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SHELLEY SILAS RADIO PLAYS

Shelley was born in Calcutta. Her work for Radio 4 includes Calcutta Kosher,The Sound of Silence and The Magpie Stories. Also for Radio 4: an excellent adaptation with writer John Harvey of The Raj Quartet, broadcast in Apr - June 2005.

Shelley has edited an anthology for Virago, Twelve Days, published in November 2004. She is also one of the writers in Val McDermid's on-line anthology Endangered Species (launch date Saturday 16 August 04 at the Edinburgh Book Festival). Her short story Via Calcutta, featured in September 2004, was a winner in the 1996 Fresh Blood competition at the ICA. The link for the web-site is

http://www.saveourshortstory.org.uk/

In 2002 Shelley won a Pearson award and was Writer-in-Residence at the Bush theatre, where her play Falling was produced. In February 2004 Kali Theatre produced Calcutta Kosher at the Southwark Playhouse.

UPDATE....22 Mar 2005
Shelley's book adaptation on Radio 4 - ONLY IN LONDON - by Hanan Al-Shaykh, 5 x 15m. Woman's Hour serial, repeated at 7.45pm.

Calcutta Kosher was on at the Southwark Playhouse last Feb, then on a sell-out UK tour; it transferred to the Theatre Royal Stratford East last June.

Shelley adds...I am currently writing a play for Clean Break which will be produced in London in the autumn and then go on tour. Other radio commissions include INK and COLLECTIVE FASCINATION, both to be broadcast in July of this year. And NOTHING HAPPENED which I am co-writing with Luke Sorba, which will be broadcast in December.

The anthology 12 Days, was highly praised and reviewed when the hardback was published in Nov 2004. It is available in paperback. (N.D.)

Jul 2008: New Stage Play: "Eating Ice Cream on Gaza Beach" - by Shelley Silas (dir: Anna Niland, Design: Anthony Lamble; Lighting: David W. Kidd), It's sixty years since Israeli independence. Good news for some; not so good for others. While one side celebrates the other side mourns.

Produced by the National Youth Theatre at the Soho Theatre, 21/22 Aug 7.30pm, 23 Aug 3pm & 7 pm; 25/26 Aug 7.30 pm; 1/2/10/11 Sept 7.30 pm, Soho Theatre, 21 Dean St, London. Box Office 020-7478-0100. Web: www.sohotheatre.com & www.nyt.org.uk

BBC RADIO BROADCASTS
2002 Calcutta Kosher
2002 The Sound of Silence, 45m. Shortlisted for Imison Award.
2002 The Magpie Stories (reading)
2005 The Raj Quartet (Classic Serial), with John Harvey.
2005 Only in London (dram)
2005 Collective Fascination, 55m.
2005 Ink, 45m.
2005 Nothing Happened, 45m
2007 Molly's Story, from Great Expectations, in the series "Celluloid Extras".
2009 I am Emma Humphreys, 60m
2011 Mr. Jones Goes Driving, 45m


BBC BROADCASTS: NOTES ON THE RADIO PLAYS

MR. JONES GOES DRIVING....2011
An elderly man has to stop driving the car he loves. He goes out one last time, a journey which lets him look back on his life. With Richard Briers, Ann Davies, Muzz Khan, Helena Breck, Jonathan Holby, Ben Tosh, Stella Duffy, Wilf A Ashdown, Ruby A Ashdown. Producer Gordon House. Not sure but I think this is probably an independent production... afternoon play, 45m.

I AM EMMA HUMPHREYS....2009
25 Sep 09, Friday Play. Dramatisation of the true story of a homeless teenage prostitute, her pimp (whom she killed) and the effect of her case on criminal law twenty years later. Joanne Froggatt, Stephen Critchlow, Delroy Brown, Susan Jameson, Lynne Verrall, Stephen Hogan, David Hargreaves. Producer Claire Grove.

MOLLY'S STORY....2007
Stars Clare Rushbrook and John Dougall; directed by Claire Grove. Five minor characters from a classic film are selected, and five radio writers each asked to write a play about one of them. Shelley's is about Molly from Great Expectations (broadcast R4, 27 Mar, in the woman's hour and evening drama slot). Molly is housekeeper to Mr. Jaggers, the lawyer who manages Pip's inheritance. Jaggers got Molly off a charge some years earlier, and she has worked for him ever since. But - her past is about to catch up with her.

