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Postmodern

&Traditional radio
drama
Callum Reeves
Words
The use of words in a radio drama gives information to the
audience watching. Words can be spoken through Dialogue or a
Narrator.
Dialogue can give you information through what people say and
what they say. At 3:36 in the audio drama The Archers. One
character says Has anyone seen Kirsty Just from this it reveals
to the audience that Kirsty is unseen at a place where she's
meant to be. Later on another character says Kirsty has just
pulled into the carpark This lets the listener know that she is
now at the location where she should be and that she has only
just turned up at that moment.
Speech
Speech is how something is said, this can tell the audience certain
emotions through the tone of speech. For example if someone is
sympathetic they talk softer and use more binurial sounds like ahh
whereas if someone said the same thing in a loud and aggressive it
changes the atmosphere in the opposite way even if it is the same words
used. Thats why in radio dramas it is so crucial speech is put across clearly
due to the fact you cant visually see the character and you are losing out
on body language to indicate emotions.
For example, in the Archers one character states to another honestly Rex
it is nothing to get in a state about. The character says this in a comforting
tone, so before the audience find out what the dialogue is actually about,
we know that the character is sympathetic towards the other.
Voices
Voices identify who is talking, each character will have a
certain pitch and accent. This can tell the audience if
someone is male or female. The received pronunciation
of their voice can also tell where their from for example if
they have a twang at the end of how they say things it
could be someone like a farmer or if they are well spoken
it may be a posh southern accent.
For example, in the post modern radio drama, the
audience can tell that the initial two speakers are male,
via their deep, matured voices. You can tell the two
speakers apart via their differing tones, whereby one has
Music and Ambience
Music in radio dramas can be used to create an emotional atmosphere (thus ambience), and this can be done by
using an audio track over the top or the music can be in the background of the scene like a car radio. The music
adds further emotion to a scene for it either being emotional and sad if someone has died or up beat R&B and rock
if there is an adrenaline of a car chase.
For example, rock punk is used at the start of the post modern horror, to build up the idea of a thrill ride, and it
makes the audience almost will the character to go faster. The music supports what the man appears to be saying,
and dominates the scene due to how loud it is, making the audience more distracted by the music, like how the
man is by his own thoughts. This music is key in adding to the suspense and mystery to the drama throughout.
Themed music that represents a start of a drama and the end of the drama with be used so people know when
they hear a unique song, they will turn the radio up in order to listen. For example the Archers uses a famous tune
called Barwick Green to signal the start and end of the Archers.
Ambient sounds in the Post-Modern drama maker the audience becomes aware of the location of the story, via the
sounds of intense weather outside. These include clashes of thunder, and heavy rain within the first minute of
narration. This sets the tone of the overall story, suggesting the downfall of the main character via the negative
weathers.
Contrastingly, in the traditional drama, we discover the characters are in a tea or coffee shop, via the clinging of
spoons and pouring of water from tea pots, emphasising the calm and civilised nature of the scene or the
characters in this.
Sounds
Sounds can give information to the audience as they can illustrate
what location the characters are in, for example, in The Archers,
when the characters are talking, you can hear birds chirping in the
background, emphasising the calmness and tranquillity of the scene,
and also reiterates the fact that the drama is set in the countryside.

Contrastingly, in the post-modern drama, at 1.44, rain and bubble


sound effects are used to create an air of mystery and cause the
audience to feel as if they are not breathing also, deepening the
mystery, and making the audience want to listen on to find out what
has happened. Sounds arguably aid the speech of the dramas.
Silence
Silence can be considered one of the most important features of a
mystery drama. This is because it gives the audience time to
consider what has just happened, and thus, allow them to prepare
for the next events to unfold. For example, at 1:30 in The Blind
Mans Confession, there is a one second pause from where the
character prepares for the development of the story, when he is
involved in the car crash. This builds suspense, and causes the
audiences pulses to increase also, injecting fear in the listeners.
Contrastingly, in the traditional drama, pauses are mainly used to
signify the start of the next scene, and not always to build effect.
However, there are some instances of this.
Aural Signposting
This is where certain sounds in the radio drama tell the audience what is about to
happen. This help the audience follow the story better with these hints. For example
a clang of a bell in a shop we know someone is going to walk inside.
I believe the post modern drama was better at doing this because it was a horror.
The audience needed something to hold onto before they get scared. One part
where I found this effective was when the car wheels made a high pitch squeal.
Consciously the listener would think the car is about to crash. The knowing of what
is about to happen would make the listener feel scared. However the Traditional
radio drama aural sign posting isnt used as much and its more the ambient sounds
that are used so the audience know characters are in a certain place though the
clanging of cutlery and pouring of water to show the characters are setting down
and are about to talk while drinking tea
To conclude I believe the archers have such a mild use of Aural signposting and the
uses for it in the post modern can bring such tension.
Cliff-Hanger Endings
Arguably, the whole of The Blind Mans Confession is a cliff
hanger. This is because the audience is constantly unsure of
what is going to happen next, due to the jump-start nature of
the story. However, the ending of the story is the main cliff-
hanger because it depicts the protagonist talking about the
other character, and the audience is unsure of what has
happened to him. This builds suspense, and leaves the
audience intrigued and almost able to choose their own ending.

