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RADIO DRAMA RESIDENCY (article first published : 2004-10-10)

From December 5 to 11, up to 10 writers will take part in a radio drama residency in the Western Cape. Hosted jointly by British Council, BBC World Service and the Performing Arts Network of SA (PANSA), the residency will see writers working intensively with Marion Nancarrow, Executive Producer for BBC’s World Service Drama and award-winning British playwright, Tina Pepler.

Chosen from KZN, Kobus Moolman was one of the writers in the KZN leg of the workshops in 2002. He subsequently won second prize in the African Performance Competition, broadcast by the BBC World Service, and is currently working on publishing a collection of radio plays with assistance from the British Council. His play, Full Circle, is also a finalist in the PANSA Festival of Reading of New Writing in November in Cape Town.

Another writer from KZN taking part in the residency will be Tamantha Hammerschlag.

All writers will complete a full-length script by November and these will form the basis of the residency content. The focus of the residency is for these writers to work more intensely on their scripts under the guidance of experts, and to take them as close to international broadcast quality as possible. The residency aims to encourage stronger writing for radio.

The residency is supported by the British Council and is the third and final phase of a project, the first having taken place in 2002 with a series of highly successful radio drama workshops around the country run by Nancarrow and Pepler. The second phase saw eleven writers attending a residency in 2003, which focused on honing and preparing specific scenes, created by the writers, for recording purposes.

The project has had several successful spin-offs: BBC World Service has commissioned Brett Bailey to write a radio version of Ipi Zombi, which will be recorded on location in Cape Town in December. This commission is a direct result of the first 2 phases of this project. Nancarrow commented that Bailey’s “work and commitment were extremely impressive and he reshaped the play, originally written for stage in a very exciting way for radio, exploiting the medium with great imagination.” The play will be broadcast on BBC World Service in March next year.

More information from the PANSA National Office on 011 880 5486 or e-mail pansa@artslink.co.za




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