Additions and updates for Chapter 1 Radio Drama is Born and In Its Cradle

This is a webpage providing updates and additions for Chapter 1 ‘Radio Drama is Born and In Its Cradle’ from the book Writing Audio Drama by Tim Crook and published by Routledge in 2023.

The BBC began transmitting radio plays from 1922. The chapter proves that early pioneers and experimentalists were preoccupied with the same issues, debates and concerns that worry radio and audio drama directors in the present day.

Methods and techniques of writing what was known as ‘the microphone play’ confirmed, identified and consolidated the unique potential and special characteristics of drama that could only be listened to. 

This is a foundation chapter using newly researched history of radio playwriting to root and grow the branches of the succeeding themes covered in the book.

Subjects covered include the problems with stereotypes, the importance of writing for the ear and not the eye, the work of British playwright David Pownall and his dramatization of the BBC’s first full length production of a William Shakespeare play in 1923, BBC advice and guidance past and present, and analysis of what early practitioners learned worked best on the radio.

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