Radio Writing

For many years I’ve been a fan of radio drama. Here in the UK this mostly means Radio 4. From the classics like ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ and ‘Old Harry’s Game’ to the drama slots in the afternoons and the 15-minute serials on ‘Women’s Hour’, there are some really interesting productions.

So, I asked about it at the interview for my course and was told I could audit some sessions on the second year undergraduate Radio Writing module. Good stuff, I thought.

And it has been.  I have really appreciated the various sessions: Greg is a very solid lecturer, grounded in craft and technique.  Further, the format of one hour lecture, one hour writing and one hour review works well in getting students to experiment. I don’t have to, but I do try and participate as it helps my learning process. This Monday session, though, was remarkable in that understanding seemed to have gelled just as Ian Marchant came in to discuss monologues.

Yes, Ian is an entertaining, open and engaging lecturer, able to get points across in between his audience’s frequent bouts of laughter. Further, his 15-minute short on rural attitudes to discrimination was very well done – as I have come to expect from lecturers on writing at BCU. But the student response during the practice hour was exceptional.

All the readings we managed to have time for had great ideas, good structure and fantastic promise. Sure, Melissa’s piece by a dementia sufferer was well-read, nicely constructed and stood out as a result, but none of the others were slacking. I mean it: it was really wonderful to hear.  The range of material was solid, too – from contemporary diaries to letter chains (from various periods) to reflections.

I was really proud of them – and I’m not a lecturer. Well done, Greg and Ian. And well done to all the second year Radio Writing students.  🙂

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