David Britton is a writer and director for stage, screen and radio. In Australia he was Head of Radio Drama for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where he presided over an expansion of drama on Radio National in addition to writing award-winning stage plays. He subsequently moved to Wales and has penned a number of original radio plays and adaptations for the BBC initially as "David Britton" and more recently as "D.J.Britton". He is a versatile writer, whose original radio credits include a pair of 19th-century spy tales, a talking hotel, and several light romantic comedies. (adapted from http://www.tynewydd.org/englishcourses.htm and other sources. Additional biographical information needed.)
*THE DUTCH ATTACK ON THE MEDWAY....2003
*THE PARSON AND MRS SACHS....2003
*THE LOVE OF BIRDS....2003
*ONE UP, ONE DOWN....2002
*WHO SHOT SHELLEY?....2000
THE MAN WHO SOLD A MOUNTAIN....1985
*WHEN GREED BECOMES FEAR....2008
Dave Britton: This play was the result of an unusual rapid-response process in which the script was begun relatively close to the broadcast date, and recorded in the week before it went to air. I found this an exciting way to work, especially since it is something radio can do more quickly and efficiently than any other dramatic medium.
Like most writers, I'm also fascinated by timeless themes such as love, family dynamics and sacrifice. Weaving the immediate and the timeless together under the pressure of a short deadline was an exciting challenge. What drama does well is to give a human face to something which might otherwise seem remote, and that's what we tried to achieve.
Not surprisingly, some people prefer one side of the fact/fiction spectrum, some the other. One national newspaper commented that the play's account of the sub-prime crisis was probably easier to comprehend than some business journalism, while others were more interested in its dramatic style, which they described as pacey and feisty. " (summarised comments from the BBC drama messageboard, posted by DB)
Gillian Reynolds in the Telegraph: 'Maybe there'll be a sequel: what happens when governments buy up banks'!"
......other summarised comments from the messageboard ........
............cliches in the plot but it got over a lot of explanation about the sub-prime property collapse which now seems to be ensnaring the entire world economy. Not too much heavy breathing, either.
.......very good the BBC can turn round something as up-to-date as this in such a short time.
Chris Campling in the Times: "D.J. Britton's play could not be more 2008"............. "a timely tale of personal tragedies and international disasters".
Old Peterís Russian Tales....2007
*A SUNSET TOUCH....2004
...........Greg Linden sent me the following:
Below is an interesting post by D.J.Britton to one of the BBC message boards in response to criticism of A Sunset Touch, which I thought was weak, although not in ways that I attribute to the adaptation. I listened to the early version of Headlong Hall (with Michael Hordern) recently and I thought Dave Britton's recent version was far superior.....
(.........note by N.D.....I hope the BBC do not object to this edited version of the messageboard posting appearing here..... but the boards are very ephemeral, and these remarks are worth preserving. For the record, I heard the broadcasts and enjoyed them very much........)
..............................Who an earth chose this dreary piece to dramatise? I have no idea what the original book is like but it cannot have been as absurd as this! Cardboard characters, a ridiculous *madonna/whore* apposition between the two central female characters and a hurried and rushed melodramatic ending with everything wrapped up breathlessly in a few minutes. How could this be in any way a classic?? Paul Copley and the rest of the cast deserved better. - Neil
................................I couldn't agree more, Neil. A waste of airtime and all the other resources that went into making it.- Miranda
....and a reply from Dave Britton.....
People sometimes question whether those involved in the production of radio dramas ever read this board. Be assured, some of us do regularly. Like most writers who contribute to the radio drama output, I am also an avid listener. I liken tuning in to the Classic Serial to visiting the library with a friend. Here, among the books and writing which are our shared heritage, the friend says "try this; I think you'll find it interesting". And of course your friend is thrilled if you like it and disappointed if you don't. So it was good to read last week that Don Craig was enjoying "A Sunset Touch" (his comments have now disappeared from the board) and, obviously, disappointing that Neil and Miranda have not.
When I read "A Sunset Touch" I liked it, thought others would find it an interesting example from its time, and proposed it to the BBC. I found the book intriguing, and a challenge to dramatise, partly because it draws on a period which now has little exposure (the grey days after World War II), but especially because of the character of Roger Menheniot, who is almost the antithesis of what we generally see as an heroic central character. Another attraction was that it is set in Cornwall -- a county which has relatively little exposure in radio drama. I have become deeply interested in the originating writer, Howard Spring, who is now entirely out of fashion. Born in Cardiff, he worked in Manchester before finding his heart's home in Cornwall. Spring was arguably the most popular British novelist of his period -- so respected that when Churchill met Roosevelt on a battleship in mid-ocean to sign the North Atlantic treaty during the war, it was Howard Spring they took along to witness the event. Can you imagine our current political leaders asking a novelist to such a meeting? I certainly think Spring is worth a second look.
As for "A Sunset Touch" itself, I think my dramatisation is pretty faithful to the spirit of the original (although much shorter of course). I do think one needs to have heard episode one to understand Roger and appreciate episode two, and one has to accept and enjoy its period feel. Of course none of this makes any difference if you simply don't like the tale or the style. But just as one doesn't blame the library for having books you don't like, I don't think we should blame the Classic Serial for running dramatisations we don't like. (I don't like everything I hear, either.) In recent years I've tried to interest listeners in a few writers and titles which have rather slipped from view. Last year it was Nevil Shute's "The Far Country", which had a good response; next year it's a massive task: Sholokhov's "And Quiet Flows The Don". All I can say is "give it a go -- I like it and I think you'll find it interesting.",
ONE UP, ONE DOWN....2004
*THE WHITE GUARD....2001
MANUSCRIPTS DON'T BURN....2001
LIKE THE FIRST DEWFALL....1998
Greg Linden / Nigel Deacon, Diversity website.
|Cosby Methodist Church|
|Links to other Sites|