James Whitman

Author, playwright and creative writing tutor, based in Sunderland.

Mackem Craic

Mackem Craic is an audio comedy drama, staged to sound like a local radio phone-in, but with a supernatural twist — the former host is trolling the show from beyond the grave. The project won Community Development Project of the Year at the Community Radio Awards 2017.

Joining me for this project were the ferociously talented Jay Sykes (producer) and Corinne Kilvington (director), as well as a terrific trio of local actors — Dale Jewitt (Craig), Sarah Boulter (Lauren) and Steven Stobbs (George).

Having fun at Spark with Jay Sykes and students from Southmoor Academy.

Having fun at Spark with Jay Sykes and students from Southmoor Academy.

Additionally, we worked with 160 workshop participants from local schools and community groups. I ran writing workshops across Sunderland and South Tyneside, helping young (and not-so-young) writers create content for the show. We then ran six studio workshops at Spark Sunderland. During these sessions, Corinne taught a taster class on vocal technique and Jay showed us his meticulous editing process. Best of all, we recorded some of the scenes from our writing workshops, many of which went straight into the pilot episode.

You can listen to the pilot episode on SoundCloud, and you can follow the project on Twitter as we pursue funding for a full season.

The Mackem Craic pilot was supported by Spark Sunderland, The Cultural Spring, and the #Fourteen fund.

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