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 exemplary 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 content of all the companion web-pages for this project is in the process of development, and completion is expected 31st December 2023 following the publication of the printed book 31st March 2023. Many thanks for your patience and consideration.
Radio Plays of Tom Stoppard
Tom Stoppard radio plays you can listen to if your school, college, university or library has a subscription to Learning On Screen (also known as Box of Broadcasts).
Tom Stoppard – The Dog It Was That Died
Monday, 2 Jul 2012, 03:30 75 mins BBC Radio 4 Extra
Synopsis: Rupert is a spy, a counter-spy and a counter-counter-spy. No wonder he’s suicidal. By Tom Stoppard. With Dinsdale Landen.
Programme ID 001F4F83
Citation: Tom Stoppard – The Dog It Was That Died, 03:30 02/07/2012, BBC Radio 4 Extra, 75 mins. https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/001F4F83?bcast=87579330
In the Native State, by Tom Stoppard
Sunday, 3 May 2020, 19:30 135 mins Drama on 3, BBC Radio 3
Synopsis: The original recording of Stoppard’s 1991 drama, commissioned by Radio 3, starring Felicity Kendal and Dame Peggy Ashcroft in her final dramatic role. Tom Stoppard’s prizewinning play is set in two places and periods: India in 1930 and England in the 1990s. A young poet with a scandalous reputation sits for a portrait whilst in India for her health. 60 years later, the portrait sparks difficult conversations about Indian history and the story behind the painting itself. This is an archive edition of Drama on 3 from 1991 – to mark the death last month of its director John Tydeman, a former head of BBC Radio Drama. Tydeman collaborated with Joe Orton (when he was an unknown writer), Tom Stoppard and Caryl Churchill on their radio plays and famously commissioned the very first version of the Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend. Mrs Swan ….. Peggy Ashcroft Flora Crewe ….. Felicity Kendal Nirad Das ….. Sam Dastor Anish Das ….. Lyndam Gregory Rajah ….. Saeed Jaffrey
Programme ID 15F6F9B0
Citation: Drama on 3: In the Native State, by Tom Stoppard, 19:30 03/05/2020, BBC Radio 3, 135 mins. https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/15F6F9B0?bcast=131841137
Artist Descending a Staircase by Tom Stoppard
Sunday, 8 Oct 2017, 21:00 80 mins BBC Radio 3
Synopsis: The first new radio production for 43 years of Tom Stoppard’s comic tragedy about the meaning and purpose of life and art, starring Derek Jacobi and Ian McDiarmid.
Programme ID: 0BA9EF4E
Citation: Drama on 3, 21:00 08/10/2017, BBC Radio 3, 80 mins. https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/0BA9EF4E?bcast=125283656
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Episode 1 by Tom Stoppard
Sunday, 2 May 2021, 15:00 60 mins BBC Radio 4
Synopsis: Mathew Baynton, Andrew Buchan and Toby Jones star in an energetic new production of the play that made Tom Stoppard’s reputation overnight in 1967. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Hamlet’s ill-fated attendant lords, condemned to an existence in the wings, with no control over their own destinies. Directed by Emma Harding Rosencrantz…..Mathew Baynton Guildenstern…..Andrew Buchan The Player…..Toby Jones Tragedian…..Sam Dale Alfred…..Ronny Jhutti Ophelia…..Sarah Ovens Polonius…..Michael Bertenshaw Hamlet…..Parth Thakerar Claudius…..Don Gilet Gertrude…..Clare Corbett Music arranged and performed by Clare Salaman, Philip Hopkins and Amelia Shakespeare from The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments.
Programme ID: 130AD70F
Citation: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, (Part 1), 15:00 02/05/2021, BBC Radio 4, 60 mins. https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/130AD70F?bcast=134383788
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Episode 2 by Tom Stoppard
Sunday, 9 May 2021, 15:00 60 mins BBC Radio 4
Synopsis: Mathew Baynton, Andrew Buchan and Toby Jones star in Tom Stoppard’s much-loved play about Hamlet’s ill-fated attendant lords. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern attempt to discover what roles they are meant to play, in an existence that appears to offer them no control. Directed by Emma Harding Rosencrantz…..Mathew Baynton Guildenstern…..Andrew Buchan The Player…..Toby Jones Tragedian…..Sam Dale Alfred…..Ronny Jhutti Ophelia…..Sarah Ovens Polonius…..Michael Bertenshaw Hamlet…..Parth Thakerar Claudius…..Don Gilet Gertrude…..Clare Corbett Music arranged and performed by Clare Salaman, Philip Hopkins and Amelia Shakespeare from The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments.
