Hitting the Airwaves with Virus-free Radio Drama

radio drama on location
Masked Crusaders of Draaaaaaa-ma

I don’t know about you, but all this social distancing has glued me to audio. Between the news, the documentaries, the drama, and the podcasts – oh, my Blog, the podcasts – I’ve become a person led by my ears. And mostly to radio.

So much so, that it’s been on my mind for weeks to do a whole post about podcasts. I’ve consumed so many of them in the past year that I am declaring myself a indisputable podcast guru. A Patrician of Podcasts. A Professional Podcast Purveyor. In short, a Pain.

So many podcasts have passed through my ears that I’ve been mentally categorising them into genres and styles, ready to make multiple online pronouncements about what I think is good or not. And why. This is serious, folks. I’ve gone aural.

But first, I need to speak to you about the more serious business of comedy. Because:

I have written a radio play.

Here be the proof!

And it was played by real people, for the radio. This makes it the first official broadcast of my work in forever.

Literally forever, because to date, my sole broadcasting experience of my work consists of a radio interview I did over 20 years ago about a piece I wrote about dead or deadly Australian animals, during which my interviewer read out some of the piece. Not exactly Sunday Miscellany.

So what’s this radio play all about, Sparling?

It’s called Mr McGuffin’s Plot Device and Writer Unblocking Emporium. Long-time residents of this bloggy parish will recognise it as a skit I wrote some years ago about a man named Mr McGuffin, who has a very special kind of shop.

In this shop, writers might go to find themselves a hero, a villain, a motive, an ending, or something to get their characters out of the jam they never meant to write them into in the first place. We writers all need a Mr McGuffin in our lives, and he is duly coming to yours next Sunday 30th August.

The skit has been adapted, extended, bashed around the place, funnified, soundified, and put together by an incredibly talented bunch of actors, director and sound designer. Just wait ’til you hear the sound effects in this one. They’re worthy of being listed in the cast.

Fine, but when, where and how can I listen?

It’s being broadcast at 2pm with a repeat at 7.30pm (Irish time) next Sunday 30th August. Scariff and East Clare locals can listen on 88.3 and 92.7FM. Everyone else can listen on www.scariffbayradio.com by clicking on the listen live button, or on your smartphone or tablet via the TuneIn Radio app.

But wait! There’s a pandemic! No Drama Allowed!!

Aha! Well, that’s where you’re wrong. Oh ye of little faith.

Sliabh Aughty Drama Group - Mr McGuffin Radio Play

The piece was performed, directed and edited by the Sliabh Aughty* Drama Group and produced for Scariff Bay Community Radio. And all was done in a socially distant manner. Seems like radio drama is pretty much the only thing you can produce in a socially distant manner these days, without quarantines, Perspex, cling film, or a gun.

radio drama in a pandemic
Joe was so socially distanced, he couldn’t even get near the microphone

We should all be doing radio drama, is what I’m saying.

Grand, but what’s in this for me?

It’s short and will give you a giggle. What the hell else do you want in a pandemic?!

Now go and set your alarm for some laughs on Sunday. And I’ll be back with podcast pronouncements in due course.

 *please don’t try to pronounce Sliabh Aughty at home. Tune in on Sunday and you’ll find out how it’s done.

  25 comments for “Hitting the Airwaves with Virus-free Radio Drama

  1. Will Hahn
    August 25, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    OK, so two things.
    Radio Free Drama? Where the hell on earth is Drama, and who took them prisoner? Was it Putin? Seriously I’m picking up teaching a Geography course next week, and I’m already freaking out about Guinea, French Guinea and frickin’ Guyana, so don’t you go pulling out some new continent from your arse or there will be trouble.

    I’m psyched to hear this play but you have to have some kind of streaming option here, tell me boss. Sunday evening ET, not so good for the colonials, but I will definitely bookmark this and come back the after-premiere party.

    What a terrific idea, radio plays- that’s the image I hold in mind when I narrate a-books and I’m hoping for some nice chuckles next week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 25, 2020 at 4:25 pm

      Well, Will. Now you’ve just gone and put ideas in my head.

      I hereby declare Drama my own personal fiefdom, and decree that the denizens thereof bow down to me and pay me tribute of lemon drizzle cakes and hourly compliments about my writing, every ten minutes.

      Streaming options galore for my out-foreign friends…

      Listen in at 2pm or 7pm BST Sunday 30th August on http://www.scariffbayradio.com by clicking on the listen live button or on your smart phone or tablet via the Tune In Radio app!

