Film & Radio
Andy is best known for his prose-fiction, but regularly turns his hand to screen-plays and radio drama. He’s currently hard at work on the latest Radio 4 commission – a psychological thriller set in a haunted house.
'It's with Goldhawk again,' says Andy. 'I've been working with John Dryden for a number of years, ever since 'A Kidnapping' in 2015. That started life as an Afternoon Drama series, before we turned it into a movie script. Steve Coogan's production company, Baby Cow, bought it with a view to Steve playing the main character: a disillusioned teacher who decides kidnapping one of his pupils is the way to solve his financial problems.'
In 2016 'School Drama' was broadcast, starring Tom Hollander as an out of work actor who's hired by a failing academy to direct the school play. The trilogy was aired in the Afternoon Drama slot again – three episodes of 45m – as Tom's character ran into more and more problems with his cast, and the school's management team.
'It was about the constant tension you get in schools,' says Andy. 'On the one hand, a school wants to be ambitious, original, and daring – it wants its children to experience the passion of artistic creation. What happens when the fuse is lit, though, and things start going out of control? Most schools that I've worked in get very nervous, very quickly.' The series was shortlisted for the Best Radio Series Award, and was popular and controversial enough to feature on both 'Pick of the Week' and 'Feedback'.
And what about screen-plays?
'I'm developing a film-treatment of my children's novel, 'Liquidator.' That's going to be an action-adventure movie, which is very different from the project before that – a script for Chiwetel Ejiofor's 'The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.' I was working with the BFI and Rooks Nest on Sally Gardener's novel 'Maggot Moon.' It’s still in development, and producing a screenplay for that was very challenging. I don't think the difficulties have been solved yet: Sally's novel is truly dystopian, and I think there's some anxiety as to whether 'the creatives' were fulfilling her vision. I've just been engaged to write a film about a kidnapped cat, too...a remarkable project, to be directed by the Oscar winning natural history film-maker Luc Jaquet. – so there's a lot happening...'