Student dramas on air and onstage next week

Student news

Friday 20 May 2016

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Creative writing and performing arts students at Coventry University are presenting their work on local radio and live onstage next week.

Five final year English students will have plays they have written and produced broadcast on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire from Monday through to Friday while a selection of work from third year Performing Arts students is being presented at a special three day drama festival at the city’s Belgrade Theatre from Wednesday onwards.

Covering everything from hapless hitmen to comical kidnap attempts, the plays created by the English students as part of their final year coursework were originally scripted for and performed on stage.  But following discussions between the University’s creative writing teaching team and local BBC producers keen to support and encourage writing talent, the aspiring authors were tasked with the challenge of adapting their work for radio. 

In total, twenty seven plays were submitted but these were whittled down to five works to be broadcast daily just after 2pm on Brody Swain’s afternoon show on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire from Monday 23 to Friday 27 May. 

The pre-recorded segments will also include live interviews with the students behind the productions, their family members and teaching staff form the University’s English and Creative Writing department.

Performing Arts students meanwhile have been presenting their work at various venues across the city for the last couple of weeks as part of Coventry University’s Degree Shows.

The University’s annual celebration of creativity highlights the imagination and artistic talent of final year students from its Faculty of Arts and Humanities and runs until the end of June this year. During this time, audiences can enjoy everything from live music gigs and plays to fashion shows, films and design and photography exhibitions. 

And while the English students’ dramas are airing on the radio, the best of this year’s theatre productions from their contemporaries in Performing Arts are being presented at the city’s Belgrade Theatre as a part of the New Ventures in Theatre Making from Wednesday 25 to Friday 27 May.

Submarine, an adaptation of Joe Dunthorne’s novel of adolescent angst by Simpatico Theatre plays on Wednesday; Vera Vera Vera, Hayley Squires’ darkly comic piece exploring the after effects of a soldier’s death on his family, will be performed by Cherry Topped Theatre on Thursday;  and on Friday, Redrum Theatre presents The Colours of August, an original physical comedy. Tickets for the performances cost from £3 and can be booked online.

Alyson Morris, senior lecturer in English at Coventry University and one of the instigators of the BBC collaboration, said: 

Most up and coming writers would jump at the chance to have their work broadcast so we’re very grateful to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire for providing slots to our students. It’s given them a fantastic boost and the whole exercise of adapting their pieces from the stage to the sound studio has been a great creative challenge.


The pieces our students have produced are excellent; they’re pithy, tense and touching in equal measure and I hope they will attract a large listenership." 

Alyson’s teaching colleague Glenn Noble, senior lecturer in theatre, echoed her sentiments about the quality of work produced by the University’s students and on display during its Degree Shows. 

Glenn said: 

Our Degree Shows are a celebration of the wonderful creative talent that emerges year on year from Coventry. They’re a great showcase for our students and are a fitting finale to their time with us.


From theatre and dance to design and fashion exhibitions, there really is something for everyone and I hope that as many people as possible will join us over the next few weeks to enjoy the work of these emerging artists.”  

Further information about the Degree Shows, including full listings, is available at 

For media enquiries, please contact Mark Farnan, press officer, Coventry University on +44 (0)24 7765 8245 or

Notes to editors:

Student dramas on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire (airing daily at 2.10pm):  

Mon 23/05Fool Me Once by Sarah Ssembandeke

Louise and Ashley are at their grandmother’s funeral but all is not what it seems. Does the vicar know more than he’s letting on? 

Tues 24 /05: Jake and Marley by April Brown

Jake is finally about to propose to his girlfriend Charlotte but first he has the awkward task of asking best friend Marley to move out of their apartment.

Wed 25/05: The Gold Man by Erica Hunt

A recently divorced man is on a stakeout outside his ex-wife’s house. His plan?  To kidnap the family pet. 

Thurs 26/05: Golden Gateway by Alisha Solanki

In an ethereal gameshow contestants battle their way to heaven but there are some tricky questions and the host won’t put up with any nonsense.

Fri 27/05: Hitmen by Joseph Griffin

Two hit men discover that their latest contract hasn’t quite gone to plan when the ‘body’ of their victim unexpectedly wakes up.


Degree Shows 2016

Coventry University’ Degree Shows are annual events to celebrate and showcase the work of graduating students from its Faculty of Arts and Humanities as they aspire to make their mark in the creative world. 

Further information, including full listings, is available at