Chrissie Gittins was born in Lancashire and studied at Newcastle University and St Martin’s School of Art. She worked as an artist and a teacher before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She writes poetry, radio drama and short stories for adults, and poetry for children. She was awarded a fellowship at Hawthornden Castle in 2001 and has received awards from the Society of Authors and the Royal Literary Fund. Chrissie was awarded an Arts Council Grant for the Arts in 2005 to complete her collection of short stories. She lives in Forest Hill in South London and frequently travels north to Ramsbottom.
UPDATE...Chrissie's new children's poetry collection
"I Don't Want an Avocado for an Uncle" is now published.
It's been selected
by the Poetry Book Society as their single poet collection
'Choice' for their Children's Poetry Bookshelf, Autumn Term
John Hegley and Ian Macmillan have already voiced their
approval. Details, sample poems, and ordering details
on Chrissie's site:
1994 BBC R4 ‘Poles Apart’ - duologue read by Bernard Cribbins and Peter Jeffrey
2000 BBCR4 short story - Matilda and One of the Twelve Dancing Princes read by Anne Reid
2001 BBCR4 short story – Treatment Room read by Stephanie Cole
2001 BBCR4 ‘Poetry Please! read poem, Pilot, 2001.
2002 play Starved for Love – starring Patricia Routledge and Emma Cunniffe
2003 BBCR4 ‘Poetry Please! poem “Death in the Poetry Library” read by Roger McGough in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Poetry Library
2003 BBCR4 ‘Poetry Please!’ – children’s edition, poem Harry the Hamster requested
2004 Saturday afternoon play 'Life assurance'
2006 Dinner in the Iguanadon, afternoon play
An account of the friendship which developed between a wealthy Conservative ex-minister and a working class Socialist.
Bernard Cribbins played Bill Wheeler and Peter Jeffrey was Sir Tony Nutting. Directed by Martin Jenkins.
Starved for Love….2002
Newlyweds Lillian and Frank know precisely what hunger is. They are already living in hard times – Chrissie Gittins’ play is set
partly in 1934 – but to win £250 they become part of a matrimonial freak show in Blackpool, lying in glass coffins for 30 days
without food on display to the gawping public. Only married a few hours, they began the strangest, cruellest honeymoon. Based
on a news item from the Blackpool Gazette, this was a likeable tale of desperate things done in dire poverty…..directed by
Kate McAll (....Elisabeth Mahoney,Guardian).
Saturday play, 19 Feb 04. Dark deeds in Victorian slums, a spate of suspicious deaths and, eventually, an inspector on the trail. Based on a true story; starred Sorcha Cusack, Gillian Kearney and Jan Ravens. Directed by Claire Grove.
Dinner in the Iguanodon….2006
R4, 11 Jan 06, directed by Viv Beeby and starring Suzanna Hamilton, Philip Franks and Tina Gray. ‘As flamboyant settings for
dinner parties go you’d be hard pushed to beat eating seven courses inside the mould of a life-sized iguanodon. This drama is
based on real events and captures the excitement and the exuberance of Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins as he sees his superscaled work
take shape. It also conveys the frustration of a working class woman from Dorset called Mary Anning. Without her years spent
scouring the coast for fossils, Hawkins and his fellow palaeontologists, professional fossil collectors and scientists (including Darwin)
would never have seen the material that helped in the birth of evolutionary theory, or, indeed, these beautiful plaster-cast
dinosaurs.’ (……..Jane Anderson, Radio Times.)
Nigel Deacon / Diversity website
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