Airplays nominated for O2 Yorkshire Media Award

By Lydia Baldwin


The collaborative project from BBC Radio Leeds, Leeds Playhouse and Leeds College of Music, has been recognised with an esteemed Award Nomination 

Airplays was a new initiative from Leeds Playhouse, BBC Radio Leeds and Leeds College of Music that put radio drama centre stage. The productions featured music created and performed by LCoM alumni Lara Jones, Mikey Sluman and Daniel Large, and were live broadcast from LCoM in October 2018.

The plays, which explored the central theme of migration, were commissioned to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the landing of the Empire Windrush. The collaboration commissioned four Yorkshire-based writers to create new 15-minute radio dramas. Playwrights Gemma Bedeau, Chris O’Connor, Emma Barnes and Kamal Kaan were selected by a panel of judges from Leeds Playhouse, BBC Radio Leeds and the Playhouse’s Theatre of Sanctuary programme for refugees and asylum seekers.

As part of the creative, collaborative process, students and alumni from Leeds College of Music were invited to apply for the commission, devising original scores to accompany the individual plays. 


Musicians Lara Jones, Daniel Large and Mikey Sluman, who all hail from LCoM and work in pioneering and diverse creative enterprise, Northern Contemporary Collective, combined their expertise into trio formation to musically fashion this unique partnership. 

Lara Jones, saxophonist, improviser and composer,  who studied BA Music (Jazz with Classical) at LCoM, commented, "Writing and performing the music for Airplays was an incredible experience. It was a pleasure to work alongside Mikey and Dan; we learned so much and all felt that it was a dream job. The whole process was fantastic and we're really excited to know its been nominated for an O2 Media award. I'm very grateful to all involved to have made the project happen."


This innovative partnership championed local, young creatives, providing a professional platform to showcase their imagination and realise their first plays for both stage and radio. A distinctly unique opportunity for development, the collaboration offered our alumni artistic freedom to explore some challenging, contemporary issues with their musicianship. 

Mikey Sluman commented, "It was a real unique and special experience to be involved with Airplays last Autumn, to be part of such an amazing production, bringing together theatre, radio and music all under one umbrella we were able to create something so exhilarating which I know left audiences with an abundance of emotion. I was able to make new friends in the theatre, work and collaborate freely with my musician colleagues to create something so special that I will always hold close to my heart."

The plays' stage premiere took place at Leeds College of Music in October. The culmination of a lot of hard work and outstanding artistry was reflected in the widely acclaimed reception and 4 and 5 star reviews. BBC Radio Leeds also broadcast a live recording of the plays.

The O2 Media Awards for Yorkshire and Humber acknowledge the wealth of creative talent bubbling in the region and highlight exceptional individuals and groups for their distinguished media contributions. 

Airplays is nominated in the Entertainment Programme category. Winners will be revealed on July 4 at the presentation evening taking place at Leeds Football Club.

We are delighted that this amazing work is receiving the recognition it deserves and wish everyone involved the best of luck on July 4!


By Lydia Baldwin

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