City student sees her work air on Radio 4

Claire Sullivan, 22, a third year BA Scriptwriting and Performance student, at UEA recording her monologue. 

Claire Sullivan, 22, a third year BA Scriptwriting and Performance student, at UEA recording her monologue. - Credit: Claire Sullivan

A University of East Anglia student will see her work broadcast across the country on BBC radio. 

Claire Sullivan, 22, is in her third year of a BA Scriptwriting and Performance degree and has recently written and recorded a piece for BBC Radio 4. 

As part of the channel's United Kingdom series, the station will be airing Claire's work, 'Bridges'.

She said: “Bridges is a monologue that explores the issue of perfectionism and examines the use of bridges as a metaphor for mental health.” 

The monologue is based on Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge on the north coast of Northern Ireland, her home country.


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She described the bridge as a “precarious and extremely wobbly little rope bridge, suspended a dizzying 30 metres above the crashing waves and connects the rugged coastline to the tiny, emerald green Carrick-A-Rede Island. 

“This contrast of almost perfect beauty and abject terror as you cross the bridge struck me as an apt setting for a piece about perfectionism and the mental health issues it causes.” 

Claire Sullivan, 22, a third year BA Scriptwriting and Performance student, at UEA.

Claire Sullivan, 22, a third year BA Scriptwriting and Performance student, at UEA in Norwich has written and recorded a monologue for BBC radio 4. - Credit: Claire Sullivan

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The piece is based on Claire’s own experiences of being a high-flying pupil and struggling to deal with the intense anxiety caused by constantly striving for perfect marks.  

She said: “As I attempted to stop surviving and start living, I became frustrated by the constant use of bridges as a metaphor for mental health. 

“This analogy suggests that the end goal of crossing the bridge to recovery signifies that you are completely cured of your mental illness.” 

She said that for herself and many others struggling with their mental health, this was simply not the case.  

Claire continued that being commissioned to write and perform for United Kingdoms - a series that champions regional voices - was incredibly exciting. 

She added: “Recording the piece was a fantastic experience, not least because it was in person in a studio rather than a remote recording. 

“I’d like to thank the producer Celia de Wolff, sound designer Lucinda Mason Brown and everyone at Radio 4 for making this possible."

Bridges in United Kingdoms: Survival will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 2.15pm on Monday, September 20 and can be listened to after broadcast, along with the rest of the series, on BBC Sounds.   

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