Tinniswood Award 2018


The Tinniswood Award is presented annually to the best original audio drama script. A prize of £3,000 is generously sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society and will be presented at the BBC Audio Drama Awards on 28 January 2018. The judges this year are: Hardeep Singh Kohli, Colin Teevan and Jane Thynne. We are delighted to announce the following shortlist:

JENNY LOMAS by David Eldridge
Directed by Sally Avens, BBC Radio Drama, 95’, BBC Radio 3

The judges said: This is an excellently crafted, timely and grippingly suspenseful play touching on themes of real and virtual stalking and security, identity theft, data harvesting and manipulation. Such is Eldridge’s masterly use of the radiophonic and dramatic form whilst maintaining tight focus on the central character, the play never loses sight of the broader political, social and legal implications either for her or the listener. A thought provoking, grown-up drama. 

David Eldridge is widely regarded as one of the prominent playwriting voices of his generation, whose productions have premiered across the UK at venues including The National, The Royal Court, The Royal Exchange and The Donmar. Television credits include The Scandalous Lady W and Our Hidden Lives. Radio credits including the Prix Europa award-winning The Picture Man.

Read the script here.

Produced by David Tyler, Pozzitive, 30’, BBC Radio 4

The judges said: This is a perfectly formed piece of comic dramatic writing. While the play functions as a gentle satire on, and reductio ad, absurdum of the aspirations of empire and colonialism, it never loses sight of the humanity of those minions who must service such a grasping cause. Much of the humour of the piece derives from reading the personal sentiments between the lines of the official declarations. What emerges is the warmth of human friendship in contrast to the coldest of colonial and climatic environments. 

John Finnemore is a writer, comedian and actor. He is the sole writer and star of sketch-show John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme, now in its seventh series, and wrote and starred in four series of hit sitcom Cabin Pressure. Between them, Cabin PressureSouvenir Programme and Double Acts, have won Writers’ Guild, New York Radio, British Comedy Guide, Radio Academy, BBC Audio Drama and Chortle awards. John was awarded Radio Broadcaster of the Year by the Broadcasting Press Guild in 2016.

Read the script here.

BORDERLAND by Sarah Woods
Directed by James Robinson, BBC Cymru Wales, 45’, BBC Radio 4
from an original idea by John Norton

The judges said: This was a dark and original dystopia that took an inspired perspective on issues of migration and identity. Set in the near future, the current situation is reversed and refugees are desperate to escape the UK. In their attempt to cross the border and navigate a passage over the Irish Sea, Layla and her daughter are pursued by the chilling forces of state security. This was an absorbing thriller, with Orwellian echoes, that had the judges gripped.

Sarah Woods writes across all media and her work has been produced by many companies including the RSC, Hampstead Theatre and the BBC.

For BBC Radio, Sarah has written numerous plays, series, drama-documentaries and dramatized many classics, including Das Kapital by Karl Marx (Vol 1), and is adapting her stage version of Marie Ndiyaye’s French drama Hilda, both to be broadcast this year.
Her opera Wake (Birmingham Opera Company), will be directed by Graham Vick (composer Giorgio Battistelli), and her stageplay Primary (London Bubble) about the UK state education system, will both premiere this March.  

Sarah is a member of the think tank The New Weather Institute, combining creativity and campaigning, and an Associate Artist with Cardboard Citizens. She ran the Mphil in Playwriting at Birmingham University (2002-6) and currently teaches at Manchester University and the Denmark National School for the Performing Arts.  She is a Wales Green Hero.

Read the script here.


THE TINNISWOOD AWARD was established by Society of Authors and WGGB to perpetuate the memory of Peter Tinniswood as well as to celebrate and encourage high standards in radio drama. Previous winners include Morwenna Banks, Mike Bartlett, and Colin Teevan. Find out more. For further information (plus photos of writers) contact Jo McCrum jmccrum@societyofauthors.org.