ALISON LEONARD: RADIO PLAYS
Alison Leonard was born in 1944. She studied psychology and philosophy at Edinburgh University and then did five years' social work with deprived and disturbed children. She started writing for teenagers in 1975, and has since written stories for younger children, radio plays for the BBC, plays for the theatre, and drama for young people and mixed age-groups, as well as running writing courses in the UK and abroad. Her life as a writer interweaves with a lifelong preoccupation with spirituality. As well doing occasional broadcasts on spiritual themes both locally and nationally, she also runs courses in spiritual development and spiritual autobiography. Alison is a member of the Society of Authors and the National Association of Writers in Education, and is married with two adult daughters. Details of her radio plays are given below. Further information about her novels and other work can be found at her website: http://www.frandal.fsnet.co.uk/
asterisked plays known to exist in VRPCC collections.... **incomplete recording.
(Many of these plays were also broadcast in the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany)
Work in progress: Alexander, Benedict and the Buddha, 2002, written for Sue Wilson, BBC radio drama producer, Pebble Mill
Story within a Story, 1997, prod. Caroline Sarll
Alison Leonard writes ......
Radio Drama - a writer's medium
Not many years ago, the American Writers' union brought the screen industry to a halt by laying down their pens. Why? Because screen directors (maybe one called Windy Cliff) had a habit of taking a writer's screenplay (call her Sandy Shore), changing Fred's name to Jack and replacing a scene in a hotel to one in a bar, and then saying 'Screenplay by Windy Cliff and Sandy Shore'.
Writing for radio isn't like that. It's a real collaboration between writer and producer/ director. Of course, there may be a hassle in getting your play accepted in the first place, but once commissioned, you're treated with respect. The two of you go through the play together to get the sense of its movement. You could be asked to take out a scene or add some lines, but that's negotiated rather than dictated. You're consulted about casting, and when the script finally gets recorded, you're invited into the studio while the play comes to life.
This is the ideal. I may have been lucky, and I've had bad experiences too. But, compared for instance with the theatre, radio drama is where, as I playwright, I've felt valued.
Information supplied by Alison Leonard & used by permission.
THE GRESFORD CHICKENS, 1987
A SCARECROW SINGING, 1988
DEATH & TAXES IN VENICE, 1992
Nigel Deacon, Diversity website
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