Everybody WINZ! is 15-minute story from the New Shorts series on Radio New Zealand, broadcast earlier this year. It’s another dark comic story, this time by Rebecca Barnes, and like Drones, focuses on the less savoury aspects of the working world. I had no familiarity whatsoever with WINZ, though I gather it is something like the Job Centre/signing on in the UK. Anyone who has familiarity with filling out forms in an attempt to get a job, any job, will understand, to an extent, the attitude of the main character. When denied eligibility for a disability benefit, she makes some rather extreme choices in her attempt to prove herself wronged. Interestingly, this play was recorded with final year actors from the radio drama course at Toi Wakaari; you wouldn’t necessarily know they weren’t professionals. Yet I hope not every play on audio will soon be scripted and acted on an amateur basis.
I really enjoyed listening to audio plays from New Zealand. There are occasional Australian voices on BBC Radio, but I have only heard Kiwis in amateur fan productions. It’s quite interesting to visit different parts of the English-speaking audio world.