More delights for fans of Australian radio serials

Fans of classic Australian radio serials will be thrilled to learn that Grace Gibson Productions have re-issued another batch of vintage shows.

We head back to 1960 with the mystery adventure The Sword of Sorrow. Johnny Sorrow is a feature writer for the Evening Standard and when he decides to cover a story about the search for the lost sword of the Mongolian warrior-ruler Genghis Khan he will become personally involved with the mystery. Johnny has many questions but comes up with few answers, and every time he uncovers a lead, he buys himself a packet of trouble. As the hunt intensifies Johnny finds himself in Berlin, the Caribbean and even in the heart of London’s seedy underworld.

We have selected episodes from a range of vintage radio serials with volume 5 of Grace Gibson Radio Classics – Crime & Mystery. There’s the chance to hear an episode of Out of the Night from 1946 narrated by Lloyd Berrell. The programme featured the whispering voice of the night wind telling strange but totally true tales, and in this edition, we hear of a young boy who was in serious legal trouble with the British Empire but who would die a hero during the Great War.

Left: Will the sword of Genghis Khan be found in The Sword of Sorrow? Centre: More radio classics await in Crime & Mystery Volume 5. Right: A woman’s life proves to be an illusion in Tomorrow is Mine.

For the Defence was based on actual court cases from around the world and in the chosen instalment, starring Charles Tingwell, a doctor stands trial accused of murder. There is more real-life courtroom drama in Verdict in which a man fights for the reputation of his son who has been branded a thief, and in Strange Wills the distinguished probate lawyer John Francis O’Connell takes us into the complexities of the will of actor David Garrick who wanted to help a young gypsy girl. The Carter Brown Mystery Theatre was adapted from the best-selling novels of the slick storytelling sensation Carter Brown, the author introduced each episode himself and in this story we meet detective Jonathan Storm (Richard Meikle) who is on the hunt for a beautiful young woman who has gone missing.

Left: Eleanor Witcombe’s classic radio serial Tomorrow is Mine can be heard once again. Right: Winifred Green stars in Tomorrow is Mine, she appeared in long-running radio serials such as Aunt Mary, Blue Hills, Life Can Be Beautiful, The Story of Mary Lane, The Lawsons, Crossroads of Life, Mary Livingstone MD, and Judge Marshall’s Family.

Moving emotional drama is the order of the day with Tomorrow is Mine, an original serial for radio written by Eleanor Witcombe who also wrote television classics such as Ben Hall, Number 96, Seven Little Australians, Lane End, The Norman Lindsay Festival: Redheap, Water Under The Bridge, The Harp in the South, and movies including The Getting of Wisdom and My Brilliant Career.

Tomorrow is Mine introduces us to fiery Anne Tregowan (Ruth Cracknell), a woman who despises her life in Cornwall and who wants to travel around Europe like a gay young thing. During a quarrel with her weak husband, Anne throws a lamp in a fit of rage and ends up burning her home down. She’s pleased to be rid of the place and makes plans to leave her beastly life behind but when her husband dies from injuries sustained in the blaze her daughter Gina (Amber Mae Cecil) blames her for his death. We discover that Anne’s past is mostly an illusion, she finds it easier to cherish old loves, old hatreds and memories, but unless she faces the truth about her past these things will end up destroying her future. Others in the cast include Anne Haddy who went on to play Helen Daniels in Neighbours, Winifred Green, John Unicomb, Marion Johns and Leonard Bullen.

The action continues for private investigator Dick Mallory (Frank Waters) in volume 7 of Hunt The Man Down as he continues his relentless war against the shady wrongdoers who lurk in the shadows of life, and the comedy keeps coming with the latest release of the political satire How Green Was My Cactus. In these episodes which were broadcast during January, we hear of bogan electricity, tennis brats, Mal in space, and Scomo goes head to head with the Greens.

All of these radio serials and a plethora of others are available to listeners worldwide on CD or as digital downloads from Grace Gibson Productions.

Right: The war against criminals and wideboys continues in Hunt The Man Down Volume 7. Left: Bogan electricity comes to the fore in How Green Was My Cactus.

Selected images copyright IRS Grace Gibson Productions.

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