More classic Australian radio drama out now

Grace Gibson Productions in Australia have liberated another batch of classic radio serials from their archives for your listening pleasure.

In Thunder in the Straight we are transported to the most prestigious racing stable in England. Following the death of Sir Henry Farrington there was much speculation about who would inherit his great wealth and his champion racehorse Golden Quest, what follows is the story of countless gold-digging relatives who come out of the woodwork hoping to secure a slice of the pie. We meet the grasping nephew and his unpleasant wife, the snobbish niece, and even a woman who had once been in love with Sir Henry’s dead son. You can imagine the shockwaves when it’s revealed that a common Australian barmaid, a person who was unknown to them all, has been left the lot!

There’s more vintage drama to be enjoyed with The Tilsit Inheritance which was adapted from Catherine Gaskin’s novel by Ross Napier. The action transports us to an exotic Caribbean island where young Ginny Tilsit (Wendy Playfair) has enjoyed a carefree existence. When Ginny moves to sophisticated England to claim an inheritance she will come up against the wrath of her domineering aunt, and begins to feel the first stirrings of love. Others in the cast include Richard Meikle, Hilda Scurr, Moray Powell and Lyndall Barbour.

Thunder in the Straight, a saga about gold-digging relatives, has been liberated from the archives

Meanwhile, Betty Lucas, who played Mavis Roberts in the television serial Richmond Hill, can be heard in Close To My Heart, a 208 episode serial which tells the tragic story of the beautiful Margaret Edgemore. This is a lady who has built a new life for herself in Australia after tragedy befell her husband and children in France. Unfortunately for Margaret all of the troubles and fears of her previous life will return to haunt her with a vengeance.

Also freshly available from the archives is the vintage private detective series Mystery Is My Hobby. This serial follows criminologist and man about town Barton Drake (Bruce Stewart) as he investigates a never ending stream of intriguing cases.  Adapted from the original American scripts to suit Australian tastes, Drake seems to be able to solve the crimes that nobody else can get a handle on, and features specially composed music by Hammond organist Desmond Tanner. Other cast members include Lloyd Berrell, June Salter and Ruth Cracknell.

Private detective Dick Mallory (played by Frank Waters) continues his relentless war on underworld criminals in volume 4 of Hunt The Man Down, and in volume 3 of Crime Fighters we meet another selection of people who work within the law including members of the homicide squad, a judge from the children’s court, a medical examiner, and a railroad detective.

Betty Lucas appeared on television in Taurus Rising and Richmond Hill, and can be heard in the radio classic Close To My Heart. She’s pictured with her husband Ralph Peterson

In the light-hearted short series Superstitions, we learn of the superstitions held by all manner of people from narrator Bruce Ferrier and delve into fascinating subjects such as why we touch wood for good luck; learn why its unwise to get out of the bed on the wrong side, and also find out why evil is associated with the left hand.

If you fancy some zany comedy you’ll love The Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy which follows the daring exploits of dentistry student Newton J. Snookers. When he was a boy and lost his teeth, Newton would place the offending articles under his pillow at night, and his father would replace them with a coin whilst he was sleeping. His mission now is to ensure that everyone benefits from the same treatment, he sneaks out in the dead of night with his magic wand and tooth sack distributing coinage to those whose teeth have fallen out. Three volumes of this hilarious serial are now available and will certainly help to lift your spirits.

There are more laughs to be had with HNFY (Happy New Financial Year), a short serial written and voiced by Jim Pike, which takes a satirical look at the strife which can arise when it’s time to face the music with the tax inspector! And fans of the long running political satire How Green is My Cactus will be pleased to know that the episodes transmitted between January and June this year are now available to purchase, the team take a light hearted look at everything from the World Cup to bogans cooking, arms exports, and the royal baby.

All of these radio classics can be purchased on CD or as digital downloads by listeners worldwide exclusively from the Grace Gibson Productions website.

A dentistry student spreads joy with his tooth sack in The Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy

All photographs copyright IRS Grace Gibson Productions.
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