A play about a strictly Orthodox woman written by a Jewish playwright won an award at the BBC’s Audio Drama Awards yesterday, given for the best in radio drama in the UK.
Adam Usden, 29, won the Imison Award for for "best original script by a writer new to radio", for his play The Book of Yehudit, about a young Orthodox Jewish couple from a close-knit community in Manchester. When Naftali refuses to divorce Yehudit leaving her a "chained woman", Yehudit must find the strength to fight for her freedom.
The play will be repeated on BBC Radio 4 on 7th February. It was praised by the judges as "a strikingly compelling story" and "a thought-provoking winner". The panel added: "Tightly observed, it offers unique insight whilst adeptly exploring current and universally relevant modern gender politics."
When the play was first aired in April 2017, producer Charlotte Riches told the JC it was “a story that treats all of its characters and the world in which they live with a deep warmth and affection, whilst also being aware of their foibles and limitations, The Book of Yehudit is a sensitive look at a young woman’s search for identity and independence, in a community that owes its survival to conformity and tradition.”
Usden has previously been commissioned by the World Heritage Society, the National Trust and Specifiq. The prize includes a cheque for £3,000, presented to Mr Usden by author Philip Pullman.