• West Cork Literary Festival 2021

Fraser Ayres’ Maynard wins 2021 Imison Award

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ADRIAN WHITE

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The actor, writer and director Fraser Ayres has been awarded £3,000 for best original script by a writer new to radio, at the 2021 BBC Audio Drama Awards.

Christopher Douglas takes the Tinniswood Award for best original audio drama script for Tristram Shandy: In Development.

Award-winning comedy writer Ian Martin presented Fraser Ayres with the 2021 Imison Award for the best original script by a writer new to radio, and Christopher Douglas with the Tinniswood Award for best original audio drama script at the virtual BBC Audio Drama Awards on 26 March 2021.

Commenting on Maynard’s ‘clearly defined…voices of Black Brixton’ and ‘great conflict and shocking outcome’ the Imison judges lauded Ayres as a writer ‘who cares about this world’, while the Tinniswood judges praised Christopher Douglas for his ‘deliciously entertaining … ultimate shaggy dog story.’

The Imison Award is administered by the Society of Authors and was founded in memory of BBC script editor and producer Richard Imison. It is sponsored by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation. The Tinniswood Award is administered jointly by the Society of Authors and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain to celebrate and encourage high standards in radio drama and perpetuate the memory of radio and television comedy scriptwriter Peter Tinniswood.

The Imison Award 2021

Maynard by Fraser Ayres
Produced by Mel Harris – Sparklab Productions, BBC Radio 4 (44 minutes)

The Imison Award 2021 judges were Ian Billings, Stefan Buczacki, Ben Carpenter, Jamila Gavin, David Morley, Barney Norris, Hannah Silva and Sean Grundy.

The judges said:

‘Maynard is a strong, emotional and assured piece of writing. Its characters are all clearly defined with high stakes and believable dialogue that is both sharp, hits its targets and is full of humour. It captures the location and voices of Black Brixton compellingly and builds to a great conflict and shocking outcome. It clearly conveys the socio-political implications of crime, peer pressure and the pull of family ties, and is written by someone who cares about this world. A great read.’

SYNOPSIS

Maynard hasn’t always been as pure as the driven snow. In fact, until recently he’s been a petty criminal and rather useless to those around him. Maynard’s Mother ran a Caribbean takeaway that served the community diligently and was loved by the people of Brixton who elevated her deeds to saintly levels. After her tragic death in a suspicious fire, Maynard has now inherited not only the fire damaged restaurant but also the lofty expectations of the sceptical community. With his long-suffering wife Jules in his corner and his embittered and criminally minded brother, Marcus, violently snapping at his heels, Maynard is propelled into a world of responsibility of which even he isn’t sure he can inhabit.

ABOUT FRASER AYRES

Fraser Ayres is an award-winning actor/writer/director as well as CEO and founder of The TriForce Creative Network; an organisation set up in 2003, with a core ethos of ‘inclusivity’, promoting equal opportunities in the entertainment industry. Fraser developed his writing skills on BBC dramas such as Doctors and EastEnders and is lead writer on Idris Elba’s In the long run for Sky. He is currently writing several projects including a CBBC show, an original comedy for UKTV based on his own life experiences, and several radio dramas focusing on the hidden history of Jazz. Fraser also created Sorry, I Didn’t Know – an all-inclusive, comedy panel show, focusing on Black History. In his spare moments, Fraser studies ‘books that he really shouldn’t’, plays with Lego and also teaches a variety of one to one subjects including: Yoga, Reiki, Meditation and Mindful Breathing.

The Tinniswood Award 2021

Tristram Shandy: In Development by Christopher Douglas
Produced by Gary Brown – BBC Radio Drama North, BBC Radio 4 (60 minutes)

The Tinniswood Award 2021 judges were Nicholas McInerny, Ian Martin and Rex Obano.

The judges said:

‘This hilarious play takes the ultimate shaggy dog story by the scruff of the neck and shakes some new and wonderful nonsense into it. Part satire, part homage and total re-boot, it wears its knowledge lightly as we romp through the ‘recording’ of Sterne’s novel in a series of brilliant, laugh-out-loud stories that are deliciously entertaining throughout. A terrific achievement.’

SYNOPSIS

A drama workshop is taking place at the east London studios of award-winning indie AwesomeSauce! The project is Laurence Sterne’s 300-chapter-long, absurdist satire. There is a draft script, and three seasoned radio actors have been hired, for £80 each, along with a hyperactive impressionist. The director, who prefers to style herself an ‘audio drama-maker’, has set herself the task of re-inventing the moribund form of radio drama. A boxset star has been cast in the title role but his flight from Corfu is delayed, so reading in as Tristram is Rosie the spot effects woman.

ABOUT CHRISTOPHER DOUGLAS

Christopher Douglas is the voice of Ed Reardon in the long-running Radio 4 series which he also co-writes. Ed Reardon’s Week won the Broadcasting Press Guild’s award for Best Radio Programme in 2005 and 2010. He also voices and co-writes the ill-chosen words of Dave Podmore, a Radio 4 regular since 2000 and previously a Guardian columnist. Other radio writing credits include three series of Beauty of Britain (starring Jocelyn Jee Esien), two series of Mastering the Universe with Dawn French, several dramas and a recent adaptation of New Grub Street. TV writing credits include three series of masterclasses hosted by Nicholas Craig (Nigel Planer). Books include a biography of D R Jardine; stage work includes Ed Reardon: A Writer’s Burden, An Evening With Nicholas Craig and Scout’s Honour.

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