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Calling People To Record Writer’s Audio Drama For Broadcast On Local Radio

Published on: 20 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 20 Apr, 2020

A grandfather from Guildford who loves writing fiction is appealing for people to help record the narration and sound effects for a sci-fi fantasy novel that he hopes will be broadcast on BBC Radio Surrey and Sussex.

Terry Duckmanton originally wrote Gabrielle’s Dragon solely for his grand-daughter two years ago. When he heard recently that BBC Surrey was appealing for listeners to send in work they had created, Terry sent them a copy of the book. They wrote back suggesting he should record himself reading the book and send in the audio recording.

Terry Duckmanton.

This he did and he is now appearing regularly on BBC Radio Surrey and BBC Radio Sussex in their Monday and Friday evening Upload programmes, a mix of poetry, music and at least one book reading.

He says: “I had so much fun doing this that it rekindled my writing itch. I love sci-fi and fantasy novels so I started working on an idea for a book in that genre.

“The ideas I had were all dialogue-heavy, so the book has become an audio drama, something I had never even thought about before, let alone actually written. I could immediately see an advantage in doing it this way as it is automatically suited to radio.”

Terry admits that he writing “may or may not be abysmal, but my voice acting is definitely much, much worse”.

In order to make the audio drama work he knows it will need a range of voices most of which will not be his.

He says: “I am hoping that somewhere there are some frustrated amateur drama enthusiasts who would welcome the opportunity to flex their voice muscles or create and record some sound effects.

“It would also be helpful if people could volunteer to throw in script ideas or criticisms and maybe even contribute to the scriptwriting effort. Musicians capable of creating incidental music would be a useful addition.”

Terry is keen to point out the acting can be achieved without leaving home. All that is needed is the script, a recording device, a phone or tablet running a voice recording app will be sufficient, and a quiet room in which to make the recording.

The resulting audio file can be emailed to him and he will edit the individual recordings into the final mix.

Script criticism and editing can be done entirely by email. Sound effects may require the creator to record some noises outside the home. He says: “I will try to ensure that there are no complex sounds such as café scenes which would be difficult to replicate in the current circumstances.”

Terry has set up a Facebook group called Sounds Theatrical, to act as a home for this virtual amateur drama group.

Terry has set up a Facebook group called Sounds Theatrical, to act as a home for this virtual amateur drama group. People wishing to contribute in some way should join the group if possible. It is a closed group to prevent unwanted spam, and so on. You have to request membership and be approved.

He can also be contacted by email at:

The current state of the script is “messy and definitely far from finished,” says Terry. However, it can be read via the following link:

It is named Vanessa.pdf.

Terry adds: “This should give you some idea of what the play is about and the characters in it. At the moment there are only two, a third (another female) is due to appear shortly.

“Please remember that this is a radio drama so it is not necessary for the actors to resemble their characters, you just have to sound convincing. Make-up is optional as is the learning of lines! The scenery
is, or should be, added by the listener. In the extremely unlikely event of membership exceeding the needs of the current production, I feel sure a second project could be created.”

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Responses to Calling People To Record Writer’s Audio Drama For Broadcast On Local Radio

  1. Terry Duckmanton Reply

    April 24, 2020 at 12:02 pm

    So far I have been able to persuade one family member to join in. I had expected that people in and around Guildford would have wanted to join in with this project if only to relieve the boredom of this blessed lockdown.

    Don’t worry about not being a professional actor as this is more of a community thing rather than a professional theatrical production.

    The end result will be submitted for inclusion in BBC Radio Surrey’s Upload programme. If you are not aware of the programme it is a sort of ‘open mic night’ for local poets, musicians, comedians and even very amateur writers reading their stories out loud (That would be me).

    So come on, don’t be shy, put your name forward now. The world of Audio Drama is waiting for you.

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