The Imison Award is presented annually, and this year’s award honours the best original script by a writer new to radio which was broadcast in the UK between 1 October 2017 and 31 October 2018.
The Imison Award 2019 shortlist
The prize of £3,000, generously sponsored by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation, will be presented as part of the BBC’s Audio Drama Awards on 3 February 2019. The judges – Stefan Buczacki, Jamila Gavin, Nell Leyshon, David Morley, Hannah Silva, Sean Grundy and Elizabeth-Anne Wheal – are delighted to announce the following three shortlisted writers:
Spike and the Elfin Oak by Ian Billings | Produced by Gemma Jenkins, BBC Radio Drama, 44′, BBC Radio 4 | Listen here
The judges said: ‘A sweet, tender and funny story of one of Britain’s beloved comic voices and his battle with his own demons, censorship and eco-vandals. This loving portrait touchingly brings to life the iconic Goon in all his genius and pottiness seamlessly weaving reality and fantasy with comic deftness and ease. An assured and crafted piece of writing that reveals the writer’s own love and passion for his subject, his ability to build on that world and remind us how vital and relevant Milligan is to today and how much we miss him.’
About Ian Billings: A life-long Spike Milligan fan and children’s stand-up comic, author and poet, this is Ian’s first radio play. He’s written and performed in pantomimes and is the author of the Sam Hawkins, Pirate Detective series of novels and the co-author of Space Rocks.
Double Bubble by Carl Cattermole | Produced by Prison Radio Association, National Prison Radio, 14:58′ | Listen here
The judges said: ‘Double Bubble finds a remarkably authentic voice and is written with a deft touch and natural storytelling ability. A refreshing and illuminating piece.’
About Carl Cattermole: Carl was released from prison in 2011 following a two-and-a-half-year stretch, during which he discovered his talents as a wordsmith. He wrote his first book, HMP: A Survival Guide, while serving at Her Majesty’s Pleasure. In 2018, Carl was signed by Penguin Random House and his first publication for them is due in early 2019. Carl won the Whicker’s World Radio Award in 2017, and gold at the Community Radio Awards last year. Double Bubble is his first radio drama, and it won a gold award for Best Fictional Storytelling and a bronze for Best Podcast at the 2018 ARIAS.
Of a Lifetime by Lulu Raczka | Produced by Polly Thomas, BBC Radio 3, 30′ | Listen here
The judges said: ‘Of a Lifetime is a lyrical and psychologically astute study of the transformation of trauma into story. With a carefully crafted form reflecting its content, this two-hander explores the telling of stories as a way of expressing truth to escape truth. A timely drama that captures the subtleties of two young women’s experiences of assault and loss, and how their responsibilities towards each other are blended with the complexities of their friendship.’
About Lulu Raczka: Lulu is an award-winning young writer. She is Company Director of Barrel Organ Theatre, with whom she worked on her first play Nothing. Nothing was awarded The Sunday Times Playwriting Award as well as the National Student Drama Festival Award for Creative Risk. Some People Talk About Violence, also with Barrel Organ, played at the Edinburgh Fringe, New Diorama and Camden’s People Theatre in 2015. In 2016, Lulu’s Clytemnestra formed part of the Gate Theatre’s Iphigenia Quartet and her play Grey Man was produced as part of the Shakespeare in Shoreditch festival and at Theatre 503, London. Lulu’s latest play A Girl in School Uniform (Walks into a Bar) was first produced by West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2017 and at the New Diorama Theatre. Her first original television series, Lena the Psychic, is in development with Expanded Media.
For further information, please contact Sophia A Jackson at the Society of Authors on 020 7373 6642 or email [email protected].