Three outstanding scripts feature on the 2018 shortlist for the ALCS-sponsored Tinniswood Award for the best original audio drama script.

The Tinniswood Award was established in 2003 by the Society of Authors and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain to perpetuate the memory of scriptwriter Peter Tinniwood, and to encourage high standards in radio drama. This year’s judges are Hardeep Singh Kohli, Colin Teevan and Jane Thynne.

The three scripts and writers shortlisted for the 2018 Award are:

Jenny Lomas by David Eldridge

Directed by Sally Avens, BBC Radio Drama, 95 minutes, BBC Radio 3

The judges said: This is an excellently crafted, timely and grippingly suspenseful play touching on themes of real and virtual stalking and security, identity theft, data harvesting and manipulation. Such is Eldridge’s masterly use of the radiophonic and dramatic form whilst maintaining tight focus on the central character, the play never loses sight of the broader political, social and legal implications either for her or the listener. A thought provoking, grown-up drama.

David Eldridge is widely regarded as one of the prominent playwriting voices of his generation, whose productions have premiered across the UK at venues including The National, The Royal Court, The Royal Exchange and The Donmar.  His play Beginning premiered at The Dorfman Theatre and transfers to the West End’s Ambassadors Theatre on 15 January. Television credits include The Scandalous Lady W and Our Hidden Lives. Radio credits including the Prix Europa award-winning The Picture Man.

John Finnemore’s Double Acts – Penguin Diplomacy by John Finnemore

Produced by David Tyler, Pozzitive, 30’, BBC Radio 4

The judges said: This is a perfectly formed piece of comic dramatic writing. While the play functions as a gentle satire on, and reductio ad, absurdum of the aspirations of empire and colonialism, it never loses sight of the humanity of those minions who must service such a grasping cause. Much of the humour of the piece derives from reading the personal sentiments between the lines of the official declarations. What emerges is the warmth of human friendship in contrast to the coldest of colonial and climatic environments.

John Finnemore is a writer, comedian and actor. He is the sole writer and star of sketch-show John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme, now in its seventh series, and wrote and starred in four series of hit sitcom Cabin Pressure. Between them, Cabin Pressure, Souvenir Programme and Double Acts, have won Writers’ Guild, New York Radio, British Comedy Guide, Radio Academy, BBC Audio Drama and Chortle awards. John was awarded Radio Broadcaster of the Year by the Broadcasting Press Guild in 2016.

Borderland by Sarah Woods

Directed by James Robinson, BBC Cymru Wales, 45’, BBC Radio 4

The judges said: This was a dark and original dystopia that took an inspired perspective on issues of migration and identity. Set in the near future, the current situation is reversed and refugees are desperate to escape the UK. In their attempt to cross the border and navigate a passage over the Irish Sea, Layla and her daughter are pursued by the chilling forces of state security. This was an absorbing thriller, with Orwellian echoes, that had the judges gripped.

Sarah Woods has written over thirty plays, series, adaptations and drama-documentaries. Over the past few years her work for Radio 4 includes Watch Me, The State of Water, My Life with Flu, A Speck of Dust and an adaption of William Morris’s News From Nowhere.

The winner will be announced and presented with a prize of £3000 by Philip Pullman at the BBC Audio Drama Awards on 28th January 2018. Previous winners include Morwenna Banks, Mike Bartlett, Murray Gold and Stephen Wyatt.

Imison Award

Also presented at the BBC Audio Drama Awards will be the Imison Award for the best debut audio script, sponsored by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation. Founded in 1993, the Imison Award commemorates BBC script editor and producer, Richard Imison.

The 2018 shortlist is:

  • The Book Of Yehudit by Adam Usden. Produced by Charlotte Riches, BBC Radio Drama Salford, 45’, BBC Radio 4
  • Wide Open Spaces by Jane Wainwright. Produced by Charlotte Riches, BBC Radio Drama Salford, 45’, BBC Radio 4

Further information on both Awards, including excerpts can be found on the Society of Authors website. A report on both Award winners will appear in ALCS News shortly after the announcement.