British Radio Dramaturgy and the Effects of the New Conservatism
University of Exeter
New Theatre Quarterly
Cambridge University Press
This essay, which is informed by the author's own practice as a playwright working in the medium of radio drama, looks at some effects of the enforced merger of radio with TV drama to create a ‘bi-media’ department at the BBC, and considers the evolution of commissioning policy since the imposition of the internal market under the Director Generalship of John Birt (from 1992 to 2000). Considering radio drama, after Adorno, as a producer in the culture industry, he suggests that the neo-conservatism of the 1980s, as described by Habermas, is a significant factor in understanding current commissioning practices and the dramaturgy of new realism in some radio drama.
Reproduced with permission of the publisher. © 2004 Cambridge University Press.