More classics from the golden days of Australian radio drama have just been released by Grace Gibson Productions to keep you entertained over the festive season.

Left: The best bits of How Green Was My Cactus 2018 are out now, Middle: The suspense continues in volume 2 of Shadow of Fate, Right: A selfish woman with evil in her eyes will wreck many lives in All Our Tomorrows.

There are plenty of laughs to be had with volume 15 of the rollicking schoolroom farce Yes, What? In this instalment Percy is having problems in the romance stakes, naughty Bottomly is given a lash of the cane, and Greenbottle finds himself being slandered.  There is a wealth of political satire to be enjoyed in How Green Was My Cactus – The Best of 2018 which features the top 100 tracks of the year, but if you prefer a good suspense drama then volume 2 of Shadow of Fate will hit the mark – another batch of ordinary people find themselves caught up in extraordinary situations and will be destined to perform remarkable deeds.

All Our Tomorrows, taken from the novel by Mary Howard, is a short romantic serial set in the artificial world of the theatre where love is just a game of make-believe. We meet Duncan Meredith (Roger Climpson), one of the top actors in London but an actor who has been typecast as a romantic lead. When he lands a role in a play which could make his career he will encounter a strange and beautiful woman with evil in her eyes. This woman is Leonie Martine (Georgie Sterling), and Duncan’s sister Kirsty (Minnie Love), who despises actors, fears that she will bring him nothing but trouble and tragedy. Leonie will stop at nothing to win Duncan for herself and in the process will try to wreck his happy marriage and will send her own husband to the brink of insanity. Others in the cast include Edward Hepple, Neva Carr Glyn, Gina Curtis, and Kevin Brennan who went on to star in the British television serials Crossroads and Emmerdale Farm.

In Romantic Stories, adapted from the original American scripts to suit Australian tastes, we are introduced to Amanda Gray (played by Dinah Shearing from The Sullivans) who writes a personal column for a major newspaper. Amanda hears all kinds of scurrilous romantic secrets and keeps these faithfully recorded in an explosive personal memory book, in this serial from 1962 she recounts some of those stories in individually dramatised episodes.

Left: Kevin Brennan and Minnie Love star in All Our Tomorrows. Kevin also appeared in Famous Trials, Crossroads and Emmerdale Farm, Right: Brenda Senders appears in Famous Trials and starred in popular television serials such as Motel, Number 96, The Young Doctors, Sons and Daughters, and Home and Away.

Fans of classic courtroom drama will love Famous Trials. Each self-contained episode was written by Peter Yeldham who also penned episodes of television hits such as Emergency – Ward 10, Probation Officer, Boney, Harriet’s Back in Town, Rooms, 1915, GP, and Naked Under Capricorn. The source material for Famous Trails was garnered from secret service dossiers, police files and the archives of courtrooms around the world. We meet forgers, swindlers and murderers who thought that they could beat the law; there are lashings of espionage, bribery, and even some cases from the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. Traitors who spied for Nazi Germany are sentenced to penal servitude, other wrongdoers are sent down for life imprisonment, some end up in institutions for the criminally insane, and in a number of cases the judge dons his black cap in order to hand down the death penalty.

Performers featured in Famous Trials include Dinah Shearing, Lloyd Berrell, Harp McGuire, Owen Weingott, Barry Cookson, Bruce Stewart, Robert Cubbage, Wynne Nelson, John Saul, Moray Powell, James Mills, Gordon Glenwright (from Class of 74), Wendy Playfair (from Return To Eden), Guy Doleman, Charles Tingwell (from Homicide), Max Osbiston, Brenda Senders, Leonard Bullen (from the television serial Autumn Affair), Rod Taylor, Nigel Lovell, Kevin Brennan, Gordon Chater, Richard Meikle from The Young Doctors plays Billy The Kid, Alexander Archdale, and Howard Craven. Ray Barrett from Emergency – Ward 10 and Harpers West One appears in a couple of episodes and in one of these stars as Captain Kidd.

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

Left: Schoolroom capers are on offer in volume 15 of Yes, What?, Middle: Wrongdoers are brought to justice in Famous Trials, Right: Secrets are exposed in Romantic Stories, a serial from 1962.

Selected images copyright IRS Grace Gibson Productions.


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