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Tribute Podcasts

Philip Shelley

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Tribute Podcasts
Tribute Podcasts

Tribute Podcasts

Philip Shelley

1
Followers
0
Plays
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About Us

TRIBUTE PODCASTS are a series of 13 dramatic monologues between 7 & 15 minutes in length - all eulogies / reflections about the deaths (and lives) of fictional characters.One of the inspirations for this project - if that's the right word - was the series of deaths in 2016 - my mother, principally, but also David Bowie, Victoria Wood, Prince, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Terry Wogan, Gene Wilder etc etc And in September 2015, one of my son's best friends, 20 years old, died in a boating accident in New Zealand. He died saving someone else's life when he and a group of 10 friends got into dificulties kayaking on a lake. It was only James and one other American boy who died, the rest survived. And James may have survived if he hadn't swum back into the lake to try and save a friend. James was the nicest young guy you could ever meet. Gentle, kind, with a smile that lit up a room, his death at such a young age has really rocked his local community and of course devastated his family - his parents and two younger brothers.So this project is dedicated to the memory of JAMES MURPHY.

Latest Episodes

THE NAME ON THE BENCH

The year 2016 has seen a seemingly high number of notable deaths with inevitable eulogies and tributes following. I wanted to write about someone completely anonymous to the world at large but who meant something to those who loved him. I had the idea of somebody going through problems of their own glimpsing a name on a plaque on a park bench and this triggering a journey of discovery, both literal and in his own life. The central character is a little lost and has a few issues he hasn’t faced up to but his obsession with the name on the bench forces him to address them. We also see how this affects his relationship with his partner and discover more about his background.

11 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
THE NAME ON THE BENCH

TURNING

A woman and her older sister, both in their late thirties, go back to Wales to visit their long-widowed father as he lies dying in his hospital bed. All three are estranged from each other and as the younger sister narrates the details of their final dealings, she reflects upon her father’s life, realising how little she knew him. The piece illustrates the aching failure of these remnants to bond finally at the last.

6 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
TURNING

A GREAT MAN

James Bellwether wonders how many people were called before someone picked up the phone to him to tell him that his own Dad was dying. That is what it is like being the child of a 'great’ man. Always ignored, never valued for yourself. While James is angry, he is not bitter. He just has one thing to find out. What happened to the letters he wrote to his father whilst his father was a political prisoner? Did his father keep them or not? So starts James’s journey through his father’s life via a tour of his office. The questions are: will he find what he is looking for? And regardless of the outcome, what will it mean to James? What are the next steps for the 'not-so-great’ man?

12 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
A GREAT MAN

GRANDPA

My tribute is actually based on parts of the life of my granddad Alan who sadly passed away in April 2016. The character is actually an amalgam of all of my grandparents- my English grandma was a codebreaker at Bletchley Park, my Polish/German grandma was the best storyteller that ever lived and did indeed escape Nazi Germany in a hurry. My Polish/German grandpa used to do magic tricks. My English grandpa used to bury sweets on the hills for me and my brothers to find. And all four of them loved to tell me different, exaggerated stories about their lives- apart from perversely, my English codebreaking Grandma, who had perhaps the most exciting story to tell. I loved writing the tribute as it felt cathartic but also actually a fitting and wonderful tribute, not just to my grandpa but my other grandparents too.

7 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
GRANDPA

REX

Tributes are usually given by family members so my starting point was, “What if there isn’t any surviving family? Why might that be?” This led me to the idea of a character who had murdered his family, then died in prison. He may not have had many friends outside and, even if he did, they would have drifted away after so many years inside. He really was alone in the world. So who was going to give the tribute? The person who had spent most time with him lately: Allan, one of his prison officers. Allan understood Rex in some ways, and knew him on a professional basis. He didn’t like him much, for obvious reasons. Allan needs to look professional and disinterested. A prisoner has died in unexplained circumstances and someone has to say something. He is on duty. Like a family member giving a tribute, he glosses over some of the past. He can’t be as honest as he’d like to be. Maybe he needs to hide some things too. Allan is an experienced prison officer (40s or 50s). He has the fa...

8 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
REX

MILESTONE

I originally wrote Milestone several years ago - before the Hillsborough Inquest was announced. When the Inquest verdicts were delivered I realised I could adapt the script with just a very small number of changes. I liked the idea of the character seeing the events as a catalyst for change - a theme referred to by many of the victims’ families. Also, adding a practical dilemma in the character’s situation and the practical steps he identifies to help him deal with it, enabled me to demonstrate the long-term effects of the tragedy on many, many people - some of whom are no longer with us. Amidst his confusion of knowing what to feel after the verdicts he speaks directly to his Father - killed at Hillsborough - looks for answers to his immediate dilemma and pays tribute to him for introducing him to the wonderful game of football. It felt important to me to include in that conversation the fact that football continues to be a part of his family’s life. In my view, the 96 victims w...

