x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

After Slumday, Six Suspects for Dubai writer

A Dubai-based writer who created a radio adaptation of the novel that later became the movie Slumdog Millionaire has written a new series that will be broadcast by the BBC.

Ayeesha Menon is now working on a film script.
Ayeesha Menon is now working on a film script.

A Dubai-based writer who created a radio adaptation of the novel that later became the movie Slumdog Millionaire has written a new series that will be broadcast by the BBC. Ayeesha Menon has adapted Vikas Swarup's novel Six Suspects into 10 15-minute plays for BBC Radio 4. Swarup also wrote Q&A, the novel that became Slumdog Millionaire.

"It was great fun to write, but it was more difficult [than Q&A] because it was a much larger book," said Miss Menon. Six Suspects is about six people accused of killing the playboy son of an Indian state minister. "There were lots of details about the characters. You have huge storylines and you have to minimise them to 15-minute programmes," she said. Miss Menon spent two months at her parents' home in Dubai working on the adaptation, then travelled to India to record the episodes.

Many of the cast members in the adaptation of Six Suspects also appeared in Miss Menon's radio version of Q&A. The radio series that she wrote from Q&A was broadcast before the feature film was released. Her series won the gold Drama Award at the Sony Radio Academy Awards in London last year. Miss Menon, 31, is currently in India writing the script for a film about a woman who takes her daughter-in-law to India to kill her. The script, which she expects to complete by the end of the year, is being co-written with John Dryden, a director with whom Miss Menon has collaborated on several projects.

"It's quite crazy and we're having great fun with it," she said. "It's an edgy, fast-paced thriller. It has an energy about it. We'll shoot it on a really small budget." The film will not be the first Miss Menon has made; last year she helped turn her script for The White Elephant into a movie. Miss Menon has also adapted for radio The Cairo Trilogy by the late Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz.

dbardsley@thenational.ae