of the filmic and literary tropes of the genre, but nonetheless created a unique sonic journey that felt entirely suited to the medium. Masterfully constructed, the tone, sounds and melodies leapt off every single page. It will haunt our imaginations for a long time.”

Timothy X Atack (left) is a writer and composer for stage, screen and radio. He was selected for the 2015 Channel 4 screenwriting scheme and is currently developing two television projects, a feature and a new stage play. His radio play The Morpeth Carol won Best Drama at the Radio Academy Awards 2014. His second radio play, Phonophone, transmitted on BBC Radio 4 earlier this year. Under the name of Sleepdogs he collaborates with theatre director and producer Tanuja Amarasuriya. He has written and scored all their shows to date. The Bullet and the Bass Trombone toured the UK and had a short but well-received run at the National Theatre Shed in 2013.

Read the script. Listen to episodes 1-5 of The Stroma Sessions.

Oliver EmanuelA HISTORY OF PAPER by Oliver Emanuel

Directed by Kirsty Williams, BBC Radio Drama Glasgow, 43’, BBC Radio 4

The judges said: “This was a play written in the form of a scrapbook that dared to put one of the most seismic events of recent history (9/11) at its heart, but never allowed it to overwhelm the highly personal and beautifully drawn love story. As such it was a refreshingly unfamiliar take on the familiar themes of love, loss and memory.”

Oliver Emanuel (left) is an internationally award-winning playwright based in Glasgow. Dragon won Best Show for Children and Young People at the UK Theatre Awards 2014. His English version of Jan Sobrie’s Titus won The People’s Choice Victor Award at IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth) 2015. His other plays include: The 306: Dawn, The Lost ThingsSpirit of Adventure, Magpie Park and Man Across The Way. As well as theatre, Oliver writes extensively for radio. Most recently he was a lead writer on Blood, Sex and Money by Emile Zola starring Glenda Jackson for BBC Radio 4. Other credits include: The Other One, Ancient Greek and the Sony shortlisted Daniel and Mary. Oliver is also a part-time lecturer in creative writing at the University of St Andrews.

Read the script. Listen to a clip.

James FritzCOMMENT IS FREE by James Fritz

Produced by Becky Ripley, BBC Radio & Music Bristol, 45’, BBC Radio 4

The judges said: “In the wake of the murder of Jo Cox, this diamond sharp exploration of the current state of public debate couldn’t have been more prescient. Acutely observed and not without humour, we particularly admired how the scale of its construction combined with the efficiency of its storytelling. A brave and provocative Afternoon Play.”

James Fritz‘s first full-length play Four Minutes Twelve Seconds was runner-up of the Soho Theatre’s 2013 Verity Bargate Award. It premiered at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs in 2014 and was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre before transferring to Trafalgar Studios in 2015. It then won him the Most Promising Playwright prize at the Critics Circle Theatre Awards 2015. His other plays include Ross & Rachel, which opened to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015. Parliament Square, which won a Bruntwood Prize in 2015, and The Fall, which he wrote for the National Youth Theatre’s 60th anniversary season in 2016.

Listen to a clip.

The judges this year are: Nicholas McInerny, Shelley Silas and Tim Stimpson.

About the Tinniswood Award

The Tinniswood Award was established by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and Society of Authors to perpetuate the memory of Peter Tinniswood as well as to celebrate and encourage high standards in radio drama. Previous winners include Stephen Wyatt, Murray Gold, Morwenna Banks, Julian Simpson and Christopher William Hill.

Photo of James Fritz: Hampstead Theatre; photo of Oliver Emanuel: Eoin Carey

Photo of Sir Lenny Henry: BBC