Bird flu – The Influence

April 24, 2007

(Warning – contains plot spoilers!) Telling the story of a bird flu outbreak in the fictional Sussex village of Kelstone, The Influence is written by Sebastian Baczkiewicz , writer in residence at the BBC.  The play raises interesting questions about how infection might have surfaced and spread in a local community (brought in by wild ducks, and spread by an inquisitive cat to its owner and children who liked to stroke it on the way home from school, as it happens) and how the authorities would respond in order to stop the epidemic becoming a pandemic.

The Influence is 45 minutes long, and was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on February 21st 2007.  There is probably too little concrete science in it to justify use in a Biology lesson, and there are no obvious clips to use as discussion starters.  It may, however, be useful as the grist for a creative writing project with students of English.  A recording is available from the BUFVC (TRILT identifier 00612763).