For the record, the films used by the other authors were: The Importance of Being Earnest, I Know Where I'm Going, Black Narcissus and The Railway Children.

NOTHING HAPPENED....2005
Lovely play about an on-off relationship which lasts for many years; it looks as if it's going nowhere. College, first job, married, later in life..... there are several scenes set many years apart, with the same couple meeting under different circumstances. Skilful, effective writing, and beautifully acted. Co-written by Luke Sorba. Afternoon play. Unfortunately I have no more details and I've given the tape back to the person who lent it to me.

COLLECTIVE FASCINATION....2005
Vinny and Trish met in 1997 on the Mall while mourning the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Vinny is hooked on public outpourings of grief - Lockerbie, the Pope's funeral, the death of a local boy in a hit-and-run accident. Trish wants him to stop. But she is soon to discover the real root of why Vinny needs to grieve in public for people he never knew. Broadcast 22 Jul 05. Friday play, R4.

Vinny ...... Tom Ellis
Trish ...... Jane Hazlegrove
Tom ...... Grant O'Rourke
Susan ...... Gabriel Quigley
Frank ...... Gareth Thomas
Directed by Gaynor Macfarlane.

INK....2005
R4, Afternoon Play, 28 July 2005. 45m. Two linked stories- a prison inmate (in the present time) is determined to learn how to write. Henry Stephens, who invented the first commercial ink in 1832. He needed something to write with. Inspired by Henry's bits and pieces at Avenue House, Finchley. With Paul Rhys, Don Gilet, Nina Sosanya, Paul Bazely, Andrew Harrison. Produced by Claire Grove.

Henry Stephens was so dissatisfied with the unpleasant fluids used as ink in the early 1800s that he began experimenting with different fluids. Eventually he hit on a mixture which we now use as ink. Henry was originally a surgeon. The character in the linked modern story is George, an illiterate prisoner who learns to read and write and eventually progresses to studying the poetry of John Keats (who studied medicine with Henry Stephens). Interesting........(paraphrased from Jane Anderson's article in Radio Times)

THE RAJ QUARTET....2005
With John Harvey. Dramatised from the book by Paul Scott. 9 x 60min, Classic Serial. Produced by Sally Avens. Excellent standard of dramatisation. Varied cast - including Lia Williams, Jeremy Northam, Gary Waldhorn, Shiv Grewal, Mark Bazeley, Hugh Dickson, Matthew Thomas-Davies, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sam Dastor, Stuart McLoughlin.

ONLY IN LONDON....2005
Broadcast in five 15-min episodes as the Woman's Hour serial. As a flight from Dubai touches down in London, three people from different parts of the world are thrown together: beautiful, lost Lamis, the lively Moroccan Amira, and her new friend Samir, who, like her, loves not wisely but too well. (......paraphrased from "Radio Times"-N.D.)
By Hanan Al-Shayk, dram. Shelley Silas. With Suzanna Nour, Tom Beard, Shappi Khorsandi, Nitzan Sharron, John Rowe, Nick Maloney, Helen Schlesinger, Daryl Moore, Nadim Sawalha, Nina Wadia. Produced by Marilyn Imrie; dir. Deborah Paige.

THE SOUND OF SILENCE....2002
The Sound of Silence is about 5 women who meet at a silent retreat for the weekend. They vary in age - from early twenties to late 60s. They are all there for different reasons and strangely get to know each other through the silence. By the end of the week they have all learned something about themselves and each other - and have to return to their lives with decisions made or planned. The play was directed by Claire Grove and the cast was as follows:

Character (Actor)

Fay (Marlene Sidaway)
Annie (Tracey Wilkinson)
Grace (Carolyn Pickles)
Jo (Helen Longworth)
Lucy (Caroline Hayes)

This play was shortlisted for the IMISON AWARD in 2003 and reached the last 4. Repeated R4, 9 Jun 04.

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Thanks to Shelley for supplying information about her work.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website.

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