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form y separately published work icon Radio Drama Week [1937] series - publisher   radio play  
Alternative title: Australian Radio Drama Week
Issue Details: First known date: 1937... 1937 Radio Drama Week [1937]
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Australian listeners will be forcibly reminded of the fact that Australian writers can write radio plays. The Australian Broadcasting Commission [ABC] is staging and Radio Drama' Week, on every night of which, a play written by an Australian' author will be produced at one of the studios and relayed to the other States. Each of the Eastern States will take its turn to provide the performance' ('Radio-Drama Week,' p.3).

The plays, place of performance (Eastern States) and broadcast order were:

1. Eureka Stockade (Barclay) Sydney, 2FC; 19 April.

2. Sending Granny Off (Simpson) Hobart, 7ZL; 20 April

3. Hester Siding (Turner) Sydney, 2FC; 21 April

4. The Black Horse (Palmer) Sydney, 2FC; 22 April

5. The Mingled Yarn (Barclay) Brisbane, 4QG; 23 April

6. The Footsteps After (Porter) Melbourne, 3LO; 24 April

7. The 25th of April (Hill) Melbourne, 3LO; 25 April


'In selecting the plays,' writes L. C. Rees, the ABC's Federal Play Editor, 'It was preferable that they should be essentially Australian. By that, I do not mean a self-conscious insistence on backgrounds in which koalas, boomerangs, billabongs, sheoaks, drovers, cricketers, gins, waratahs, surf beaches, scrubber cows, and big timber are prominent. Such atmospherics do not make a play Australian. What we rather looked for was a work which seemed to be written sincerely, eloquently, and basically out of a personal experience of Australian conditions, a play which might in its material be similar to any number of oversea plays (since the material of life is much the same everywhere), but which in Its method, temper, and outlook stood on its own legs, was free from derivation, either conscious or unconscious. A hard thing about which to lay down the law, but you know it when you see it' ('Australian Radio Drama Week,' p.6).

In its 'Radio Drama Week' article, Brisbane's Telegraph noted that the ABC was not suggesting that 'all of these plays [were] masterpieces but, with the exception of Vance Palmer's adaptation, all of the stories to be presented show the growing power of Australian writers in original work' (p.3). The Sunday Mail also suggested:

While it is little use pretending that there are as many listeners to radio plays as there are to the musical forms of broadcast entertainment, Radio Drama Week should do much to swell the growing body of listeners to whom the broadcasting of plays and dramatic sketches stand out among other programme items as important and notable ('News About Radio,' p. 28).

Notes

  • The only state not to take part in the series was Western Australia, due to the time factor. The state's listeners heard independent productions of the chosen plays instead. These were broadcast from the ABC's Perth studio 6WF in the same order as the Eastern states productions ('Radio-Drama Week', p.3).
  • The first drama broadcast, Eureka Stockade, was Episode 16 in Edmund Barclay's Australian saga series As Ye Sow.

    Fitzmaurice Hill's Anzac drama from 1935, Twenty-Fifth of April, was publicised and previewed under the alternative title 25th of April.

  • Brisbane's Telegraph and Sunday Mail newspapers both indicate that many hundreds of manuscripts had been submitted and perused by the Commission's officers before the final draft for the week's plays was made.

Includes

form Hester Siding Alexander Turner , 1937 single work radio play
— Appears in: Hester Siding and Other Plays and Verse 1937; (p. 67-78) Best Australian One-Act Plays 1937; (p. 275-292)

Alexander Turner provides a glimpse into the lives of a married English couple who go on the land after arriving in the country.

form y separately published work icon The Black Horse Vance Palmer , 1933 9550568 1933 single work radio play

Set in the homestead kitchen of Bain's station.

Seveteen year-old Walter Bain is in the final week of term holidays. Much of his life to this stage has been spent at a boarding school, a decision made by his over-protective mother, Rhoda, and very much against the wishes of his father, Harry, a hard man who has battled the land and everything it has thrown at him from early childhood. Having risen long after the station's day begun Walter admits to his mother and housekeeper that he finds it hard to re-adapt to life at home, preferring to spend his time on the verandah reading. However, despite his mother's attempts to drive him towards any profession away from the land, Walter would prefer not to go back to school - a place where 'most of the fellows... are such kids compared to' him.