6 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
MILESTONE

AN IRRESISTIBLE FORCE

I met a sculptor on Twitter who told me that before unveiling her latest work she had to chop a piece off her statue because it offended a surviving relative of the subject. The ceremony would not have gone ahead if the appendage had stayed on. The artistic process is not sacred. If people can butt in, they will. Sometimes two hands are better than one. Artists often collaborate. We see it in the case of the master and apprentice. Occasionally the apprentice becomes more celebrated than the master. What happens to that pseudo-parental, curatorial relationship then? And when one dies, what sort of eulogy does the other give? What if the apprentice were the first to go?

9 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
AN IRRESISTIBLE FORCE

AN ORDERED LIFE

...is a thinly-veiled fictionalisation of my own father, who died 4 years ago. The trigger for this whole project though was the death of my mother who died in March. The moment when your second parent dies is a big one in anyone’s life, alerting you even more sharply to your own mortality, and it has made me think about the relationship my parents had with each other, about my relationship with both of them - and my relationships with my own 4 children. This is a monologue about communication, or the lack of it, and about a lack of resolution in relationships.

7 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
AN ORDERED LIFE

BOOKMARK

The catalyst of my Tribute was a bookmark. I wanted my tribute to focus on the emotions that death/bereavement brings up. Death is so unfathomable our brain pulls in many different ways to understand it. The emotion of my piece comes from a few of the comedic memories within it being personal to me. Stories that make me smile when I think of them now, and were a joy to write, and more importantly get right in this Tribute. Alongside this is a twist that changes the whole genre of the piece. This allowed me to explore questions about the finality of death, and if we had a way to overcome it how we would use it. Finally, and most importantly, this becomes as much about the person giving the tribute, and shows the effect that people can have in the lives of others. What bigger Tribute could there be than shaping someone else's thoughts and life?

10 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
BOOKMARK

EULOGY FOR TRICIA SLATER

I spent a lot of years with a scattergun approach to life, doing a bit of this and a bit of that, but always leaning towards my creative side. I worked for BBC Radio Drama, wrote and directed plays, self published a novel, trained and then practised as an Alexander Technique teacher, and wrote marketing materials for small companies, to name a few. Then the unthinkable happened, I became a full time carer for, and then lost, my lovely husband. Life didn’t seem all that appealing for a while, and I decided I needed to find a focus, to try to rekindle my enthusiasm. So I am now half way through an MA in Writing for Performance and Publication at Leeds University. Wading through the treacle of grief, I started off trying to write very serious and worthy pieces, only to be told that they were funny. It seemed the more serious I thought I was being, the more people were finding amusing in the things my characters were saying. So I have come to the conclusion that embracing the comedy in...

11 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
EULOGY FOR TRICIA SLATER

Latest Episodes

THE NAME ON THE BENCH

The year 2016 has seen a seemingly high number of notable deaths with inevitable eulogies and tributes following. I wanted to write about someone completely anonymous to the world at large but who meant something to those who loved him. I had the idea of somebody going through problems of their own glimpsing a name on a plaque on a park bench and this triggering a journey of discovery, both literal and in his own life. The central character is a little lost and has a few issues he hasn’t faced up to but his obsession with the name on the bench forces him to address them. We also see how this affects his relationship with his partner and discover more about his background.

11 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
THE NAME ON THE BENCH

TURNING

A woman and her older sister, both in their late thirties, go back to Wales to visit their long-widowed father as he lies dying in his hospital bed. All three are estranged from each other and as the younger sister narrates the details of their final dealings, she reflects upon her father’s life, realising how little she knew him. The piece illustrates the aching failure of these remnants to bond finally at the last.

6 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
TURNING

A GREAT MAN

James Bellwether wonders how many people were called before someone picked up the phone to him to tell him that his own Dad was dying. That is what it is like being the child of a 'great’ man. Always ignored, never valued for yourself. While James is angry, he is not bitter. He just has one thing to find out. What happened to the letters he wrote to his father whilst his father was a political prisoner? Did his father keep them or not? So starts James’s journey through his father’s life via a tour of his office. The questions are: will he find what he is looking for? And regardless of the outcome, what will it mean to James? What are the next steps for the 'not-so-great’ man?

12 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
A GREAT MAN

GRANDPA

My tribute is actually based on parts of the life of my granddad Alan who sadly passed away in April 2016. The character is actually an amalgam of all of my grandparents- my English grandma was a codebreaker at Bletchley Park, my Polish/German grandma was the best storyteller that ever lived and did indeed escape Nazi Germany in a hurry. My Polish/German grandpa used to do magic tricks. My English grandpa used to bury sweets on the hills for me and my brothers to find. And all four of them loved to tell me different, exaggerated stories about their lives- apart from perversely, my English codebreaking Grandma, who had perhaps the most exciting story to tell. I loved writing the tribute as it felt cathartic but also actually a fitting and wonderful tribute, not just to my grandpa but my other grandparents too.

