The late Sonya Hale and Faebian Averies scoop top awards for original audio drama writing

Sonya Hale photo © Clean Break
Martin Reed

Martin Reed

Martin leads the SoA's Communications team. He oversees our strategic communications and campaign-based activities, including PR, social media, events and partnerships.
Winners announced by Trish Cooke at the BBC Audio Drama Awards ceremony

Playwright and children’s writer Trish Cooke presented Faebian Averies with the 2022 Imison Award for the best original script by a writer new to radio, and to producer Róisín McBrinn (on behalf of Sonya Hale) with the Tinniswood Award for best original audio drama script at the BBC Audio Drama Awards on 25 March 2022 in the BBC Radio Theatre.

Commenting on The Lemonade Lads’ ‘contemporary and wryly humorous’ and ‘heart-warming tale’, the Imison judges lauded Faebian Averies as a writer ‘who has a playfulness that is refreshing against a serious topic of mental health’, while the Tinniswood judges praised Sonya Hale for her ‘fresh and subversive’ work.

The Imison and Tinniswood Awards are presented each year as part of the BBC Audio Drama Awards and are administered by the Society of Authors and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain.

The awards are sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and the Imison Award is also sponsored by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation.

The Imison Award 2022

WINNER

The Lemonade Lads by Faebian Averies

Produced by James Robinson, BBC Cymru Wales for BBC Radio (’44 minutes) | Listen now

The Imison Award 2022 judges were Ian Billings, Ben Carpenter, Imogen Church, Trish Cooke, Jamila Gavin, Sean Grundy David Morley, Barney Norris, Robin Mukherjee and Rhiannon Tise.

The judges said:

The Lemonade Lads is contemporary and wryly humorous. There is a nice use of form switching artfully and often comedically from voiceover to live action. Averies has a playfulness that is refreshing against a serious topic of mental health. This is a heart-warming tale.

SYNOPSIS

A comedy drama about the pursuit of happiness and two men learning how to talk to each other. Ted struggles to find contentment, until he meets Brian and together, they discover the powers of lemonade.

ABOUT FAEBIAN AVERIES

Faebian Averies is an actor/writer and a former Writer in Residence for BBC Wales and National Theatre Wales. Prior to winning the residency, Faebian spent a year in BBC Writersroom being tutored by writers such as Russell T Davies, Nicole Taylor and John Yorke.

In autumn 2021 Faebian will perform her play Two Flats on Clifton Street, which won the West End rehearsed reading at Theatre Royal Haymarket for Masterclass, Pitch your Play 2020. During lockdown Faebian was shortlisted for BBC Comedy room, Stockroom with Out of Joint and the Theatre 503 International Playwriting Award. She also completed a development scheme with Kiln Theatre for North London based artists.

The Tinniswood Award 2022

WINNER

Blis-ta by Sonya Hale

Produced by Mimi Findlay – Clean Break, Spotify (56 minutes 37 seconds) | Listen now

The Tinniswood Award 2022 judges were Nell Leyshon, Oliver Emanuel and Christopher William Hill.

The judges said:

The standards this year were impressively high and the competition fierce. But the winning entry stood out. Blis-ta challenges traditional structure and champions originality. It weaves literary dramatic form with an authentic street culture, presenting a tone and style that feels completely fresh and subversive.  A brilliant and deserving winner!

SYNOPSIS

Kat and Cherry meet on the streets. Kat is wily, funny, and fierce; Cherry is a lost dreamer. Blis-ta is the story of their adventures to survive as homeless girls and the transformative power of friendship.

ABOUT SONYA HALE

Sonya Hale was a playwright. Sonya first came to Clean Break as a Member of its theatre education programme and wrote her first short play for Clean Break in 2013, Hours ‘Til Midnight. She has also worked extensively with Synergy Theatre Project and The Outside Edge Theatre Company, where she ran writers’ workshops. She has had plays performed at The Southbank Centre, Latitude Festival, E15 University and in prisons and treatment centres.

A rehearsed reading of her first play Glory Whispers was performed at Theatre 503 after winning Synergy Theatre Project’s national prison scriptwriting competition. Her play Dean McBride won the Heretic Voices competition in January 2018 and was performed at The Arcola Theatre. Her most recent play, a collaborative venture with The Big House Theatre Company, called Bullet Tongue, received 5-star reviews in Time Out and The Stage. Sonya died in November 2020 after living with cancer for many years.

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