Two of Fraser's plays have been featured on the radio: Bubble and Breakfast with Mugabe.
Bubble is described in Radio Choice under the Afternoon Play section of Radio Times, 14 October, 1994: 'This play by Fraser Grace is so beautifully written with emotional poetry by Andrea Porter, but its storyline, following the real-life experience of Porter, who was involved in a head-on car crash, is so distressing that it is hard to recommend the play wholeheartedly.
Helen Longworth plays HER and Jason Hughes plays HIM in a drama which unfolds with what the narrator calls 'well-oiled synchronicity' as tiny events conspire to bring two cars together in an unbearably tragic accident'. (Written by Stephanie Billen, page 95).
Bubble is also mentioned on page 125, in the Sound Bites section of the same edition of Radio Times, in 'Poetry of Loss'. The play features 'a remarkable integration of poetry within a drama by two writers new to radio. Bubble dramatises events surrounding the tragic death of poet Andrea Porter's fiancÚ in a car crash and the loss of her unborn twins in 1976. It draws heavily on poems Porter wrote exploring her loss.'
Fraser's View When Andrea Porter first sent me the suite of poems recording the tragic events in Bubble, I knew that I had to do everything I could do to get it commissioned and broadcast on radio. In addition, I didn't want my dramatising to distract from what is a simple, heartbreaking tale. The poems told the story in such an unsparing way, totally devoid of self-pity, I wanted the drama to use the poems to do the same.
My first stab at a radio play; the recording time was a blur of wonder at the speed and commitment at which everyone-actors, technicians, director-worked.
Several people have since contacted either Andrea or myself, to tell us how they were forced to pull over at the roadside or sit down in the kitchen as the piece wove its spell - great testimony to Anastasia Tolstoy's production, the skill of the actors, the power of Andrea's poetry and the sheer force of her story. And I, thankfully, didn't cock it up.
The second play to be broadcast was Breakfast with Mugabe. Recording the RSC production for radio, fell neatly between the end of the play's run at Soho Theatre, and the West End opening at the Duchess Theatre.
Under Producer Marilyn Imrie's very helpful, expert eye and ear, it was great fun to work on. Adjusting to the much more intimate tones of a radio drama was also a real challenge. Happily, we also discovered lots of useful stuff which could be incorporated into the stage play.
This oft-repeated radio play still packs quite a punch, and we were all delighted when the production won a gong at the Sony's - but disappointed to find it still so topical!
Awards Silver Sony Radio Drama Award, Catherine Bailey Ltd.
Citation: "Breakfast with Mugabe used the relationship between Robert Mugabe and a white psychiatrist to explore the motivations and fears of the President of Zimbabwe. This was a complex and layered drama, made accessible by the clarity of the narrative and the sustained authenticity of the central performances. Rhythm and pacing, and the music of southern Africa, resulted in a strong sense of place in this memorable production."
In January 2009, three of Fraser's short stories from Wrestling Angels (his collection of short fiction) were featured in Radio 4's Afternoon Reading slot, again directed by Marilyn Imrie:
Tue Jan 20 Once I was Dead. Read by James Fleet.
Wed Jan 21 The Assassin's Mother-in-Law. Read by Noma Dumezweni.
Thu Jan 22 The Jewellers Wife. Read by Deborah Findlay.
The readings were produced by Karen Rose at Sweet Talk Productions.