Copy that! Dagenham woman calls on CB radio users to help with play

kelly jones

Playwright Kelly Jones is calling for radio enthusiasts to help with her next work. - Credit: Kelly Jones

Do you know the difference between a mama, papa and baby bear?

If so, then a Dagenham playwright and director would like to hear from you for their latest collaboration.

Dramatist Kelly Jones and Barking based director Grace Duggan want to hear from Citizen’s Band (CB) radio users for a play inspired by a true story of love over the airwaves.

chris and martin jones

Kelly's parents, Martin and Chris, met over the airwaves in the 1980s. - Credit: Kelly Jones

Kelly's parents, Chris and Martin, met through the illegal CB radio platform in Dagenham during the 1980s. 

Entitled 1.4 For A Copy, the play explores loneliness within the digital community.


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With many of us at home under lockdown, the play’s central idea of forming online communities in isolation is considered by the pair as relevant today as it was for CB radio users.

Kelly's aim is to connect audiences via a shared listening experience, while showcasing an unexplored part of working-class history. 

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“There is something so beautiful about the static of CB. You can spend hours just waiting for a voice to appear, it’s quite mesmerising," Kelly said.

Martin and Chris Jones

Martin and Chris Jones. - Credit: Bethan Evans Photography

“CB radio is still very much alive and has an active community. I’m fascinated by how this way of communicating has evolved since the time my parents met and would love to hear about the memories and passion it evokes in its users, both past and present," she added.

The play has received support from Arts Council England and Camden People's Theatre Seed Commissions which is an initiative for artists from marginalised backgrounds.

1.4 For A Copy is expected to involve an all-working-class creative team, many of whom were born and raised in Barking and Dagenham.  

Describing herself as a working-class playwright and theatre-maker, Kelly's work draws on her experiences.

Credits include Room to Escape with National Theatre Wales and BBC Arts as well as Tammy which was staged at Queen's Theatre Hornchurch.

Kelly won the BBC Wales Drama Award in 2014 and has been a member of Bush Theatre’s emerging writers' group.   

Anyone interested in sharing their experiences should email cbradioproject@gmail.com

Mama, papa and baby bears are CB slang for female, male and rookie police officers.

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