Tinniswood Award 2019


WHEN THE PITS STOP by Oliver Emanuel

Produced by Kirsty Williams, BBC Glasgow, 44’, BBC Radio 4

Oliver Emanuel (right), 2019 Tinniswood winner, with award presenter Sarah Woods (Photo © BBC)

Oliver Emanuel (right), 2019 Tinniswood winner, with award presenter Sarah Woods (Photo © BBC)

The judges said:

This beautifully written and highly original play explores what happens when two sisters who live together on a remote Scottish island, and haven’t spoken for years, find themselves to be – possibly – the only survivors of the end of the world.  

Every part of this play is technically assured and fully realised. It creates an experience that is both extraordinary and utterly recognisable, enabling us to reflect on the current state of the world through a domestic, intimate story. 

The characters are compelling and believable in a drama rich with subtext and metaphor. The sparse and finely worked language is beautifully poetic and deeply human. Its use of the form is inspiring.

Oliver Emanuel is an internationally award-winning playwright who has written over 40 plays for stage and radio. Flight won a Herald Angel at the Edinburgh International Festival 2017; his version of Jan Sobrie’s Titus won The People’s Choice Victor Award at IPAY 2015; while Dragon won Best Show for Children and Young People at the UK Theatre Awards in 2014. He was a lead writer on Blood, Sex and Money by Emile Zola, which won Best Adaptation at the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2017.  He is a Reader in Playwriting, University of St Andrews, an Associate Playwright, Playwrights’ Studio Scotland, and Writer in Residence at Gladstone’s Library.