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James Fritz Radio Plays


James Fritz is a young British playwright living in South London. He has written a number of plays for stage, and some excellent radio plays, one of which won two awards - the Imison and the Tinniswood, in 2017. I won't attempt to use any of the superlatives beloved of drama reviewers, but the quality of his radio work is such that you have to listen until the end. His work holds the attention; what more can you ask for?


Here is a list of his radio dramas, is reverse chronological order. That means the newest ones are at the top!


6 Sep 23: The Test Batter Canít Breathe
By James Fritz. It's a Test Match between Australia and England. But the commentary is interrupted by the disappearance of one of the English batsmen. The young cricketer has walked out of the match and no one knows where or why. He talks to a therapist; this is a play about a man who, because he's stressed, allows external events to overwhelm him. It must be said that top-level cricket has had a long-standing problem with poor mental health. Many prominent players have experienced drug abuse, anxiety, depression and other problems. Top-level sport involves close scrutiny of talent combined with extended periods away from the comforts of home and family. The batsman out for a duck is left for days or weeks to stew on his failure. This is a worthy companion piece to "The Bully", a drama about OCD, (also produced by Tracey Neal) which was repeated recently. The Batsman ..... Dan Parr, The Dad ..... Ian Conningham, The Ex Girlfriend ..... Melissa Vaughan, The Bowler ..... Will Kirk, The Therapist ..... Tracy Wiles, The Test Commentator ..... Jonathan Agnew. Produced by Tracey Neale. (........ Diversity Website radio review)


17 Nov 22: Dear Harry Kane
By James Fritz. Story of a young Sri Lankan who travels to Qatar to work on building the World Cup Stadiums. Nisal is a Tottenham Hotspur fan. When reaches Qatar he is elated to be building the stadium in which his hero, Harry Kane, will play one day. But nothing can prepare him for the working conditions he must face. Nisal ..... Hiran Abeysekera, Nadeesha ..... Shalini Peiris, Joseph ..... Jyuddah Jaymes, Supervisor ..... Neil D'Souza, Father ..... Amesh Edireweera, Football commentary ..... David Hounslow. Directed by Sally Avens.


    DEAR HARRY KANE (R4, 1415, 17 Nov 22) was the story of a Sri Lankan Spurs fan who travels to Qatar to work on building the World Cup Stadiums. There is virtually no prospect of a job in his own country. When he reaches Qatar he finds he will be helping to build the stadium in which his footballing hero, Harry Kane, will play one day. But the working conditions are considerably worse than those in the job description, and the wages are nowhere near what he expected. Is this really how the Quataris treat their immigrant workers? Nisal was played by Hiran Abeysekera, Nadeesha by Shalini Peiris and Joseph by Jyuddah Jaymes. Football commentary was by David Hounslow and the producer was Sally Avens. (........ Diversity Website radio review)


2 Jan 20:Eight Point Nine Nine
By James Fritz and Becky Ripley. What if doping were allowed in athletics? How much faster could we go? And at what cost? A retelling of the Julian Mason scandal, a year after the closure of Project Hermes, the doping program which enabled Mason to run the 100m in under nine seconds. What drove the scientists at the heart of the project? What made the athletes sign up? And who was to blame when things went wrong? Drama-doc. Rpt. 12 Apr 21.


20 Apr 19: Saturday Play - Death of a Cosmonaut
By James Fritz, 45m. A monolgue which imagines the final moments of Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov, who has to come to terms with the prospect of the mission ending in his death. Rpt. from April 2007. Julian Rhind-Tutt; produced by Rebecca Ripley.


5 Oct 16: Comment is Free
By James Fritz. A woman with an outspoken media-man as a husband goes through hard times after he goes one step too far on a television programme. Loosely based on what happens on social media and the superficiality of the conversations between Facebook "friends". Hilary Cooper: Rachael Stirling, Alistair Cooper (who hardly appears): Tobias Menzies. Produced by Becky Ripley. A few media personalities appear as themselves. Rpt. Jan 2017.


    COMMENT IS FREE (R4, 1415, 5 Oct 2016) by James Fritz was a scathing comment on the superficiality of Facebook and other social media. I am a user of Facebook as a way of keeping in touch with friends and the radio drama world. However it has to be kept under control. People at the other end of the internet are an unknown quantity; they are not really friends, though obviously they may become friends if you meet them. Secondly, there's a lot of very useful information on Facebook and similar sites; it's a way of becoming better-informed about many topics, but the amount of superficial, ill-informed and spiteful comment also on there is enormous.


    Anyway - to the play. A woman with an outspoken media-man as a husband goes through very hard times after he goes a step too far on a television programme and someone stabs him. The play then speculates about the sickly social-media aftermath to this event. You can imagine it ... platitudes plastered all over social media: comments like 'Love Matters', followed by the ubiquitous and mindless 'Share if you Agree'. (........ Diversity Website radio review, Dec 2016)

      UPDATE... AUDIO DRAMA AWARDS, 2017 .........As for the awards themselves, I have a few personal highlights, though there were some plays I missed. I liked James Fritz's play "Comment Is Free" which won both the Imison and Tinniswood Awards. The play examines (and is a scathing comment on) the dangers of social media and the way it can affect our lives. (........ Diversity Website radio review, Apr 2017)




ND / Diversity website

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