‘Radio is the theatre of the mind’ - Madanmohan Rao



In Development


I am currently developing an audio version of my BBC Writersroom longlisted play, The Guide. You’ll be able to listen to an extract here. I’m exploring the dangerous and comical effects of a future lived in the metaverse.




Emma Kelly

Atheist, carnivore, emotionally unavailable KATE has a macabre interest in cutting up animals. She must find love to prove she is an independent woman, except she has no filter and is socially awkward. Ultimately, she hates people. Desperate to rebel and leave a New Age commune in Newhaven behind, KATE leaves her life partner and moves to Brighton with her two kids. She sets up a taxidermy business specialising in stuffing people’s dead pets. Her hippy, vegan parents are horrified that she has left the commune and believe it is just a cosmic blip, one of her fads.

There is a ‘blessing’ at the commune at the end of the summer. KATE wants to attend with a new man, a thriving business and a perfect, normal, independent life. This will prove she doesn’t need the help of the collective that has misunderstood her for so long. There is only one problem, her ex-life partner is running a transcendental meditation centre in India and has no input in childcare at all. How can she overcome her lack of childcare and social tact to find love in the city? To make things worse, she only has six weeks, and school’s out for summer. The six episodes will provide a comic observation of being a single mum in Brighton in the summer holidays. Ideally, they should air each week of the holidays. I want to work with the comic juxtaposition of inappropriate adult behaviour in child settings. KATE’s real name is ELF, short for ALVERA; this is a cruel nickname as Elf is six feet tall.


  • No filter – says thoughts aloud as soon as they come into her head (they shared a lot at the commune). This often has comic results.
  • She thinks she likes people – she is, however, a closeted recluse
  • Nervous – laughs at inappropriate times and says sorry a lot, which is a habit from the commune
  • Obsessive – having left the world of New Age hippies, she is subconsciously trying to fill a void. As a result, she gets into numerous fads or hobbies. KATE could easily be sucked into a cult as she is impressionable as she doesn’t know who she really is
  • Atheist – no spiritual feelings at all apart from being superstitious
  • Carnivore – new obsession with meat since she is free from the vegan commune, where she secretly ate Pepperami
  • Not a natural mother-blunt, prickly, pessimistic
  • Hasn’t had sex since leaving the commune a year ago
  • Her honesty can be charming; it makes her someone you can trust. Her deep mistrust of people can make her astute at spotting situations. She ‘sees’ people for who they really are
  • Once she likes you, she is loyal as a dog


ANNA is helping KATE settle into life as a school gate mum. ANNA is seasoned. She has three kids, which she gave up a high fly career to raise. ANNA has got into the afterschool gin and tonic culture in a big way. She is unhappy with her husband and secretly envious of KATE and her independent life. Her husband , GERALD runs a loft conversion company and is ‘shagging around’. ANNA knows this on a subconscious level but is in denial. She is positive, over-familiar and shoplifts for thrills.



Episode 1- ‘Stuff Him’

KATE tries to ‘pull’ a teacher from school at the summer show but realises he’s taken and a vegan. She is commissioned to stuff a tortoise. KATE’S son TOM is in trouble for causing havoc at the cake sale.

Episode 2- ‘Are You Hot in That?’

KATE goes to a BBQ at another mum’s house to celebrate the end of school and the opening of her loft conversion done by GERALD. She is persuaded to try out power walking by the other mums. GERALD, ANNA’S husband, makes a pass at her. TOM arranges a protest with the other children.

Episode 3- ‘OM’

KATE meets ANNA in the park and reveals details of a kinky Tinder date. KATE is forced to return to the commune for her birth certificate and passport. She takes ANNA with her. KATE bumps into her ex-life partner and realises he has not been in India and has no interest in the kids. ANNA steals a kaftan from the commune shop.

Episode 4- ‘Mummy, Do You Believe in God?’

ANNA is spying on GERALD and asks KATE for relationship advice. Whilst trying out rollerblading, KATE is invited to the funeral of one of her client’s pets. He’s hot, so she goes with the kids. She must hide her atheism with her honest children in tow. TOM makes a scene at the funeral.

Episode 5- ‘Don’t Do Anything I Wouldn’t’

KATE tries French kickboxing. She employs a teenage babysitter. KATE bumps into her son’s teacher on ‘mum’s night out’ and has a disastrous one-night stand. KATE reveals GERALD’S pass to ANNA, who is heartbroken and disappears.

Episode 6- ‘The Blessing’

It’s the day of the blessing. KATE is alone, with no man, and more importantly, she has lost her only friend until she finds ANNA at the commune. She ran away and is now doing transcendental meditation with KATE’S ex-life partner. ANNA’S husband turns up unable to cope with kids. ANNA will only come home if GERALD has Tantra lessons. ANNA and KATE make friends just in time for school to start. KATE realises she doesn’t need a man to be an independent woman. She uses her newly found French kickboxing to put her ex in his place.


KATE will talk to her cat HENDRIX in each episode to fill in some of the storyline. She will also have flashbacks to her time in the commune, which will be entered with the sound of bongos.


I want to work on the city’s sound compared to the commune using bus noises, seagulls, traffic lights, and crowd sounds to get in and out of scenes. I will use chanting, bongos, bird song, and windchimes for the commune. This, I hope, will provide a contrast and strong visual background in the listener’s mind for each location.






So, when I arrived, he looked way younger. It was almost criminal. But I felt sorry for him, you could see he was nervous. So, I thought, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Spread a bit of love and kindness, or whatever. Ooh, that’s cold! (Laughs) So I stayed. (She hums furiously) He had lied about his age. He even knew my mate who’s a teacher, taught him ‘A’ level geography. Bit of a mood killer finding that out.


So that’s your smear done, shouldn’t need another for three years, unless there are any problems.


Thanks. Very smoothly done. You are an expert. Very good indeed. Erm, ok, until next time!