Lenny Henry

Tinniswood Award shortlist 2019

The Tinniswood Award is presented annually to the best original audio drama script. A prize of £3,000 is generously sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and will be presented at the BBC Audio Drama Awards on 3 February 2019. The judges this year are: Nicholas McInerny, Ming Ho and Sarah Woods. We are delighted to announce the following shortlist. 

 Oliver EmanuelWHEN THE PIPS STOP by Oliver Emanuel (pictured left)

Produced by Kirsty Williams, BBC Glasgow, 44’, BBC Radio 4 

The judges said: “This beautifully written and highly original play explores what happens when two sisters who live together on a remote Scottish island, and haven’t spoken for years, find themselves to be – possibly – the only survivors of the end of the world.  

“Every part of this play is technically assured and fully realised. It creates an experience that is both extraordinary and utterly recognisable, enabling us to reflect on the current state of the world through a domestic, intimate story. 

“The characters are compelling and believable in a drama rich with subtext and metaphor. The sparse and finely worked language is beautifully poetic and deeply human. Its use of the form is inspiring.”   

Oliver Emanuel is an internationally award-winning playwright who has written over 40 plays for stage and radio. Flightwon a Herald Angel at the Edinburgh International Festival 2017; his version of Jan Sobrie’s Titus won The People’s Choice Victor Award at IPAY 2015; while Dragon won Best Show for Children and Young People at the UK Theatre Awards in 2014. He was a lead writer on Blood, Sex and Money by Emile Zola, which won Best Adaptation at the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2017.  He is a Reader in Playwriting, University of St Andrews, an Associate Playwright, Playwrights’ Studio Scotland, and Writer in Residence at Gladstone’s Library.   

Photo: Eoin Carey

Vivienne HarveyPLAYING DEAD by Vivienne Harvey (pictured left)

Produced by Nadia Molinari, BBC MediaCityUK, Salford44BBC Radio 4 

 The judges said: “This absorbing, convincing and moving drama tells the story of Roza, a young woman adoptee from Manchester, who returns to Iraqi Kurdistan, the country she fled as a child, when her birth father’s remains are found in a mass grave. 

 “Through beautifully realised characters and economic, highly specific storytelling, which shows a detailed knowledge of the factual background, the author weaves a story of emotional and political depth with real dexterity.  

 “This drama drew us into its journey – an immersive experience that created strong empathy with the characters. This is a visually, emotionally, and sensually vivid drama, with a fantastic sense of place.”  

 Vivienne Harvey is an award-winning writer and alumni of Channel 4 Screenwriting 2015. Her first television commission Eighteen, for Jimmy McGovern’s BBC One drama series Moving On, won an RTS Award in 2018. She wrote the final two episodes of Radio 4 crime serial Stone, which is shortlisted for a BBC Audio Drama Award and a Writers’ Guild Award 2019. Playing Dead, her first original drama for Radio 4, was inspired by a trip to Iraq and the legacy of Kurdistan. She is currently developing original television series with Carnival Films and The Forge and writing episodes on Clink for 5 Star and Harlots for Hulu.  

 Martyn WadeHOLBEIN’S SKULL by Martyn Wade (pictured left)

Produced by Tracey Neale, BBC Radio Drama London, 45’, BBC Radio 4 

The judges said: “This cleverly wrought, original, and vivacious drama takes us back to 1533, to explore an imagined story behind Holbein’s much-debated painting The Ambassadors. 

“A witty, lively and thoroughly entertaining play. The characters are colourful and scenes are exquisitely constructed, exploring the politics of love and desire – requited, unrequited and forbidden. 

“The story reveals itself subtly, with elegance and great pace, managing to tell us something of our contemporary world through a painting created almost 500 years ago.” 

Martyn Wade has written many plays and adaptations for radio. His original play for radio, Singles and Doublets, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and won David Troughton a Best Supporting Actor Award in the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2013. It starred Celia Imrie, Alex Jennings and Geoffrey Whitehead. Martyn wrote five series of The Little Ottleys for BBC Radio 4, and recent credits include Hide the MoonThe Healing of Sergei RachmaninovMoeran’s Last Symphony and The Wells Way, which starred Julian Rhind-Tutt and Joseph Millson.   

The Tinniswood Award was established by WGGB and Society of Authors to perpetuate the memory of Peter Tinniswood as well as to celebrate and encourage high standards in radio drama. Find out more  

Photo of Lenny Henry at the BBC Audio Drama Awards: BBC