The Independent newspaper, currently enjoying tens of thousands of audio podcast downloads, has commissioned a new drama about the late poet Ted Hughes.
Created by Made in Manchester Productions, it marks what would have been Ted's 80th birthday.
The 40 minute one-off is a co-pro with Dark Smile, which has produced Dreaming of Foxes – a drama loosely based on a true story about the poet’s Yorkshire childhood.
It’s the 8th radio drama the combined team has premiered via The Independent newspaper online this year, and MIM is promising more to come with drama aimed at younger audiences – and at people who would never even think about listening to radio drama. The project is supported by actors Simon Callow, Samuel Barnett and Vicky Binns, by directors like Joyce Branagh and Adrian Bean (Doctors/Emmerdale) and by writers like Tim Fountain, Ian McMillan and Reggie Perrin creator David Nobbs.
MIM Creative Director Ashley Byrne says: “People said we couldn’t do it and there wouldn’t be an audience. Well with tens of thousands of downloads we are proving them wrong.
“What’s brilliant about radio drama is that you can turn things round so quickly. You can commission something one week, get it written the next, record it in a few hours, edit it in a week and get it out to an audience the next! Film and TV takes weeks and lots and lots of money. Theatre takes even more commitment.
“The scandal is that writers, actors and audiences don’t often get the chance to experience it. It’s outrageously under-utilised and under-promoted as a genre to the public at large.”
Ashley adds: “Mainstream radio is doing exceptionally well but as an industry we’re not really making the most of it. What we are doing is building on the enthusiasm for audio by delivering it through other means. Some people think audio via the web is somehow inferior, cheap and that it’s not really radio! But with these dramas we are proving that the web can be a platform for quality content and that it does provide scope for competition for traditional radio.”
It can be heard as audio on demand via The Independent [link=http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/features/free-independent-drama-late-poet-ted-hughes-is-remembered-in-dreaming-of-foxes-2056052.html]online[/link].