I wasn’t going to bother talking about this but, since people have been tweeting about “A Time To Dance”, the radio play I was involved with, in advance of it’s supposed airing this afternoon, I thought I ought to clarify a few things…
“A Time To Dance” was commissioned as a fake-news broadcast, created through improvisation, that would blur the lines between fact and fiction and experiment with a new way of telling a story (not that new, Orson Welles did it with War Of The Worlds in the 30s, but never mind that). That was the brief and that’s what we delivered to Radio 4 on Wednesday last.
On Friday morning, having presumably spent Thursday waiting to find out if they still had jobs after the cuts, Radio 4 REJECTED that version of the play, saying it sounded too much like a real news broadcast and that their listeners would be “confused”. That, obviously, was the point of the whole thing and why Radio 4 had asked us to use a real news anchor rather than an actor in the first place!
Rather than pull the play from the schedule, Radio 4 insisted (they can do that if you’re an independent company and reliant on them to make a living) that the show be extensively re-edited and new elements be recorded. We therefore spent the last two days doing that and, in addressing all Radio 4′s problems with the show, fatally compromised the original idea and turned a not-perfect-but-pretty-damn-interesting show into something of an incoherent mess.
That version was delivered to radio 4 last night. It is now one hour before the scheduled broadcast time and they still haven’t had the courtesy to call us up and tell us if they’ve listened to the new version or even if they are going to broadcast it!
ANYWAY, none of this is your problem, dear reader, but I thought you should know what it is you may or may not be about to listen to and that it doesn’t represent anything that anyone involved with the production intended it to be.
I hope you enjoy what’s there; the actors and technicians all did a great job and were a joy to work with and it’s not their fault that the whole thing got shat on from a great height by people who lack courage, conviction or even common courtesy.
If “A Time To Dance” is broadcast this afternoon, it’ll certainly be the last time you hear anything with my name on it on Radio 4.
Was that a sigh of relief?