Haven’t posted on here in a while. So here’s an update on what I’ve been working on.

Last year on International Women’s Day I tweeted out a call for scripts from women writers. The bulk of plays (Maybe 95%) I’ve produced over the years had been by male writers, so I felt it was important to finally address this imbalance.

I’m looking for new Irish audio drama scripts. Majority I’ve made are by older male writers, so I’m hoping to produce more plays by women this year. If you have a script you think would work as an audio drama then please get in touch & we’ll look at getting it funded & produced.— Gavin Byrne (@monkeyfudge) March 8, 2018

The tweet got a great response and I had a large number of submissions. And we started to pull together a funding application for the Sound and Vision Fund run by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. This fund is made up of 7% of the television license fee that anyone can apply for as long as they have a licenced broadcaster who will carry it.

A lot of the scripts weren’t written for radio and were previously stage plays, so we brought playwright Lisa Tierney-Keogh in to act as a script consultant and help develop the plays for an audio-only format.

The project was successfully funded and we’re currently deep into production with one play broadcast and 2 recorded and 4 more to come. The plays are broadcast on the last Friday of each month at 6pm on Near FM 90.3.

We kicked off the series on March 8th, International Women’s Day 2019 with another play by a woman writer that had received funding in a previous Sound and Vision round. This play was called ‘These Lights” and was written by Jessie Doyle who I’d previously worked with on my own audio drama ‘Polly’

‘These Lights’ by Jessie Doyle

This play was originally staged in the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2017 and I felt it would work well for audio.

Set in the not so far future and taking place in a very different but at the same time very familiar Dublin where the entire population are implanted with computer chips that control our information, control our emotions, regulate how we behave and control how we feel. The Government takes responsibility for our security. They isolate threats to keep us safe. The important decisions are made by people who know better than us.

The story follows two sisters. One who rejects the controls put in place and craves freedom, the other finds comfort and security within these systems that she feels she can trust and depend on.

But Strange Lights are appearing over Dublin and these two sisters are about to experience the end of the world through an explosion of spoken word, sci-fi drama featuring futuristic music and audioscapes.

You can hear it here:

These Lights

Featuring Clodagh Mooney Duggan and Jessie Doyle
Directed by Davey Kelleher
Music by Fionn Foley

The first of the Women’s Audio Drama Projects just broadcast. This first one in the series was ‘Petals’ by Gillian Greer.

Petals is the story of one girl and her journey towards the night of a lifetime along with the trail of lust, longing and loss she finds on the way. Written entirely in verse, Petals takes a vibrant look at what it means to be sexually awakened in a city where school nuns shame, school boys leer; where less is more, no means yes and the beer-soaked nightclub is sanctuary.

Petals

Written by Gillian Greer
Directed by Jeda de Brí
Featuring Kate Gilmore

In addition to all this I also did another call out for scripts on International Women’s Day this year. The current round of Sound and Vision funding even has a particular emphasis on promoting women’s voices this time around. We’re currently busy going through the submitted scripts and preparing an funding application.