Programme ID: 130D33B5
Citation: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Part 2, 15:00 09/05/2021, BBC Radio 4, 60 mins. https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/130D33B5?bcast=134429973
Tom Stoppard – If You’re Glad I’ll Be Frank
Thursday, 9 Jan 2014, 03:00 30 mins BBC 7
Synopsis: A bus driver is convinced his wife is being held hostage and forced to work as the Speaking Clock. Stars Patsy Rowlands.
Programme ID: 02A92BC1
Citation: Tom Stoppard – If You’re Glad I’ll Be Frank, 03:00 09/01/2014, BBC 7, 30 mins. https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/02A92BC1?bcast=105657625
Tom Stoppard – Where Are They Now?
Friday, 8 Aug 2014, 02:00 30 mins BBC 7
Synopsis: An Old Boys reunion dinner inevitably invites echoes from the past. Stars Carleton Hobbs, Lockwood West and Timothy West.
Citation: Tom Stoppard – Where Are They Now?, 02:00 08/08/2014, BBC 7, 30 mins. https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/02A92C6E?bcast=113905842
Rock ‘n’ Roll by Tom Stoppard
Sunday, 8 Jul 2007, 20:00 150 mins Drama on 3, BBC Radio 3
Synopsis: Rock ‘n’ Roll, by Tom Stoppard: Stoppard’s new play about loyalty, compromise, love and music is given its first radio production as part of BBC Radio’s celebration of his work. In 1968, Czech student Jan returns home ‘to protect rock ‘n’ roll’ from the Soviet tanks crushing the Prague Spring. Max, a Communist don in Cambridge, watches his ideology collapse until the Velvet Revolution of 1990 allows student and master to meet again. The politics and music have changed, but have the people? Featuring Bill Paterson, Daniel Evans, Penny Downie and Amanda Root
Citation: Drama on 3, Rock ‘n’ Roll, 20:00 08/07/2007, BBC Radio 3, 150 mins. https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/006D81A0?bcast=26781172
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard
Sunday, 15 Jul 2007, 21:40 110 mins Drama on 3, BBC Radio 3
Synopsis: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, by Tom Stoppard: As part of BBC Radio’s celebration of the playwright’s 70th birthday, Andrew Lincoln and Danny Webb star in Stoppard’s adaptation of his celebrated play.
Programme: ID 006DD4C4
Citation: Drama on 3, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, 21:40 15/07/2007, BBC Radio 3, 110 mins. https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/006DD4C4?bcast=26838256
Tom Stoppard on Feedback
Friday, 18 Dec 2015, 16:30 25 mins BBC Radio 4
Synopsis: Sir Tom Stoppard reflects on radio drama as Radio 3 revisits his work, James Naughtie talks to Roger Bolton about saying goodbye to Today, and we look at BBC Scotland’s future.
Programme ID: 0B926592
Citation: Feedback, 16:30 18/12/2015, BBC Radio 4, 25 mins. https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/0B926592?bcast=120697505
An online bibliography of Tom Stoppard’s radio plays by Michael H. Hutchins.
The BBC Radio Collection markets 14 BBC Radio productions of his plays at Amazon Audible
In 2013 Tom Stoppard wrote a one hour radio play produced for BBC Radio 2 to Celebrate 40 Years of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon
NPR’s Robin Hilton online feature Tom Stoppard’s Daring ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ Makeover
In 2012 the British Library produced a five CD set package of Tom Stoppard’s BBC Radio plays which included ‘Albert’s Bridge’, ‘Artist Descending a Staircase’, ‘The Dog It Was That Died’ and ‘In the Native State’.
Tom Stoppard Radio Drama Archive from the broadcast of his first radio play in 1964 on BBC Radio’s The Light Programme- the precursor of BBC Radio 2.
The Dissolution of Dominic Boot by Tom Stoppard Thu 20th Feb 1964, 23:40 on Light Programme
Produced and directed by Michael Bakewell. The cast included Valerie Kirkbright, John Baddeley, Pete Pratt and members of the BBC Drama Repertory Company.