Tinniswood Award shortlist 2015 announced

The Tinniswood Award 2015 is presented to the best original radio drama script by any writer broadcast in the UK from 1 October 2013 to 31 October 2014.

The Award is jointly administered by WGGB and the Society of Authors, with the prize of £1,500 sponsored by the Authors’ Licencing and Collecting Society. The judges this year were Sue TeddernAmanda Whittington and Kate Chapman.

The winner will be announced on Sunday 1 February 2015 at the BBC Audio Drama Awards, alongside the Society of Authors’ Imison Award and the Audio Drama Awards categories.

The shortlist is as follows:

Goodbye by Morwenna Banks

Produced by Heather Larmour, BBC Northern Ireland, 75’, BBC R4

Morwenna Banks

Lizzie and Jen have shared everything. When Lizzie is diagnosed with cancer their worlds are turned upside down. Together the friends negotiate the stages of her treatment and see their friendship tested and redefined in ways they could not have predicted. And when they learn that Lizzie doesn’t have much time left, they struggle to do the hardest thing of all. To say Goodbye.

The judges said: A skilled combination of funny, moving, achingly sad and extraordinarily life-enhancing, despite the subject at its heart.

Morwenna Banks (above) is well-known as an actor and writer. Her first feature The Announcement won several awards and her latest feature film Miss You Already, directed by Catherine Hardwicke, is set for release in 2015. Current projects include the comedy Damned for Sky Arts television (co-written with Jo Brand); Shush, a new Radio 4 series co-starring and co-written with Rebecca Front; a further new Radio 4 series reprising cult sketch show Absolutely, winner of the 2014 BBC Audio Drama Award for Best Scripted Comedy (Live Audience); and a new series of Up the Women for BBC 2.

The Good Listener by Fin Kennedy

Produced by Boz Temple-Morris, Holy Mountain, 45’, BBC R4

Fin Kennedy

Intelligence agents at GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) are tracking three young British Muslims as they head for Syria. Henry Morcombe, an experienced GCHQ analyst, is tasked with establishing whether they intend to deliver humanitarian aid or join the armed conflict. How to protect the public, while keeping within legal and ethical boundaries, is far from straightforward, and tensions emerge as the team responds to unfolding events.

The judges said: An ever-relevant subject, treated with wit, pace and a real understanding of the craft. Highly compelling radio.

Fin Kennedy (above) is an award-winning playwright, freelance dramaturg and producer and Co-Artistic Director of Tamasha, where he will become Artistic Director in 2015. He has written for Soho Theatre, Sheffield Crucible, Southwark Playhouse, Half Moon, The Red Room and BBC Radio 4, and his plays are also produced internationally. He is writer-in-residence at Mulberry School in east London and founder of Schoolwrights, the UK’s first playwrights-in-schools training scheme.

Men Who Sleep In Cars by Michael Symmons Roberts

Produced by Susan Roberts, BBC Radio Drama North, 44’, BBC R4

Michael Symmons Roberts

One night in the week preceding England’s first World Cup fixture, three men whose lives have been turned upside down by the recession sleep in their cars on the streets of Manchester. They listen to the radio for company, hearing the build-up to the World Cup, where some of the most powerful men in the world of sport compete on the world stage. As the play develops we gradually learn how these three came to this, and how their lives interconnect.

The judges said: Timely, visceral and lyrical, this play examined the underbelly of contemporary urban life in surprising ways.

Michael Symmons Roberts (above) is one of Britain’s leading poets. His six poetry collections and his work for radio and as an opera librettist have won him many awards. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the English Association. The Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has described him as “the clearest and purest voice currently sounding in British poetry”. He is Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Previous winners of the Tinniswood Award, established in memory of English radio and TV comedy scriptwriter Peter Tinniswood, who died in 2003, have included Hannah Silva, Colin Teevan, Murray Gold, Mike Bartlett and Rachel Joyce.