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Audio Drama Day returns to London Podcast Festival 2021

PRESS RELEASE · London England, UK ·

Audio Drama Day returns to London Podcast Festival 2021 for a second event following its hugely successful launch in 2019. The event is a day of live shows and free panels dedicated to contemporary audio drama in both radio and podcasting curated by Ella Watts and Felix Trench. It will take place on Sunday 5 September.

Dirk Maggs will be closing the festival In Conversation from 9:30-10:30pm in a special live interview with audio drama expert Ella Watts about his long, groundbreaking career in audio drama. This is on the back of the enormous success of his adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman for Audible, starring James McAvoy, Kat Dennings, Riz Ahmed and Taron Egerton. Also performing will be Wooden Overcoats, ahead of their fourth and final season. This will be one of audience’s last chances to see new material performed live for one of Britain’s most beloved audio sitcoms. And a world premiere live performance of The Silt Verses, an enormously successful dramatic horror series which has already achieved over 100k downloads across 15 episodes since its launch in January this year.

Other highlights of the festival include a series of free panels starring some of the biggest names in contemporary audio drama. On our Audio Comedy panel from 12-1pm, Ed Morrish and Amna Saleem will discuss the making of BBC Radio 4’s Beta Female with Charlie Dinkin and Zoë Tomalin of British Podcast Award-winning Seancecast alongside other panellists. Critically acclaimed horror writer Jonathan Sims of The Magnus Archives discusses making audio horror with David Ault of The NoSleep Podcast, as well as Jon Ware and Muna Hussen of The Silt Verses and others from 2pm-3pm. Other notable guest stars include Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, DC Comics, Passenger List), Gareth O’Connor (Jetskii, 666 Hell Lane) and Danny Robins (The Battersea Poltergeist).

Tickets to all events are on sale now.

More detail

An entire day dedicated to contemporary audio drama has been announced as part of the London Podcast Festival 2021.

Produced and hosted by the UK’s home of live podcasting, Kings Place, Audio Drama Day will run from 10am-10:30pm on Sunday 5th September in front of a live audience as part of the sixth annual London Podcast Festival, with one event also streaming online via the venue’s KPlayer. With contemporary audio drama having exploded during the last eighteen months as theatre creators found themselves challenged to explore other avenues, this is a chance to celebrate what Neil Gaiman has termed a ‘golden age’ of modern audio fiction. New special guests confirmed include Dirk Maggs, producer of Audible’s The Sandman and the enormously successful renaissance of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for BBC Radio 4 from 2003-2005. Dirk’s production work also includes a series of critically acclaimed adaptations of Neil Gaiman’s writing for BBC Radio 4, including Stardust, Anansi Boys and Neverwhere, as well as an adaption of Gaiman and Sir Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens. Dirk will be appearing in a special live interview at the end of the day from 9:30pm-10:30pm in conversation on his long and storied career in audio drama with Ella Watts.

The festival’s live programming includes a series of free panels featuring a wide variety of celebrity guests. From the Free Association’s Gareth O’Connor (Jetskii, 666 Hell Lane) and Rusty Quill’s Alexander Newall (Rusty Quill Gaming, The Magnus Archives) appearing on a panel about Improv in the morning, to Ed Morrish (Beta Female, Sound Heap, The Souvenir Programme), Amna Saleem (Beta Female), Charlie Dinkin (Seancecast, Human Error) and Zoë Tomalin (Seancecast, Have I Got News for You) discussing audio comedy at midday. In the afternoon David Ault (The NoSleep Podcast) is joined by Jonathan Sims (The Magnus Archives, 13 Storeys), Jon Ware and Muna Hussen (The Silt Verses, I Am In Eskew) to discuss making audio horror, before in the early evening Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, DC Comics, Passenger List) hosts a panel on Screen & Stage & Audio with Danny Robins (The Battersea Poltergeist, 222: A Ghost Story), Claire Broughton (Head of Podcasts, Hat Trick) and others.

To celebrate the diversity of modern audio fiction, Audio Drama Day at King’s Place has a wide variety of LGBTQIA shows and creators programmed throughout the day. From Meg Gwen Davies’ lesbian, Welsh and English language horror We Know None to Samy Soussi’s Desperado, starring a gay Japanese man. Boundless Theatre’s Radio Elusia stars a trans woman, and The Silt Verses stars an asexual woman and a trans man. On our panels are a wide variety of trans and queer voices: from Nathan Blades of Campaign: Skyjacks, to Oliver Morris of Kane and Feels, and Simon Marshall of the stunning drama about being gay in small town England: Kilburn, Not London. Meghan Fitzmartin, hosting our Screen & Stage & Audio panel, recently made headlines for making Batman’s Robin, Tim Drake, canonically bisexual. A wide variety of individuals who identify as gay and bisexual are represented throughout the festival, including Ella Watts, David K Barnes, David Ault, and Jonathan Sims.

