Children’s magical tales brought to life in radio drama

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Radio audiences were transported to a magical other world thanks to the creativity of a group of youngsters aged between nine and eleven.

The children penned a series of five linked short stories which were made into a radio play for broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

The drama was made possible by a sprinkling of magic from the team at the wonderful Rotherham-based charity Grimm & Co which receives support from SHINE through our Bridging the Gap initiative.

Grimm & Co runs Yorkshire’s one and only Apothecary to the Magical, an immersive experience that powers the imaginations of children, inspiring them to write their own fantastical stories.

In May 2019, the charity hosted a series of free creative writing workshops, during which the 45-minute radio play was written. The young writers worked closely with the BBC production team to craft the programme and even travelled to Media City, in Salford, to experience what happens behind the scenes in the world of radio.

The result is described as a “fusion of five fantastical tales, delightfully charming and full of laughs”.

The play was first broadcast on Monday 11th November, at 2.15pm and can currently still be heard on the BBC website, here.

Actor and writer Paul Clayton, who is also a Grimm & Co patron, made the exciting project a reality. He said: “I’m very proud to have helped provide an opportunity for the imaginative young writers of Grimm and Co to write for the most imaginative medium of them all – radio- and the best radio in the world – The BBC.”

Chair of the Grimm & Co board, Sarah Dunwell said: “It’s so wonderful that the children involved have been able to work so closely with patrons Paul Clayton and Jeremy Dyson, and with the BBC, and will be able to hear the results of this on an international stage as the play is aired on the BBC.  We are so proud of these children and their fabulous creativity.”

Deborah Bullivant, CEO at Grimm & Co, said “It’s an important aspect of Grimm & Co’s philosophy that the children’s writing is for a purpose and is able to be appreciated by others.  It gives children a meaningful reason to write.

“Our children, the artists and the patron who made it all possible (Paul Clayton) have worked very hard on this and it shows in the beautifully produced outcome, being performed by professional actors and aired for all to hear on the BBC Radio 4 Drama spot.  I urge you to listen and I know you won’t regret it.  It’s absolutely stunning – please tune in and show the children you care.”