Lulu Raczka wins the 2019 Imison Award

4 February 2019

Congratulations to Lulu Raczka, who won the 2019 Imison Award on 3 February 2019 for the best original script by a writer new to radio, and a cheque for £3,000.

Pictured above: Lulu Raczka (left) with screenwriter and presenter Sarah Woods. Photo credit: BBC

Audio-dramatist, playwright and screenwriter Sarah Woods presented Lulu Raczka with the award at the BBC Audio Drama Awards for her audio drama Of a Lifetime. The ceremony took place at the BBC Radio Theatre and was hosted by Tracy-Ann Oberman. Woods won the Tinniswood Award last year for her audio drama Borderland.

This year's judges were Stefan Buczacki, Jamila Gavin, Nell Leyshon, David Morley, Hannah Silva, Sean Grundy and Elizabeth-Anne Wheal. The shortlist also included Ian Billings for Spike and the Elfin Oak and Carl Cattermole for Double Bubble. Find out more about the shortlistees.

The judges said:

Of a Lifetime is a lyrical and psychologically astute study of the transformation of trauma into story. With a carefully crafted form reflecting its content, this two-hander explores the telling of stories as a way of expressing truth to escape truth. A timely drama that captures the subtleties of two young women’s experiences of assault and loss, and how their responsibilities towards each other are blended with the complexities of their friendship.

Of a Lifetime was produced by Polly Thomas and Eloise Whitmore, Naked Productions for BBC Radio 3. Listen here.

About 'Of a Lifetime'

Raczka's audio drama, Of a Lifetime, centres around Kaela and Georgia, who are in their mid-twenties, once best friends, now drifted apart. They reunite when Kaela’s mum dies and set off on the European trip that they planned for years.

As they travel, they discover the things that both irritate them and bond them. At one hotel, they are both disturbed by the violent noises from the next room. When they ask the hotel to intervene, the woman assures the staff everything is fine – but the noises continue. Georgia revisits sexual violence that, at the time, Kaela couldn’t fully understand.

The two women acknowledge the impact of the incident on them both and move forward. 'Of a Lifetime' is a moving portrait of modern female friendship, in an era of increasing identity politics and the coming of age of the #MeToo generation. It was recorded in front of a live audience for BBC Radio 3 at the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

About Lulu Raczka

Lulu Raczka is an award-winning young writer. She is Company Director of Barrel Organ Theatre, with whom she worked on her first play Nothing. Nothing was awarded The Sunday Times Playwriting Award as well as the National Student Drama Festival Award for Creative Risk. Some People Talk About Violence, also with Barrel Organ, played at the Edinburgh Fringe, New Diorama and Camden’s People Theatre in 2015.

In 2016 Lulu’s Clytemnestra formed part of the Gate Theatre’s Iphigenia Quartet and her play Grey Man was produced as part of the Shakespeare in Shoreditch festival and at Theatre 503, London. Lulu’s latest play A Girl in School Uniform (Walks into a Bar) was first produced by West Yorkshire Playhouse in 2017 and at the New Diorama Theatre. Her first original television series, Lena the Psychic, is in development with Expanded Media.

More about the Imison Award

The Imison Award is administered by the Society of Authors and was founded in memory of BBC script editor and producer Richard Imison. Previous winners include Adam Usden, Mike Bartlett, Gabriel Gbadamosi, Lee Hall and Nell Leyshon. The prize of £3,000 is generously sponsored by The Peggy Ramsay Foundation.

This year's award is for a drama broadcast in the UK between 1 October 2017 and 31 October 2018. Previous winners include Adam Usden and James Fritz.