The UK international Radio Drama Festival is the UK’s only outward facing radio drama festival. It is based in Kent, offering anyone and everyone an opportunity to celebrate radio drama through open access to the live listening sessions in person and online. Organised by International Arts Partnership, a theatre producing company, the theme has been focused on radio drama with some connection to the live stage. In 2019, we celebrate our 5th Anniversary – to mark this milestone, the festival will have a different theme this year. Find out more in the Festival 2019 section.
The festival aims to bring diverse work from across the world, introducing a UK audience to the European tradition of radio drama often anchored in soundscape whilst celebrating our own more text based tradition. The festival provides a UK audience with the rare pleasure of listening to radio drama in other languages, supported by English language translations of the script. The festival also brings together work from national broadcasters with that of emerging independent producers and is proud that the major prizes have largely been awarded to this exciting but lesser known work.
Awards are made by a jury – membership of which is open to anyone who commits to listening to all the work across the week – and which always includes international producers who have travelled to Herne Bay/Canterbury with their work. An audience award – decided by popular vote and open to anyone anywhere in the world to vote – complements the jury award and usually goes to work which has not achieved a jury award.
Alongside the professional festival, an outreach programme takes the opportunity to make radio drama into local schools and community groups, culminating in a community showcase on the last Saturday of the festival.
- Listen to Nicholas McInerny talking about the 4th edition of the festival in 2018:
- Read the review of the event by Kate Chisholm in The Spectator.