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New Radio Drama Festival debuts in Chelmsford

Chelmsford Radion Drama Festival 2023

For the first time, an exciting Radio Drama Festival is coming to Chelmsford! The festival, which runs from 5-17 June, will showcase local talent in Chelmsford, and acknowledge the city’s rich broadcasting history.


Varied listening sessions and workshops


During the festival, listening sessions will see community produced radio dramas shared at different locations across Chelmsford.

You can listen to a special performance of ‘Haunted’ being recorded at Essex Record Office, or a piece produced by local writer Dan Baker at the Hive Café.

The eerie Chelmsford Escape Rooms is the perfect setting for some very spooky radio drama, while the Chelmsford Theatre Bar will be sharing pieces produced by local people made during the Radio Drama Festival workshops.

If you’re interested in having a go at writing drama for radio yourself, why not try the writers workshop at Anglia Ruskin University on 17 June. The workshop will be supported by radio dramatist, actor and author Robin Brooks. Robin Brooks is one of the most prolific and commissioned writers of radio drama, working with the BBC and other independent companies, as well as for his own company, Allegra Productions. He’ll be helping participants to devise a plot and script for their own radio drama, which will then be performed and recorded in front of an audience.

All of the pieces recorded or shared during the festival will be broadcast later in the year.


Celebrating Chelmsford’s broadcast heritage


The Radio Drama Festival provides a unique opportunity to celebrate a broadcasting heritage that Chelmsford is extremely proud of. Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937), an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, is well-known locally for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission.

In 1897, Marconi founded his telecommunications and engineering company in Chelmsford, named the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company. The firm opened the world’s first radio factory in 1898, and made incredible advances in radio and television.

There are still many locations named after the radio pioneer and his company, including Marconi Plaza in the city centre.

Marconi Statue (Credit: Jennie Fage)
A statue of Guglielmo Marconi in Marconi Plaza, Chelmsford. Image credit: Jennie Fage.

Chelmsford Community Radio will host


Intrigued? You can tune into to the festival via Chelmsford Community Radio any time from 5 to 17 June. A full breakdown of upcoming events can be found via Eventbrite.

Chelmsford Community Radio Logo

CCR and the ECC Arts and Cultural Fund

The Radio Drama Festival is brought to you by Chelmsford Community Radio. It is supported by the Essex County Council Arts and Cultural Fund. 

Chelmsford Community Radio broadcasts on 104.4FM, online and via their app. The station has listeners of all ages and acts as an accessible platform for people in and around Chelmsford. It also provides radio and podcast training to the education sector and community groups. This summer, the station is proudly celebrating their 10th anniversary!

The Essex County Council Arts and Cultural Fund is designed to help organisations and practitioners to deliver a broad and exciting range of work and activity to engage with and bring communities together.

To find out more about this ground-breaking event, follow Chelmsford Community Radio on Facebook.

If you’d like to know more about the part Chelmsford has played in broadcasting history, take a look at On Air: Chelmsford’s Global Experiment by Chelmsford Museum.

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Lia Salacuri
Lia Salacuri

Lia writes about what’s on in Chelmsford.