BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Drama

Woman with seagulls 'Gull Therapy' by Anita Sullivan
Woman astronaut 'Mercury 13' Anita Sullivan
Bee hive 'The Bee Maker' radio 4 drama by Anita Sullivan

THE

BEE MAKER

The Octopus radio 4 drama by Anita Sullivan
The Hedge radio 4 drama by Anita Sulliva

THE

HEDGE

'Countrysides' radio 4 drama by Anita Sulliva
Catch the ear

The 45 minute Afternoon Drama is a very particular animal. The broadcast slot starts daily at 2.15 pm, following the jaunty music from The Archers. The drama has to change worlds, change atmospheres in a heartbeat.

Sling the hook

A radio audience is not captive: people can walk out any time. They can also arrive mid story. Even an online audience is listening 'while': driving, cooking, cleaning, doing the tax return, working the day job. So an afternoon play has to start with a hook and not let go.

Invade the brain

Once you've got the listener hooked, you feed the imagination. With the infinite universes available to radio, its a mean-minded writer who sets a drama around a table. Unless the table itself has a point of view.

Turn the tables

Yes, I do write scenes with tables. But the best stuff happens:

  • Inside the mind of an octopus

  • On horseback, following a hunt pack

  • In a temporary refugee camp in Gatwick Airport

  • Orbiting Earth in Vostock

  • Stuck in a human exodus round the M25

  • Floating in an isolation tank in a 1960's medical test

  • Sitting at a pub table. With a tiny lost alien in your ear

I've written 14 original Afternoon Dramas. I've featured 10 case studies here (click the photos)

Bespoke tailor 'Rock of Eye' radio 4 drama by Anita Sulliva

ROCK OF EYE

Yuri Gagarin's statue 'Monumental' play by Anita Sullivan
Sinister tree 'Mandrake' radio 4 drama by Anita Sullivan
Diego Garcian family 'Exiled from Paradise' radio 4 drama by Anita Sullivan

And there's more...

Egg and sperm, 'Selfless' radio 4 drama by Anita Sullivan
Roof ariel 'Homesick' radio 4 drama by Anita Sullivan

HOMESICK. What could you learn from an alien in your ear?

Evil handbag 'Envy' radio 4 drama by Anita Sullivan

ENVY. Would you steal a handbag?

Bell jar, 'The Last Breath' radio 4 drama by Anita Sullivan