Contrastingly, The Archers uses a different structure. Because


the drama is a long-running drama, storylines do not need to be
resolved, and can easily run on to the next episode, in order to
maintain the audiences attention and interest in the drama.
Flashback
The whole of The Blind Mans Confession is a flashback.
This is because the entire thing is a flashback of the
mans car crash, and he is looking back on what
happened. This is effective because the audience
initially thinks the story is happening in real-time,
however, upon re-listening, hear the clear use of past
tense imagery, showing that it is indeed a flashback.
Use of Fades
Fades are used to signify the end of a scene, and are
used to blend together the upcoming scenes. These can
be considered similar silence, as they serve the same
effect.
For example, in The Archers, fades are used throughout
to maintain the flow of the drama. After a phone call,
the ending of the conversation blends to the next scene,
due to the fact both the ending and beginning speech
uses similar wording and word patterns. This is
effective, as it keeps listeners intrigued and engaged.
Characterisation and
Chronological Development
Characterisation involves the creation and development of a character
within the radio drama. Overall it gives a representation of the character,
adding more imagery for the listener. This can involve mannerism, tone of
a characters voice like how confident the character speaks. This will also
give an insight to where a characters from how well educated the
vocabulary they use.
However through the use of chronological development we get to see how a
characters are over a period of time and emotionally we see there journey
though their character.
As the 'blinds man[...]' story develops so does the character, this is because
we start to see how traumatised he is after the event, this reveals to the
audience that this thrill seeker is actually a sensitive man inside.
Narration and Direct Speech
Effective narration is one of the most important aspects of a radio drama. This is
because without detailed narration, the audience is effectively blind. It is
necessary for the narrator to break the fourth wall and engage in direct speech
with listeners, and they act as a guide, and can tell the audience key information
about the scene which, naturally, they cannot observe.

For example, at the beginning of The Blind Mans Confession, the narrator is also
the protagonist, due to the fact that the story is a flashback. The narrator states
how, My pulse quickened as I skidded round each corner each time gripping a
little less ,losing a little more control... This builds the pace of the scene, and the
narration is key in helping the listeners know what is happening in the scene.
Direct speech is used in almost every radio drama and more so in the Archers due
to the fact the post modern drama is primly a narrator telling a story. Direct
speech is the way to tell the audience what's happening in the drama. For
example when a character says Where's Kirsty she's late this is direct speech in
order to tell the audience Kirsty is late.
Titles and Credits
Titles are credits do not pose much dramatic importance,
but act as conventional book ends to signify the start
and end of the story. These give the audience clarity,
and enable them to know when they can expect the
story audio to begin.

For example, in A Blind Mans Confession, the credits


state who directed, edited and wrote the story, and who
narrated each character.
Appropriateness to Target
Audience
The target audience of A Blind Mans Confession is most likely
teenagers, and this is because of the use of vivid language
throughout, such as the phrase, I shouldve known better than to
fuck with God. This is arguably a motif as it is repeated more than
once throughout the story, thus showing the writers desire to
appeal to a younger demographic.

Contrastingly, the audience of The Archers is the older, more


civilised generation, who wish for easy listening, for short periods
of time. This can be considered true because of the older
vocabulary used, and the older subjects explored.
Dramatic Reconstruction
Dramatic reconstruction is where a scene is reconstructed using different
sounds, for example, rain and wind and also speech to tell a story. These play
an important part in having a successful radio drama, for example, in the post
modern drama, sound effects are used to create tension and add that finishing
touch for a dramatic scene to be created. However its not just sounds because
speech can dramatized a scene through the raised tone of voices used.
In the post modern drama there was rain,wind,thunder and car engine Sound
affects to make the audience feel more involved with the radio drama,these are
also to compensate the audience for not being able to see what's happening.
In the blind mans confession each scene is a dramatic reconstruction to what
has happened through a flash back. In order to create a dramatic approach the
narrater tells the story in a thrilling way on top of other ambient sounds
Drama Styles
Drama styles are different conventions and structures
used in a stylistic way. For example, in the traditional
radio show, a formal, more traditional style is used,
where by the listeners almost progress as the show
does, and the character links become more thorough
and in depth as the story and life of the show develop,
aka, 'a soap opera'drama style.
Duration
Duration describes how long the dramas are, and both
are roughly 13 minutes. This can be considered
beneficial, as it is the perfect length of time for listeners
to remain engaged and focused on the story.
Narrative Structure &
Development of Plot
Narrative structure is consists of how the traditional parts of the story and the order in
which the listener hears them. Therefore it provides the overall framework for the
unfolding radio drama.
The Archers has a linear narrative stricture and is on going along with real life, therefore it
cant contain flash backs like the Blinds man confession. Archers is well suited with the
linear narrative because it is an on going show that corresponds to every day the listener
has been. For example when ever its Christmas it will be Christmas in the archers.
The Plot is the events put together to make up the story in the radio drama. If there was no
plot there would be no clear understanding of the story.
The post modern drama has a complex plot development. The beginning of the story
arguably foreshadows the end, whilst the end clearly links to the start, due to the fact
that the story is a flashback.
Where as the archers has a broad plot that expands along the whole life of the characters.
Therefore characters gradually get older in the series.