Tracy Anne Oberman

Tinniswood Award shortlist 2020

Writers Katie Hims and Ian Martin join James Tait Black Memorial prize winner Tanika Gupta MBE on the shortlist for this year’s Tinniswood Award, which is organised by WGGB and The Society of Authors to recognise the best audio drama script of the year.

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 2 February 2020.

The judges this year were Patricia Cumper, Robert Bathurst and Rhiannon Tise.

We are delighted to announce the following shortlisted plays:

Tanika GuptaDEATH OF A MATRIARCH by Tanika Gupta MBE (pictured left)
Produced by Polly Thomas, Naked Productions, 30’, BBC Radio 3

Tanika Gupta has written over 20 stage plays for major theatres across the UK and extensively for BBC Radio Drama, as well as television and film. In 2008 she was awarded an MBE for Services to Drama and in 2016 was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Tanika has an Honorary Doctorate in the Arts from the University of Chichester and is an Honorary Fellow at Rose Bruford College and Central School of Speech and Drama. In 2018, Gupta was awarded with the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Drama for her play Lions and Tigers. Tanika is currently under commission with National Theatre Scotland and the Royal Court Theatre and is developing a musical project with Universal Music Group. She is also working on an original television series with Meera Syal for Douglas Road/Artists Studio and the BBC and is also writing a feature film for Altitude Films.

The judges said: “Death of a Matriarch is lyrical, evocative writing perfectly suited to the exploration of intimacy, which audio drama does so effectively.”

Ian MartinTHE HARTLEPOOL SPY by Ian Martin (pictured left)

Produced by Sam Ward, BBC Studios, 45’, BBC Radio 4

Ian Martin was a writer for the BAFTA-winning political satire The Thick of It, starting a long-running association with producer Armando Iannucci, which continued with the Oscar-nominated In The Loop. Martin was a writer-producer on HBO’s VEEP (for which he won two WGA Awards and an Emmy) and a co-writer for the BAFTA-nominated feature The Death of Stalin. He is a writer and supervising producer for the forthcoming HBO space comedy Avenue 5. Martin is the author of several books including Epic Space and The Coalition Chronicles, and has written for The Architects’ Journal, The Guardian and the New Statesman.

The judges said: “The Hartlepool Spy is a tale of moral corruption, of self-interest defeating the interests of justice; it is based on a true story and yet the author’s research is worn lightly. It is hilariously, delicately told; the characters are both comic and chilling. Ian Martin’s exciting dialogue fizzed along; it is completely engaging.”

Katie HimsHOME FRONT: A FRAGILE PEACE by Katie Hims (pictured left)

Directed by Jessica Dromgoole, BBC Radio Drama, 75’, BBC Radio 4

Katie Hims’ first radio play The Earthquake Girl won the Richard Imison Award. Recent work includes King David, Black Dog, Poetry in Motion and Black Eyed Girls, as well as adaptations of the Martin Beck novels. Katie has been writing for Radio 4’s Home Front since it began and has been lead writer for four seasons. Her stage play, Billy the Girl at Soho Theatre for Clean Break, led to an attachment to the National Theatre Studio and a subsequent commission to write a National Theatre Connections play, Variations. She has just finished adapting Middlemarch for Radio 4 and has a commission with the Unicorn Theatre.

The judges said: “Beautifully written and incredibly evocative. Celebrating the unique qualities of radio drama. The reader/listener is completely immersed in the world of these characters. A superb finale to an excellent series.”

About the Award

The Tinniswood Award was established by WGGB and the 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 Oliver Emanuel, Sarah Woods, James Fritz, Morwenna Banks, Mike Bartlett and Colin Teevan. Find out more.

Photo of BBC Audio Drama Awards presenter 2019, actor Tracy-Ann Oberman: BBC