Tinniswood Award, 2005

The Tinniswood Award honours the best original radio drama script broadcast during 2004 and was given to Mike Stott for Norman. It is jointly administered by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and The Society of Authors and a year’s free membership was given along with PURE Digital’s latest digital radio, the EVOKE-2XT.

The Innocence of Radium by Lavinia Greenlaw, Mia and Maia by Charlotte Jones, Happily Never After by James O’Neill, Martin Shea & Eamonn O’Neill and The Don by Jeff Young were commended. Alan Plater, judging Chairman, said:

‘I’ve been on five juries this year, embracing everything from architecture to television but the entries in the Tinniswood were the most impressive of the lot - a wonderful range of subjects, diversity of scale and treatment and plenty of redeeming laughter of the sort Peter would have loved…’

The judges for the Tinniswood 2004 were: Simon Brett, Alan Plater and Janet Whitaker. Alan Drury - the playwright and director, moderated and chaired the judging.

Mike Stott is a very experienced writer. He has written about 14 radio plays, features, documentaries and adaptations, all broadcast on BBC Radio 4. His TV work is broad ranging, and includes the soaps Brookside, The Practice and Heartbeat . He has written several BBC dramas including Pickersgill People, The Fancy Man, and Soldiers Talking Cleanly. For the theatre he has written Us (Peter Brook, RSC), The Fancy Man (Hampstead; Northampton; Tour etc), Dead Man (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), and Sketches in German for a German comedy tour, Die Dieter Krebs Show.

Norman by Mike Stott
A monologue. Norman tells us his life story. He was born mentally slow and refused schooling. His mother had a series of fancy men, and finally had to make the choice between one of them and her son. After much heart-searching, she put Norman in an asylum, where, after one attempted getaway, he stayed for over twenty years, until it closed down and he went to live in a hostel in the community. There he’s found serenity. He does a bit of busking, feeds ducks in the park, and even has a kind of girlfriend with whom he has discovered sex in a gentle way. Things aren’t bad at all.

For further information contact either Jo Hodder, 020 73736642 or Christine Paris on 020 78330777. Short List (in alphabetical order of author):

The Innocence of Radium - Lavinia Greenlaw 5 x 15mins
It is 1920. Ishbel and the other girls paint watch dials in New Jersey. Scharf arrives from Germany with the new luminescent.paint.They go into production with it and are immensely successful. Scharf and Ishbel are both in their ways innocents, and their courtship is tumultuous. During it, Ishbel decorates herself with the paint. She goes into decline and dies an agonising death, suspected of having syphilis. The paint was based on radium. Soon Scharf is dead as well. Other girls die and it turns out the company knew of the danger almost all along.

Mia and Maia - Charlotte Jones 1hr
Mia and Maia are Scottish Siamese twins joined at the head. As they approach 21, they decide they want to be separated. With their mother and father they go to New York for the operation. One dies on the table, and the other a little later. We explore the twins' relationship and go into the subjective worlds of them, their parents and their doctors. The ultimate question being asked is, 'How do you feel you are you?'

Happily Never After - James O'Neill, Martin Shea & Eamonn O'Neill 45mins
Tony gets the results of a medical. Although he's fine, he's been diagnosed as dead. We go through the logical and administrative consequences of this with remorseless logic. Tony protests, regardless. Finally people can no longer tolerate this walking anomaly amongst them and he is buried, regardless, but there's the implication his soul returns to nature.

Norman - Mike Stott 45mins
See above.

The Don - Jeff Young 80mins
The Don is a modern Don Quixote; a clapped out entertainer trailing round the fag end of the northern circuit. There are modern day equivalents of episodes from Cervantes, (the windmills are a car wash), usually ending in him and his roadie, Sancho, getting a beating. It's only the warmth of their relationship that keeps them going. They return home to London and their families one Christmas and reality begins to break in. After a failed attempt to wean the Don from his delusions, Sancho lovingly smothers him. The action is interspersed with songs.

The judges - Simon Brett, (novelist and comedy writer), Alan Drury, (playwright and director), Alan Plater, (playwright and jazz fan) and Janet Whitaker (radio producer/director).

Information supplied by Jo Hodder of the Society of Authors, and used by permission.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity website

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