12 April 2015

The Faith of Radio Producers

A few weeks ago, when I was in the middle of producing my first ever professional BBC radio documentary, I realised this:
I have been trying to do this - EXACTLY THIS - for almost 10 years.

I've gone from college radio to community radio - I've spent years working freelance at the BBC.

In all that time, this dream lived on faith. My thin, weary faith that I would ever get there. My family's strong, unbreaking faith that I would. My friends' help and support and care. The nights I have spent telling Jonti this may never happen...

And finally.

I can barely believe it's true. Click on 'Show More' and see what I mean. 

Producing it was so tough. I had so little time, and I spent an entire week of the production feeling like I'd been slammed against a concrete wall. I was literally aching in every part of my body. 

But I made it - in just under 3 weeks. It's had some very nice reviews. It made BBC Radio 4's Pick of the Week, the BBC's weekly highlights show.

Anyone reading this knows how much I've wanted to do this - how much this has consumed me for years now. Anyone reading this has been a part of supporting me get to this point. Thank you. 

04 April 2015

Fiction's just another word for lies

A couple of weeks ago, I performed at the John Rylands Library, a beautiful neo-Gothic library with some of the best secular stained glass in Manchester.

It was an exceptional night run by First Draft & by the John Rylands. I was really excited to be one of the folks invited to perform.

The library has an enormous collection - and a lot of it is stuff that's never been catalogued.

They made a small bit of it, a part called the EL Burney collection, available for First Draft's performers to view. The EL Burney collection was all stuff collected by Isabella Banks, a 19th century English novelist who was born in Manchester.

The collection itself was strange - a bit of plant plucked from Washington's tomb, a bit of cloth from Empress Josephine's boudoir, a bit of cloth from Napoleon's tomb, a braid of hair from a Fijian islander, a shell purse, a metal stamp, a Russian wooden spoon. A collection, yes - but there was no apparent focus to it, not like, say, a stamp collection. It was just a bunch of things.

We were supposed to respond to the collection, with a performance of some kind.
Photo by Phil Benbow

I wrote up a short blog post about my performance for First Draft after the event - you can read it here: https://firstdraftmcr.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/isabella/

And here's another view on the event, from my lovely, brilliant friend Dave Hartley, which really explores the borders between fiction and lying. Is fiction lies? Are all stories lies? Can we say anything that isn't actually a lie, in some shape or form? http://davidhartleywriter.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/therein-lies-story.html

At Dalal-Small Towers, we're getting ready for our Atlanta Wedding Celebration - it's very exciting to think that soon we'll be in Atlanta.