Peter Tinniswood Award 2009,
for plays broadcast during 2008


Goldfish Girl by Peter Souter
(to be repeated on R7, January 2010 tbc)

The Tinniswood Award: Highly Recommended

Far North by Louis Nowra. (to be repeated on R4, 23-26 November 2009 tbc)

Awards of £1,500 (sponsored by the ALCS and The Peggy Ramsay Foundation) and digital radios (gifted by PURE) were presented to the winning plays by film director and writer Mike Hodges.

The following shortlisted plays will also air on R4’s Afternoon Play slot over 23-26 November 2009: Cobwebs by David Hodgson (2009 Alfred Bradley Bursary runner-up) and Flaw in the Motor, Dust in the Blood by Trevor Preston (shortlisted for the 2009 Mental Health Media Awards). All plays including the shortlisted The Switch by Ali Smith and The Heroic Pursuits of Darleen Fyles by Esther Wilson will receive a further broadcast on BBC7 over January 2010 (dates tbc).

>>pictures from this year's Imison & Tinniswood awards (2009)<<


The Tinniswood Award honours the best original radio drama script broadcast during 2008.

The prize of £1,500 is donated by the ALCS and judges are Kate Chisholm, Roger Elsgood and Colin Shaw.

The shortlist was:

The Switch by Ali Smith
(David Jackson Young, BBC Scotland)

Goldfish Girl by Peter Souter
(Gordon House, BBC Radio Drama)

The Heroic Pursuits of Darleen Fyles by Esther Wilson
(Pauline Harris, BBC Radio Drama, Manchester)

Far North by Louis Nowra
(Judith Kampfner, Corporation For Independent Media)

Notes on the shortlisted plays are shown lower down this page.

The presentation of the Tinniswood and Imison awards, by Mike Hodges, took place on the evening of 27 October at the British Academy, London.

Notes for Editors:

Peter Tinniswood's career spanned over thirty years during which he wrote numerous books, stage, radio and television plays, television comedy series, television dramas and radio broadcasts. He won Sony, Giles Cooper and Writers' Guild awards for his radio plays and wrote, specifically for, among others, actors such as Dame Judi Dench, Jane Lapotaire, Maurice Denham, Richard Griffiths, Timothy West and Paul Scofield.

The Tinniswood and Imison awards are supported by The Society of Authors, The Writers’ Guild and the ALCS.

For further information contact Jo McCrum on 020 7373 6642. All enquiries regarding the 2010 awards should go to Anne Hogben on 020 7833 4777.

We would like to offer our thanks to:
Imison judges: novelist, academic, columnist, chairman of the Digital TV Group and chief executive of CIHE David Docherty; dramatist Mike Bartlett; dramatist and actor Nazrin Choudhury; dramatist and actor Joe Dunlop; dramatist and novelist Alison Joseph; dramatist and novelist Sue Limb; dramatist and actor Nick Warbuton; TV producer and non-fiction writer Karen Liebreich; dramatist and novelist Nell Leyshon;and documentary maker and biographer Anne Sebba. Tinniswood judges: writer and radio critic Kate Chisholm; producer Roger Elsgood; and former Chief Secretary to the BBC, Director of Television at the IBA, and writer Colin Shaw CBE. Master of Ceremonies - former Head of BBC Radio Drama and independent producer Gordon House.


THE SWITCH....2008
19 12 2008 By Ali Smith; partly inspired by the romantic film musicals of Jacques Demy and told in a sequence of songs. Accompanied by his French bride; young English electrician George heads for the Scottish Highlands in the optimistic 1960s to set up in business. Forty years later; their daughter Genevieve remembers her parents and her childhood as she journeys by train from London back to Scotland. George ...... Nick Farr Sidonie ...... Lucy Paterson Genevieve ...... Gabriel Quigley With James Bryce; Richard Conlon; Monica Gibb; Dougal Lee; Joanna Tope and Anita Vettesse as the Chorus of Townspeople. Directed by David Jackson Young.
    Judges’ Comments
    The Switch is a delightfully inventive script that plays with the medium of radio to create a drama that is both funny and touching. Inspired by the musical films of Jacques Demy, Ali Smith transforms the lives of her characters by revealing their stories through song lyrics, ‘Life’s a spark/ Set against the dark’. Along the way she reflects on the social cost of the high-spending Eighties and the loss of community spirit. A light-hearted, refreshing and original entertainment.

2 4 2008 By Peter Souter. Joe can remember everything about Ally; the love of his life for ten years. Ally; however; can remember nothing about Joe. Joe ...... Alex Jennings Ally ...... Juliet Stevenson . Producer Gordon House.
    ND summary: Frightening evocation of what memory loss can do. Ally and Joe were married; she cannot remember him. She asks who her friends are, and why they never visit; he says 'they do'. Two-hander with Juliet Stevenson and Alex Jennings. There is an earlier play on the same topic: "Deficits", by Derek Lister, a Monday Play broadcast 2 May 94, R4. Note that Goldfish Girl recently won a Bronze Sony Award in the Radio Drama category. There is a little more information about the play on the Sony Award page.

      Peter Souter was formerly the Worldwide Creative Director of one of the biggest advertising agencies in Britain. This is his second radio play; his first, Puddle, was broadcast to excellent feedback from both listeners and critics.

      Judges’ Comments
      Goldfish Girl is a perfectly paced radio drama. Just two characters sustain the action, the story behind the play unfolding through their conversations. The sophistication of this carefully crafted dialogue draws the reader in so vividly that you can hear the voices of Ally and Joe in your head as if you’re already listening. Peter Souter at first withholds but then gradually discloses, until in the final moments of the play the emotion bursts through with haunting power and resonance.

22 2 2008 Friday Play: Esther Wilson's drama is inspired by a true story. Darleen is a young woman with learning difficulties who has become obsessed with the emergency services and who occasionally sets fire to things. Helen is a volunteer helper trying to help Darleen to rebuild her life; but she too has her own secret reasons for volunteering. Darleen ...... Donna Lavin Helen ...... Claire Rushbrook Jamie ...... Edmund Davis Treena ...... Siobhan Finneran Tony/Will/PC ...... Craig Cheetham Nurse ...... Sue Kelly. Directed by Pauline Harris.

    Judges’ Comments
    The play takes its listeners into territories rarely exposed dramatically. It describes the hardships of a girl with learning difficulties as she is growing up and, despite regular betrayals, seeks to find stable relationships. Her rounds of despair as she struggles to be understood by relatives, friends and strangers are portrayed, often very movingly.

FAR NORTH....2008
5 5 2008 By Louis Nowra. A boy and his young mother take to the road across Australia in search of the freedom and love she craves. Directed by Judith Kampfner and Jane Ulman.
    Louis Nowra has had a celebrated career in Australia beginning with radio plays and then extensive work in stage, TV, novels, film and opera. He won a Prix Italia award in 1990 for his radio play Summer of the Aliens and has since won AFI screenplay awards and major Australian prizes. His movie credits include K-19 The Widowmaker and Heaven’s Burning.

      Judges’ Comments
      Far North eloquently and accurately conveys an authentic contemporary Australia in a completely unexpected way. Its author, Louis Nowra, explodes the standard parent–child relationship as his adolescent hero struggles to deal with the random behaviour of his child-like mother in what is essentially a 'road movie' for radio. Delightful, if challenging, the judges welcomed this exploration of a child’s unconditional love and the strength and originality of the writing which owes little to the UK canon of radio drama.


..2008.. ..2007.. ..2006.. ..2005.. ..2004..

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compiled by Nigel Deacon, from information supplied by Jo McCrum of the Society of Authors / Diversity website

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