Radio Plays by Angela Carter

Writing Audio Drama by Tim Crook published by Routledge 31st March 2023

Book Description

Writing Audio Drama offers a comprehensive and intelligent guide to writing sound drama for broadcasting and online. This book uses original research on the history of writing radio plays in the UK and USA to explore how this has informed and developed the art form for more than 100 years.

Audio drama in the context of podcasting is now experiencing a global and exponential expansion. Through analysis of examples of past and present writing, the author explains how to create drama which can explore deeply psychological and intimate themes and achieve emotional, truthful, entertaining and thought-provoking impact. Practical analysis of the key factors required to write successful audio drama is covered in chapters focusing on audio play beginnings and openings, sound story dialogue, sustaining the sound story, plotting for sound drama, and the best ways of ending audio plays. Chapters are supported by online resources which expand visually on subjects discussed and point to exemplar sound dramas referenced in the chapters.

This textbook will be an important resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses such as Podcasting, Radio, Audio Drama, Scriptwriting, and Media Writing.

The Radio Plays of Angela Carter

The writer Angela Carter (1940 – 1992) is a much studied, celebrated and appreciated novelist, short story writer, poet, and journalist, who also wrote five significant radio plays produced by the BBC.

Her writing is recognised for feminist, magical realism, and picaresque styles and genres.

Her actual name was Angela Olive Pearce, formerly Carter, née Stalker.

Her radio plays have been published in book form and include: Vampirella (1976) directed by Glyn Dearman for the BBC and formed the basis for the short story ‘The Lady of the House of Love’; Come Unto These Yellow Sands (1979); The Company of Wolves (1980) adapted by Carter from her short story of the same name, and directed by Glyn Dearman for BBC; and Puss-in-Boots (1982) adapted by Carter from her short story also directed by Glyn Dearman for BBC; and A Self-Made Man (1984).

Emily Best of Birkbeck College, University of London has academically reviewed and analysed Vampirella for RadioDoc Review in 2021.

See: Abstract- ‘Angela Carter wrote Vampirella, her first of five works for radio, in 1976. The play serves as a sequel to Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula (1897) where the vampire’s final descendent is a countess trapped in a castle, whose mythology is pitted against the rational thought of the early twentieth century. Gothic horror (and also much of Carter’s work) is often concerned with the violation and deconstruction of bodies. In this essay I explore how Carter uses the radio’s existing deconstruction of bodies to evoke something surprisingly visceral.’

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