BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Drama

Woman with seagulls 'Gull Therapy' by Anita Sullivan
Woman astronaut 'Mercury 13' Anita Sullivan

THE

BEE MAKER

The Octopus radio 4 drama by Anita Sullivan

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:

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  • 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)

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...

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

ENVY. Would you steal a handbag?