7 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
GRANDPA

REX

Tributes are usually given by family members so my starting point was, “What if there isn’t any surviving family? Why might that be?” This led me to the idea of a character who had murdered his family, then died in prison. He may not have had many friends outside and, even if he did, they would have drifted away after so many years inside. He really was alone in the world. So who was going to give the tribute? The person who had spent most time with him lately: Allan, one of his prison officers. Allan understood Rex in some ways, and knew him on a professional basis. He didn’t like him much, for obvious reasons. Allan needs to look professional and disinterested. A prisoner has died in unexplained circumstances and someone has to say something. He is on duty. Like a family member giving a tribute, he glosses over some of the past. He can’t be as honest as he’d like to be. Maybe he needs to hide some things too. Allan is an experienced prison officer (40s or 50s). He has the fa...

8 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
REX

MILESTONE

I originally wrote Milestone several years ago - before the Hillsborough Inquest was announced. When the Inquest verdicts were delivered I realised I could adapt the script with just a very small number of changes. I liked the idea of the character seeing the events as a catalyst for change - a theme referred to by many of the victims’ families. Also, adding a practical dilemma in the character’s situation and the practical steps he identifies to help him deal with it, enabled me to demonstrate the long-term effects of the tragedy on many, many people - some of whom are no longer with us. Amidst his confusion of knowing what to feel after the verdicts he speaks directly to his Father - killed at Hillsborough - looks for answers to his immediate dilemma and pays tribute to him for introducing him to the wonderful game of football. It felt important to me to include in that conversation the fact that football continues to be a part of his family’s life. In my view, the 96 victims w...

6 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
MILESTONE

AN IRRESISTIBLE FORCE

I met a sculptor on Twitter who told me that before unveiling her latest work she had to chop a piece off her statue because it offended a surviving relative of the subject. The ceremony would not have gone ahead if the appendage had stayed on. The artistic process is not sacred. If people can butt in, they will. Sometimes two hands are better than one. Artists often collaborate. We see it in the case of the master and apprentice. Occasionally the apprentice becomes more celebrated than the master. What happens to that pseudo-parental, curatorial relationship then? And when one dies, what sort of eulogy does the other give? What if the apprentice were the first to go?

9 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
AN IRRESISTIBLE FORCE

AN ORDERED LIFE

...is a thinly-veiled fictionalisation of my own father, who died 4 years ago. The trigger for this whole project though was the death of my mother who died in March. The moment when your second parent dies is a big one in anyone’s life, alerting you even more sharply to your own mortality, and it has made me think about the relationship my parents had with each other, about my relationship with both of them - and my relationships with my own 4 children. This is a monologue about communication, or the lack of it, and about a lack of resolution in relationships.

7 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
AN ORDERED LIFE

BOOKMARK

The catalyst of my Tribute was a bookmark. I wanted my tribute to focus on the emotions that death/bereavement brings up. Death is so unfathomable our brain pulls in many different ways to understand it. The emotion of my piece comes from a few of the comedic memories within it being personal to me. Stories that make me smile when I think of them now, and were a joy to write, and more importantly get right in this Tribute. Alongside this is a twist that changes the whole genre of the piece. This allowed me to explore questions about the finality of death, and if we had a way to overcome it how we would use it. Finally, and most importantly, this becomes as much about the person giving the tribute, and shows the effect that people can have in the lives of others. What bigger Tribute could there be than shaping someone else's thoughts and life?

10 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
BOOKMARK

EULOGY FOR TRICIA SLATER

I spent a lot of years with a scattergun approach to life, doing a bit of this and a bit of that, but always leaning towards my creative side. I worked for BBC Radio Drama, wrote and directed plays, self published a novel, trained and then practised as an Alexander Technique teacher, and wrote marketing materials for small companies, to name a few. Then the unthinkable happened, I became a full time carer for, and then lost, my lovely husband. Life didn’t seem all that appealing for a while, and I decided I needed to find a focus, to try to rekindle my enthusiasm. So I am now half way through an MA in Writing for Performance and Publication at Leeds University. Wading through the treacle of grief, I started off trying to write very serious and worthy pieces, only to be told that they were funny. It seemed the more serious I thought I was being, the more people were finding amusing in the things my characters were saying. So I have come to the conclusion that embracing the comedy in...

11 MIN2017 JAN 27
Comments
EULOGY FOR TRICIA SLATER