      Hopefully will be available as a podcast/permalink shortly after broadcast. Will keep you posted.

      Chuckles guaranteed. I swear.
      Honest. I wouldn’t lie. Not about Drama…..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Will Hahn
        August 25, 2020 at 5:35 pm

        :: coughs, looks both ways :: Actually, living conditions there sound… acceptable to me. If you can keep out the virus, which I assume is true because sunshine kills it on surfaces, and your smile dear lady… :: coughs ::

        I’ll be a digital immigrant at some point early next week!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ali Isaac
          August 25, 2020 at 6:42 pm

          Great news, Tara! Sounds like fun, I will do as you say and set an alarm on my phone so I don’t miss it. About time your talents were recognised. Hope all is well with you and yours in these strange times.

          Liked by 1 person

          • August 25, 2020 at 7:14 pm

            Good woman Ali! Will be so glad to have you listening! And congrats to you too might I add. You’ve been getting published all over the place which is so well deserved! Long may it continue. I’ll be keeping an eye out.


        • August 25, 2020 at 7:11 pm

          …. is the RIGHT ANSWER, Will! Congratulations. Your burlap passport is in the post. You’ll be glad to know that citizenship rites are markedly less violent than before.


  2. August 25, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    My sole broadcasting experience was being in the audience for something that was televised and somehow making it into one of the shots when I was a kid. Not sure it counts but this girl I fancied started talking to me because she’d seen me on TV and frankly it went to my head. Alas thirty years of anonymity have followed so I’ll be listening on Sunday but I’ll be seething with jealousy…

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 25, 2020 at 7:10 pm

      I think your strategy might need a little work, James. Have you considered streaking through a TV studio instead? I realise this kind of performance art has become even more difficult in a pandemic, but you know, art is about risk. And then we can all be jealous of you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • August 25, 2020 at 7:20 pm

        You’re right, I’ve been resting on my laurels. It’s time to show the world the real James. Thanks for the push.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. August 25, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    This is better than writing a book. Now you know people are reading what you wrote by listening to them. I’m really excited for you. I wrote a one act play 25 years ago that was put on by a local theater group. I still remember that performance. Is this the beginning of a new career for you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 25, 2020 at 9:17 pm

      Who knows! I mean, as soon as I want to stop eating and having a roof over my head, I will be a shoe-in for writing full-time!! Until then, I’ll remain a happy double-jobber 😀 Thanks for the kind words and continued support Stanley!


  4. August 25, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    That’s brilliant, Tara, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. August 27, 2020 at 5:17 am

    One is agog. The alarm is set.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. August 31, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Looks like my tardiness means I’ve missed it. I’ve gone to the website to see if it’s available to listen again, but I can’t find it. Will it resurface elsewhere?

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 31, 2020 at 2:14 pm

      I’m just grateful you even tried Graeme!! It’s not going to be podcasted for now until it has a chance to get picked up elsewhere first, but I reckon there’s a very good chance it’ll be broadcast again on the same radio station next Sunday morning some time between 9 and 11… I’ll come back with details as soon as I have them 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. September 1, 2020 at 12:40 am

    Radio drama ROCKS I’ve written three of them They are wonderful I still listen to the old ones Look for the station OTRNew on patreon It’s full of the greats

    Stay well and Laugh a lott

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 1, 2020 at 9:43 am

      Great stuff Mr Ohh! Congratulations on the great productivity and very best of luck with your own radio drama journey. I will look that up. Stay safe and happy also!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. September 19, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    Ah me, I missed this. I was in the middle of my own drama – daughter husband and baby (17 months) from America quarantining with us here, other daughter, partner and baby (21 months) joining our bubble – glorious chaos. Rampaging toddlers, everyone sleeping different hours, American son-in-law working from home (my workroom) on American hours, not enough bedrooms, food and baby-wrangling needed 24/7. I miss it all desperately now, but it looks as though we were lucky to get together in the August window. I hope your show was a great success, please post if it gets another outing. American theatre director daughter is trying to remotely direct a one-man theatre film…

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 22, 2020 at 11:04 pm

      Sounds like the sort of familial chaos which is exhausting but still creates good memories, Hilary… I hope you’re resting on your laurels now. Will let you know if the play ever travels but unfortunately no podcasting for now. And thank you!


  9. October 19, 2020 at 4:17 am

    Very cool! Your post made me smile 🙂


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