BBC World Service and the British Council, with co-producer The Open University, have announced the winners of the International Radio Playwriting Competition. This was another record-breaking year, with nearly 1,500 entries received from 114 countries.
The prizes were won by Aziz H from Yemen with his play ‘A Broken Heart In A Warzone’, Colette Victor from Belgium with her script ‘By God’s Mercy’ and Bode Asiyanbi from Nigeria was awarded the Georgi Markov prize for his play ‘The Journey To Fortune?’
The judging panel comprised the highly-acclaimed actor Raymond Fearon; the award-winning writer and poet Sabrina Mahfouz; and co-Artistic Director of the North Wall Ria Parry; alongside BBC World Service Senior Commissioning Editor Steve Titherington; Director of Theatre and Dance at the British Council, Neil Webb; and Executive Producer of BBC Radio Drama, Marion Nancarrow.
Dr Derek Neale, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at The OU says: “It’s thrilling to again be involved in this OU co-production with BBC World Service and the British Council – with a prize-winning event hosted by Commonwealth Writers. Entries came from an astounding 114 countries, the winners were from Nigeria, Yemen and Belgium - the latter with a play set in South Africa. It is a truly international competition and the OU and its creative writing students will again benefit greatly from this wonderful cross-continent collaboration.”
Winner: A Broken Heart in a Warzone by Aziz H
Winner of the English as a second language prize. In this dark comedy set in an unnamed warzone, two thieves have come up with an audacious plan to use the bombing raids for their own ends. All is going well, until an adulterous domestic drama – and a wild animal – threaten their complacency.
This play will be broadcast on BBC World Service on Saturday 26th January 2019 at 19:06.
Winner: By God’s Mercy by Colette Victor
Winner of the English as a first language prize. Set in the Cape Flats township, South Africa, and narrated by a mattress who’s worried that its time on earth is coming to an end, this comedy, with an underlying social message, is the story of Mercy and her “house of pleasure”. She has to make tough decisions and sacrifices to put food on the table, look after her sickly husband Sollie, send her talented daughter to college and provide work for Prudence the daughter of an old friend.
This play will be broadcast on BBC World Service on Saturday 2nd February 2019 at 19:06.