Penguin’s online teen book community Spinebreakers have been involved in a collaborative play- writing project with author Louisa Young and BBC Radio 7. “Short Cuts: Ruby Baby” is a two-part crime drama by Louisa Young, with six short dramas in between, written by young writers from Spinebreakers.co.uk, Hampstead Theatre and the National Theatre’s Discover programme.
Selected young writers from Penguin’s Spinebreakers community attended a BBC Radio Drama writers workshop with author Louisa Young at Bush House where they were mentored in writing radio drama and helped to write a short radio play script to be performed and produced professionally as part of a new crime series for BBC Radio 7.
The two main episodes of “Short Cuts: Ruby Baby”, a crime drama set in Tuscany, will be aired on the on 22nd February and 1st March 2010. In the week between these two broadcasts, Radio 7 has scheduled the six short dramas, written by the young which give clues, red herrings and conspiracy theories on this Italian mystery.
"Ruby Baby" is set in the beautiful Tuscan countryside during a blisteringly hot summer. A group of students are working as organic volunteers for ex-hippy former child-star Olivia, who has bought a castle and runs an organic vineyard. It seems like paradise, but behind the lazy wine-filled evenings and growing flirtations between the volunteers there are dark undertones. Ruby, a young student, cries in her sleep; the group hears gunshots in the dark countryside; and when gorgeous George sets his sights on a woman even his jealous girlfriend Sarah can't stop him.
Danielle Davis, Editor of Spinebreakers.co.uk, Penguin’s online book community for teenagers said, “This is a really excellent way for the BBC to engage with talented young writers who are already involved with other projects for young people in the cultural and creative sector. It must be so exciting and rewarding for the teenagers to have their own work produced, recorded and broadcast professionally by the BBC.
Louisa Young, the author of the two-part crime drama “Ruby Baby” is better known as the "mother" half of mother-daughter writing team Zizou Corder, author of Penguin's bestselling "LionBoy" trilogy. Zizou Corder’s latest book Halo was published on the 4th February 2010 and is featured as a “Hot Read” on www.spinebreakers.co.uk
The six young writers who collaborated with Louisa Young in writing the six short plays in between the two main episodes of “Ruby Baby” are: Indiana Seresin, Rebecca Clee, Amy Deakin, Bridget Minnamore, Lucinda Higgie and Danny Shaw.
The cast includes: Tessa Nicholson as Sarah, Joseph Cohen-Cole as George, Melissa Advani as Jossie, Rhys Jennings as Dirk, Kate Layden as Olivia and Emerald O’Hanrahan as Ruby.
“Short Cuts: Ruby Baby” was produced and directed by Fiona Kelcher for BBC Radio 7.
Episode 1 will be broadcast: Monday 22 February at 1330, 2030 and 0130
Episode 2 will be broadcast: Monday 1st March at 1330, 2030 and 0130.
The six short six short dramas take place between the end of Episode 1 and the beginning of Episode 2 and will be broadcast on the six days in between.
Spinebreakers.co.uk is Penguin’s teen online book community, a stimulating and entertaining portal into the world of books, run by teenagers themselves. Editorial control of the site is in the hands of a core editorial team of nine teenagers aged between 13 and 18 years, supported by a large network of contributing teen editors from across the UK. The teen team produce a wide variety of multi-media content for the website including video and audio reviews, alternative book jackets and endings, soundtracks, author interviews, podcasts, blogs, short stories and much more. Spinebreakers.co.uk was launched by Penguin in October 2007 and was created in conjunction with youth marketing agency Livity.