OKRE’s Experimental Stories: Commissions

Experimental Stories is a unique workshop series from OKRE, in collaboration with Wellcome and the BBC. Working primarily with BBC Radio 4, the workshops bring together scientists, researchers, audio producers and writers to create drama inspired by science. The workshop series has been running since 2012, resulting in a diverse range of award-winning Radio 4 drama including those listed below:

  • News
  • Posted: 7 Nov 2023

BBC Radio 4 commissions from Experimental Stories

Experimental Stories 2012

  • Five Fever Tales – 5 x 15” BBC by Lavinia Greenlaw, producer Tim Dee with Julian Rayner, Sanger Institute TX: March 2014

Experimental Stories 2013

  • My Life with Flu – 5 x 15’ BBC by Sarah Woods, producer James Robinson with Paul Kellam and Sarah Smith TX: 27th Oct – 31st Oct 2014. 

  • Fugue State – 1 x 45’ Sweet Talk by Julian Simpson produced Karen Rose with Paul Fletcher TX: 29th Oct 2015. Winner of Best Use of Sound, BBC Audio Awards and Tinniswood Best Audio Drama Award, 2016

Experimental Stories 2014

  • Ecco – 1 x 45’ Sparklab by Chris Harrald producer Melanie Harris with Daniel Bor TX: 6th March 2017
  • The Liberty Cap – 1 x 45’ Holy Mountain by Hattie Naylor, producer Boz Temple Morris with Robin Carhart Harris TX: 23rd Oct 2015
  • State of Mind by Jane Rogers/The Sky is Wider by Linda Marshall Griffiths – 2 x 45’ BBC producer Nadia Molinari with Anil Seth.  TX: 6th July 2016 Winner of the Best Single Drama and Best Actress for Christine Bottomley, BBC Audio Drama Awards 2017, Finalist Prix Europa and Aria Awards 2017. The Sky is Wider has had a life in translation too – Czech radio and Croatian radio (HRT) have both made their own productions.

Experimental Stories 2015

  • Resistance – 3 x 45’ BBC by Val McDermid producer Susan Roberts with Christopher Downs TX: March 2017
  • The Truth About Hawaii – 10 x 15’ BBC by Oliver Emanuel producer Kirsty Williams with Adam Roberts and Joanna Coast TX 22nd Jan – 2nd Feb 2018 Winner of Best Original Drama series, BBC Audio Awards, 2019;
  • won an award from the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases in March 2018, citing ‘its far-reaching public engagement through the use of fact, fiction and emotion; the contribution to a set of communication tools boosting awareness and education around anti-microbial resistance and its place in global health priorities; its role in a broader advocacy movement to place global health at the forefront of the international agenda’.

Experimental Stories 2017

  • Tracks series 3 and 4  6 x 45’ + 5 x 15’ BBC by Matt Broughton producer James Robinson with Lucy van de Wiel and Kedar Natharajan. James said: “….the workshop fed into the whole of series 3 – Tracks: Chimera, which was all about fertility science, the trade in human eggs and issues surrounding surrogacy. It was invaluable research for the series. We’re recording series 4 Sep 2019, and a lot of the science we’re using, to do with gene-editing and Crispr, is still coming from those two days..!”  Series 3 went out at the end of 2018; series 4 starts on the 28th October 2019 (in the 15 Minute Drama slot). All previous series available on Sounds from end of September 2019. Best Fiction at the British Podcast Awards and Best Use of Sound at the Audio Drama Awards, 2019. It was nominated for Best Drama at the Prix Europa (where it got a commendation); Best Series at BBC Audio Drama Awards and Best Podcast at BBC Audio Drama Awards 2019.
  • Body Horror 3 x 45’ BBC by Lucy Catherine, producer Toby Swift with Adam Kampff, Tom Douglas, Sita Popat. TX: 11th March 2020 Runner-up for Best Audio Drama (Series or Serial), BBC Audio Drama Awards, 2021.
  • 99 1 x 45’ BBC by James Fritz, producer Rebecca Ripley with Hugh Montgomery, Emily Ryall TX:2nd Jan 2020 BBC Audio Drama Awards 2021 – Best Original Drama – Finalist; ARIAS 2021 Best Fictional Storytelling – GOLD/WINNER

Experimental Stories 2019

  • An Artificially Intelligent Guide to Love1 x 60’ Afonica  by Hannah Silva – producer Nicolas Jackson, with James Carney TX 12th Feb 2021
  • The Goldilocks Zone 1-  x 60’ BBC by Tanika Gupta – producer Nadia Molinari with Adam Kampff and Caswell Barry TX 2nd Oct 2021 Finalist in BBC Audio Drama Awards 2022
  • What’s Love Got to Do With It? – 1 x 45’ BBC by Tom Wainwright – Anne Isger, with Ricky  Nathvani and Maxine Mackintosh. TX 30th Dec 2021.