Special mention for Radio 1’s Drama on One

RTÉ Radio 1’s Drama on One production of Sparkplug by Little John Nee, has received a Special Mention at the Prix Italia.

Prix Italia, under the Patronage of the President of the Italian Republic, Patronage of the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture and under the aegis of the Board of Directors of Rai, is the most prestigious and oldest International Competition, a remarkable and lively window for displaying and amplifying Radio, TV and Web programmes of excellence. Over 90 public and private radio/television broadcasters compete all together representing five continents.

Sparkplug was awarded the Special Mention in the ‘Best Radio Drama’ category, announced by the Prix Italia Jury in Turin yesterday.

Written & performed by Little John Nee, Sparkplug tells the story of a bluesman and vintage mechanic living in his dead uncle’s disused barn. Though times are tough, his fortunes change for the better when he meets Ruby, and his story takes us into the heart of a surreal rural landscape that combines lyrical comic storytelling with original music and songs played on a variety of intriguing instruments.

Lorelei Harris, Editor of Arts, Features and Drama, said of the result: “This is a very significant award for RTÉ Radio Drama. While we have been successful in many major international competitions in the past, this is the first time the Prix Italia Jury has recognised excellence in an Irish Radio Drama. I am delighted, and send my congratulations to all involved in the production”.

The cast for the production was Little John Nee (Sparkplug), Lalor Roddy (Captain), Orlaith Gilcreest (Ruby), Donal O’Kelly (Mulligan), Helen Gregg (Peggy), Niamh Learmont (Margo the Fortune Teller) and John Kelly (Johnny Slope). The radio version was recorded in November 2012, with sound supervision by Damian Chennells and Kevin Brew as producer.

Little John Nee’s one-man show, Sparkplug was originally commissioned by Earagail Arts Festival, and one of the highlights of the Dublin Fringe Festival in 2012 – going on the win the ‘Best Sound’ award in the Irish Times Theatre Awards.

Listeners can hear ‘Sparkplug’ by Little John Nee at the RTÉ Drama on One website.

In the radio documentary category at the Prix Italia this year, there were 105 entries in total with RTÉ’s Documentary on One Message in a Bottle making the shortlist.

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