| 15 Apr 2024
Indian entry makes it to shortlist of BBCÆs 25th International Radio Playwriting Competition

MUMBAI: Mariam Samah’s ‘The Maid Who Made It’ is the lone Indian entry that has made it to the shortlist of the BBC World Service and the British Council’s 25th International Radio Playwriting Competition that being held in partnership with Commonwealth Writers,

The global competition offers a unique opportunity for playwrights to use the medium of radio drama to reach an international audience. This year over 1,000 entries were received from a record 112 countries, with Papua New Guinea making the shortlist for the very first time.

The plays include thought-provoking stories with subjects ranging from slavery, war and corruption to a comedy about a maid in India and a hold-up on a train in South Africa. The full shortlist is:

The judging panel includes: award-winning playwright, Charlotte Jones; Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre, Madani Younis; and actress Pippa Bennett-Warner.

A third award – the Georgi Markov prize – celebrates the most promising script from the competition’s shortlist. The winner of this prize will also travel to London for the award ceremony and spend two weeks with BBC Radio Drama and BBC World Service. 

The competition has two first prizes – one for writers with English as a First Language and another for writers with English as a Second Language. Both winners will attend an award ceremony in London and see their plays recorded for broadcast on BBC World Service.

Here is the complete shortlist.

English as a First Language

·         Goodbye Kofi by Bode Asiyanbi (Nigeria)

·         Tomorrow’s Child by Janet Morrison (Jamaica)

·         Easter Island by Anton Krueger (South Africa)

·         Playing With Fire by Joanne Gutknecht (Canada)

·         Listening by Leland Frankel (USA)

·         The Virgin Missile Crisis by Hoyt Hilsman (USA)

·         If You Come This Way Again by Lindsay Nightingale (Australia)

English as a Second Language

·         The Day Dad Stole a Bus by Pericles Silveira (Brazil)

·         Only Some of Us by Elizabeth Gail (South Africa)

·         The Waterloo by Ifeoluwa Watson (Nigeria)

·         The Confessions by Thomas Hukahu (Papua New Guinea)

·         The Maid Who Made It by Mariam Samah (India)

·         Darkness at Dawn by Erupu Jude (Uganda)

·         Tell Them Where I Am by Ivy Rose Universe Baldoza (Philippines)

Mary Hockaday, Controller, World Service English says, “It is tremendous to see such a broad range of countries represented on this year’s shortlist. Radio is a wonderful medium for powerful stories and the growing appeal of this competition highlights the role the BBC World Service can play in supporting playwrights across the world".