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More classic Aussie radio drama out now


More classic Aussie radio drama out now

Grace Gibson Productions have released another batch of classic Australian radio serials on CD, USB and as digital downloads.

The latest release of the political satire How Green Was My Cactus deals with subjects including poker machines, spin doctors, the bogan budget and Bill’s bank loan.

Volume four of Grace Gibson Radio Classics – Drama & Serials brings backs to life another nine specially selected episodes of long forgotten gems from the archives. Father time returns with another edition of the suspense drama The Clock, and the selected episode of Exciting Lives delves into the story of the Brooklyn Bridge. In Famous Letters from 1950 we are treated to a letter from Van Gough and learn that behind every letter there is a story of drama, romance, intrigue and strange twists of fate.

There’s an episode of the fascinating documentary series Famous Firsts from 1947 which explores the work of the scientific detective, and we hear of the great lengths that men will go to for romance in For Love of a Woman. There’s medical drama in City Hospital and Drama of Medicine, and if you fancy a story of courage, treachery and bravery on the high seas then you’ll enjoy Strange Stories of the Sea. Last but not least we have an episode of Out of the Night from 1946 which introduces us to The Lone Defender of Bresk.

Author’s Playhouse presented a potpourri of self-contained dramas covering a broad range of genres, and each edition featured a member of the cast interviewing the author of the play. This first volume of the series boasts fifteen classic episodes including the suspense drama Nightmare in Belgrave Square written by Allan Trevor in which Charles Newman (Moray Powell) suffers a recurring nightmare in which he’s murdered by a mysterious masked assassin. Is Charles foreseeing his own future and will he end up becoming a murderer himself?

This release also features the play Trumpet Voluntary starring Richard Meikle, and written by Don Houghton who created the Scottish soap opera Take The High Road and who also worked as a writer on Crossroads and Doctor Who. In the play a showbusiness agent attempts to revive the fortunes of a former big time trumpet player whose glory days are well and truly behind him but will a busted lip finish his career for good.

In Ross Napier’s play Torero an American writer heads to Madrid, he disapproves of the local sport of bullfighting feeling that the bull is no match for a matador with a red cape and a sword. After making his feelings known to the locals, he’s challenged to get in to the ring himself. Will the challenge end in tragedy for the American visitor, for the bull, or for them both? Ross Napier also wrote popular radio and television hits such as The Castlereagh Line, Portia Faces Life, Skippy, Number 96 and The Restless Years.

In Star in the Twilight writer Richard Lane lifts the curtain on the private life of a once great actress. Philip Brown is a young theatre director and he’s determined to cast veteran performer Fran Wellings (Sheila Sewell) in his latest play. Fran had been forced into retirement after losing her voice and her nerve following a nervous breakdown, and the general consensus is that she’s all washed-up. Philip however is determined to revive Fran’s career because he knows that the role he has in mind would be perfect for her.

Will Fran be able to prove her critics wrong and will she have the confidence to return to the limelight where she belongs. Richard Lane had a long and extensive career as a writer, his other radio and television credits included Doctor Paul, The Heart of Nancy Blair, Life Can Be Beautiful, Autumn Affair, Motel, The Story of Peter Grey, and The Young Doctors.

Man Running by Ronald Ingleby follows the middle-aged Adam Harrity (Deryck Barnes) who is living in fear of being replaced in his job by a younger man, and Second Wife by Ru Pullan transports us to the wilds of Scotland. In this saga we meet Gaye Campbell, the second wife of a wealthy crofter, who has romantic designs on her husband’s labourer Alan Shaw (Bob McDarra). Alan meanwhile has his eye on the Campbell clan’s wealth.

When old Gordon Campbell and his son perish in an ice cold pond whilst intoxicated there’s some doubt as to whether this was an accident or whether foul play was involved. Bella McKenzie is a bitter woman who carried a torch for Gordon for many years, and she’s determined to make sure that Gaye gets her just deserts.

Other writers featured on Author’s Playhouse Volume One include Patrick Rivers, Coral Lansbury, E. Mason Wood, Maurice Francis who wrote the long running serial Dad and Dave, and Eleanor Whitcombe. The impressive cast list includes June Salter and Ric Hutton from The Restless Years, Reginald Goldsworthy, Bruce Beeby from Crossroads, John Alden, Don Pascoe, Alistair Duncan, Gordon Glenwright from Carson’s Law, and James Condon from The Young Doctors.

All of these radio serials can be purchased by listeners worldwide from the Grace Gibson website.

Pictured top: Top left: Vintage drama returns with Grace Gibson Radio Classics. Bottom left: The laughs keep coming in How Green Was My Cactus. Right: Fifteen superb plays are presented in Author’s Playhouse. Right inset: Crossroads star Bruce Beeby appears in Author’s Playhouse.

Photographs copyright IRS Grace Gibson Productions.

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