After weeks of agonising waiting, we were finally able to put the nine shortlisted ABBA writers out of their misery, when last night, at the prize giving ceremony, we announced who had won the award. So, I'm incredibly pleased to tell you that Chris Wilson, with his play 'Playing the Game' is the winner of the 2009 Alfred Bradley Bursary Award. 'Playing the Game' is a play about a teenage boy who has to negotiate his dad's growing relationship with his aunt after his mother's death, his ambitions to be a footballer, school bullies and his acne. The Radio Drama Commissioner Jeremy Howe called it 'an extraordinary rites of passage play' before presenting Chris with a bursary for Â£3000. Chris later that evening said that winning the award was a 'huge honour' and that he would never normally have thought about writing for radio drama, but 'ABBA gave me the incentive to send in my play and see what happened'. What has happened is that 'Playing the Game' has now been put forward for a radio drama commission, Chris has received a bursary and will also receive a years mentorship with a Radio Drama North Producer. We very much look forward to working with Chris and developing his ideas. So watch this space!
Chris was not the only ABBA winner though. Two scripts came joint second in the award. These scripts were 'God and That' by Tom Wells and 'White Horses' by Ben Ayrton. Both Tom and Ben received Â£1000 bursary money and will receive a years mentorship with a Producer. One script was highly commended by the judges, 'Maine Road' by Sarah McDonald Hughes and two scripts were commended, 'Faith' by Alexandra Denye and 'Driftwood Something Something' by Paul Buie. Sarah, Alexandra and Paul will all receive mentorship and have the chance to develop their scripts and further ideas for the Radio 4 offers round.
We in Radio Drama North are absolutely thrilled by the high level of talent which has come through the award this year, and we know that these very talented writers, most of whom are at the very beginning of their writing careers, have bright and brilliant futures in front of them, and it will be a pleasure to help them on their way.