A number of shows at the festival will be performing live for the first time, including The Silt Verses, which has shot to success following its launch in January this year, being reviewed in The Observer and by BBC Radio 4 Extra, and accruing over 100,000 downloads across 15 episodes. Wooden Overcoats are back before their fourth and final season, and this will be one of audiences’ last chances to see new material premiering live for Britain’s most beloved independent sitcom. Radio Elusia by Boundless Theatre will be enjoying its first ever live performance at the festival, and we’ll see British Podcast Award nominated Mockery Manor by Long Cat Media having its London Podcast Festival debut. Stephen Fry is a big fan, and Long Cat have recently achieved enormous success with their other production, The Ballad of Anne and Mary, starring Le Gateau Chocolat, Sooz Kempner and Christina Bianco.

"As audio drama approaches its centenary as a medium, it is in ruder health than it has been in decades. Whilst BBC Radio have kept the fires burning in Britain, around the world audio drama has experienced a sensational rebirth since the 2000s, with creatives in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand bringing exciting new perspectives to the form. It’s amazing to have this space to celebrate that, and really showcase the vibrancy and endless creativity of modern audio fiction.” – Ella Watts, BBC Studios, speaking about the festival.

Other events and features at the festival include:

The Debut Hour: a free, live, in person showcase of five up and coming drama podcasts from a wide variety of creative perspectives, including We Know None, Desperado, Chain of Being, Gather the Suspects and Glasgow Ghost Stories. Audiences will be invited to vote on their favourite show, which will be invited back to the festival next year to perform a full, live, ticketed event.

Telling Your Story: a free panel by, about, and for creators from marginalised communities. Hosted by Ella Watts, the panel will feature Helen Gould (Rusty Quill), Samy Soussi (Desperado), Sarah Golding (Quirky Voices), Megan Gwen Davies (We Know None) and Simon Marshall (Kilburn, Not London).

Premiere screens: over fifty independent audio drama podcasts will be showcased on screens around King’s Place throughout the day, giving audiences an opportunity to discover brand new shows by a diverse array of creators from around the world.

Listening Post: a COVID safe listening station will be available, showcasing trailers for podcasts performing on the day as well as those featured on the premiere screens, to help them decide on which new podcasts they want to start following.

Merchandise: a rare opportunity to buy merchandise for a selection of independent drama podcasts, including Rusty Quill’s wide variety of shows, like The Magnus Archives, Stellar Firma and Rusty Quill Gaming.

Tickets for all announced events are on sale now at kingsplace.co.uk with more festival events to be announced over the coming weeks. Many events will also be available to watch online as a live stream via Kings Place’s KPlayer.

Zoe Jeyes, London Podcast Festival Producer and Programmer, said: “I am so excited that the 2021 London Podcast Festival brings together everything that we love about this unique event, and the best of what we learnt from our 2020 hybrid edition. As always Kings Place will have a line-up of the very best UK podcasts, alongside workshops, panels and special events. We’re continuing to stream much of the programme so audiences across the UK and around the world can be a part of the festival. We’re delivering on our reputation for bringing exciting international shows to the festival with digital events and watch parties. Collaboration continues to be a cornerstone of the festival, thanks to our amazing partners and curators, including Acast, Spotify and our brand new partner for 2021, BBC Sounds. The London Podcast Festival has always been a celebration of our amazing podcast community and this year that feels more important than ever. We can’t wait to see you there.”

Sam Shetabi, UK Content Director at Acast says: “There’s nothing quite like a live, in-person podcast show. It’s something all of us at Acast have missed over the past 18 months or so — and we know our creators and their fans have, too. We’re always proud to support The London Podcast Festival, and can’t wait to be part of things again this September.” James Cator, Head of Studios, Spotify UK and Ireland, comments: “To be a part of the London Podcast Festival on the Podcast Maker Weekend this year is another important moment for us at Spotify. As the UK’s most popular audio platform and given our commitment to championing new and diverse voices, we’re excited to see some of the biggest and brightest rising stars on the podcasting scene providing both inspiration and entertainment across the course of the weekend. We’re looking forward to helping people get stuck into our workshops, and no doubt unlocking some great new talent."

Louise Kattenhorn, BBC Podcast Commissioning Executive for Pop Stations, said: “More and more people are listening to our podcasts on BBC Sounds. They’ve helped us bring innovative storytelling, chatty entertainment and other brilliant audio to new listeners in creative ways. Popular podcasts like Bad People, Have You Heard George’s Podcast?, Battersea Poltergeist, Stacey Dooley Fresh Starts, and Brown Girls Do It Too show how varied and ambitious podcasting is. We’re delighted people will be able to enjoy hearing some BBC podcasts and hosts at the London Podcast Festival.”

This is a press release which we link to from our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. This is reprinted verbatim; we may rewrite headlines and descriptions.

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