Issues close to the heart of Doncaster people have proved a winner for an up and coming writer.
Deborah Wain’s empathetic take on teenage pregnancy and Alzheimer’s have helped establish her as an up and coming BBC playwright.
And the former Free Press reporter’s work has attracted a fine starring cast, including new Inspector Barnaby, Doncaster-born actor Neil Dudgeon and Linda Bassett of Lark Rise to Candleford fame.
Deborah’s first play for Radio 4, Fifteen, which was an unusual take on the emotive subject of teenage pregnancy, was shortlisted for the 2010 Imison Award presented by the Society of Authors.
Her second work to be produced by the prestigious broadcaster was Notes to Self, which was inspired by people Deborah met at music sessions run by local charity Lost Chord for people suffering from Alzheimer’s in care homes in Doncaster and Rotherham.
It’s all a far cry from Deborah’s work for the Free Press where she was an award-winning investigative reporter picking up plaudits for her expose of the collapse of the UK’s biggest education project, Doncaster Education City - for which she picked up the national Paul Foot Award for Investigative Journalism - and she was the first journalist to spot the looming crisis in Doncaster’s social services that ultimately saw details of the serious case reviews into the deaths of seven children exposed exclusively in the Free Press.
“Radio is a very exciting medium for a writer as there are few constraints so competition is fierce for Radio 4’s drama slots. I’m thrilled to have had two plays broadcast within 18 months or so,” said Deborah, who lives in Greenhill, Sheffield.
Notes to Self, although a work of fiction, was inspired by the people Deborah met at the Lost Chord sessions where music is used to unlock memory. The play attracted many positive comments for its portrayal of the cruel condition on a BBC blog from carers of people with Alzheimer’s
Deborah, who studied playwriting at the University of California and has written for hit soap Hollyoaks, is developing two television projects.