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Beware the Kids / Drama on 3 / Radio 3

October 25, 2009

I didn’t get along to anywhere near as many events in Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival.

Me and video journalist Louise Water were there for the weekend shooting footage for the Radio 3 You Tube channel.

I was probably a little ambitious about the amount of material we could realistically produce during the weekend. We shot a lot and edited a great deal. But there’s still a good 45 minutes of material yet to go through the edit.

With only a few hours to go before the broadcast of some of the weekend’s events goes out on Radio 3 this evening and the memory of our budget hotel passes into the dim recesses of my brain, there’s one piece of work I’m watching back and feeling both relieved and proud of.

The Drama on 3 spot from the Free Thinking Festival is always a special affair. Radio 3’s drama is tough. It’s uncompromising. I could be found crying in the back of the studio when I watched last year’s recording of Tony Marchant’s play about abortion.

This year’s play entitled Beware the Kids was equally demanding on the senses when I watched the recording last night. Five monologues from characters in a fictional child abuse case isn’t necessarily what you’d first want to sit down and listen to. I may not have cried when I heard this one, but I still found the details in the script deeply disturbing to listen to.

Deeply disturbing isn’t always bad. When deeply disturbing is written and executed brilliantly the audience is taken on a journey, one where the talents of writers, actors and director Kate Rowland cannot be denied. Little wonder there was such a long pause before the audience began their rapturous applause, this appreciation in no small part an acknowledgement of the achievement of recording the entire piece in one go with a couple of retakes. That’s impressive drama from beginning to end.

I knew I was interviewing the writers of the play after the performance. I knew it was going to be a tough job (there’s no room for flippancy in this kind of thing). Thankfully, cameralady Louise was on hand to assist me through the process. The end product (unfortunately I underestimated how dark the location was – there was no time to reshoot) is something I’m reassured about. Flippancy has it’s place.

Listen to Beware the Kids (Drama on 3) as part of Radio 3’s Free Thinking coverage

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