BBC Radio 4

    From Fact to Fiction - all systems go

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    Following our initial meeting on Monday, writer Gurpreet Bhatti delivered a first draft this morning. It's amazing what the From Fact to Fiction writers do in the time we give them. Gurpreet's already found her characters and the shape of the play.

    She's stayed with her original choice of news story as inspiration - minimum pricing for alcohol, which is being voted on by the Scottish parliament this week. In the spirit of the series, her play uses the emotions and issues at the heart of the news story as its motor - it's about a woman who becomes unhealthily involved in the life of the student who cleans for her.

    I discussed the team's notes on the script with Gurpreet this afternoon, and now she's hunkered down producing draft two, while we cast and get hold of the right music. It's a three-hander, of whom we currently have two confirmed - crossing fingers for the third!

    I've also gone through the first draft with our SMs (studio managers). There'll be two of them working on it on the day - one 'panel' SM, who records the actors, and one 'spot' SM, who makes sure all the right props are there making all the right sort of noises and the right times. We record most of our dramas in a lovely studio in Broadcasting House, full of wonders: not just stairs, but stairs that lead somewhere! A working kitchen with running water! A spot FX store full of everything you can imagine that makes a noise!

    We record FFTF in a much less glamorous room in the bowels of Bush House, so we need to be careful the scripts are actually achievable with our resources here. My last FFTF featured stairs in a big way, a mistake I won't be repeating!

    Roll on tomorrow morning, with draft two and (hopefully) a 'yes' from the third member of our cast...

    Abigail le Fleming is producer of From Fact to Fiction

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