When Harry Bain enters the kitchen he attempts to re-ignite the spark that his son had as a child by challenging him to break in the new black colt. Although only recently acquired the horse has come to be regarded by the station men as bad news, and a danger to all concerned. Harry is more concerned with his son showing his metal than with any danger the colt may cause. After Walter exits the kitchen Harry and Rhoda argue, leading Rhoda to describe him as tough and brutal, and proposing that any man who's callous about himself isn't likely to have much sympathy for anyone else. In the midst of their argument news comes that Walter has been hurt. When he is carried in to the kitchen he appears to be okay. On being told what happened Harry is hit with guilt and exits with his rifle. Meanwhile Rhoda explains to Walter why she has always tried to push him away from the station life. Walter also admits that the accident was his fault - he's got out of the habit of handling young horses - and asks that the colt not be punished. A gunshot is heard, however, just as Walter begins to fade. Harry returns to the kitchen and is forced to confront the tragic result of his unbending nature.

form y separately published work icon The Eureka Stockade Edmund Barclay , Sydney : Australian Broadcasting Commission , 1937 9747497 1937 single work radio play historical fiction

'A self-contained historical chronicle of a great national event' ('Radio-Drama Week,' p.3), Barclay approaches the rebellion from the perspective of Gilbert Teal, and looks at the consequences and the effect it had on both him and his family ('Radio Drama Week : Bright Sessions," p.8.)

form y separately published work icon The Mingled Yarn The Mingled Yarn: A Play Upon the Life of Shakespeare Edmund Barclay , Brisbane : Australian Broadcasting Commission , 1937 9745584 1937 single work radio play

Edmund Barclay's 'speculation on the character and life of Shakespeare, and whether he was a self-conscious poet or a much harassed and overworked playwright trying both to beat the clock and please the box office' ('Radio-Drama Week', p.3).

Brisbane's Telegraph newspaper introduces its review of the play by suggesting:

'Edmund Barclay's contribution to drama week, is also a work requiring bigness of outlook. It rests securely on the beautiful and richness of the imagery in its lines, rather than on plot, or on subtlety of characterisation. It is episodic in character, treating of the days of the Mermaid Tavern, and Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe and Ben Jonson, and many others of that Elizabethan ilk...' ('4QG Has a Busy Night,' p.28).

form y separately published work icon The Footsteps After Charles Porter , Melbourne : Australian Broadcasting Commission , 1937 9747826 1937 single work radio play

'A new play by Charles Porter, The Footsteps After, [gives the listener] an Idea of the experimental activity of latter-day A.B.C. dramatists. The Footsteps After, like the recently-produced Play Without a Name, has an emotional suppression and understanding of human motives, which are in remarkable harmony with the fluid quality of Mr. Porter's radio technique ('Australian Radio Drama Week : Broadcasting Commission Launches Play Series,' p. 6).

form y separately published work icon Twenty-Fifth of April 25th of April Fitzmaurice Hill , Melbourne : Australian Broadcasting Commission , 1935 9747981 1935 single work radio play

A story of 1914-1918, the narrative is 'told by a grey haired widow' who 'relates to her son the experiences of his father from his enlisting to his death on the field of battle' ('Broadcast Features,' p.9).

form y separately published work icon Send-off for Grannie Sending Granny Off : A Radio Play Morris Hay Simpson , 1937 Z858669 1937 single work radio play

Described in the Maitland Daily Mercury as 'a whimsical comedy of farm life' ('Radio Drama Week,' p.8), Simpson 'introduces a fine character in Grannie, a vigorous old matriarch, ruling a large and sprawling country family with an unbending authority' ('Australian Radio Drama Week,' p.6).

Hobart : Australian Broadcasting Commission , 1937

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

4QG Has a Busy Night - Three Outstanding Units A Pianist, a Play, and a Cantata 1937 single work review
— Appears in: The Telegraph , 24 April 1937; (p. 28)

— Review of The Mingled Yarn Edmund Barclay , 1937 single work radio play

'Edmund Barclay's contribution to drama week, is also a work requiring bigness of outlook. It rests securely on the beautiful and richness of the imagery in its lines, rather than on plot, or on subtlety of characterisation. It is episodic in character, treating of the days of the Mermaid Tavern, and Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe and Ben Jonson, and many others of that Elizabethan ilk...' ('4QG Has a Busy Night,' p.28).

Australian Radio Drama Week : Broadcasting Commission Launches Play Series 1937 single work review
— Appears in: The Mercury , 19 April 1937; (p. 6)

— Review of Radio Drama Week [1937] 1937 series - publisher radio play

A preview of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's forthcoming week of Australian radio drama.

Radio Drama Week : Bright Sessions 1937 single work review
— Appears in: The Maitland Daily Mercury , 17 April 1937;

— Review of Radio Drama Week [1937] 1937 series - publisher radio play

A preview of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's forthcoming week of Australian radio drama.

Australian Radio Drama Week 1937 single work review
— Appears in: Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate , 15 April 1937; (p. 10)

— Review of Radio Drama Week [1937] 1937 series - publisher radio play

Preview of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's forthcoming Radio Drama Week.

Radio Drama Week 1937 single work
— Appears in: The Mercury , 15 April 1937; (p. 6)

— Review of Radio Drama Week [1937] 1937 series - publisher radio play

'Comparatively little encouragement has been offered in Australia to spur writers of plays to keener efforts. True, an odd competition has been arranged, but of any organised attempt to create a permanent and efficient incentive there has been marked lack. A new development is, however, promised on Monday next, when the Australian Broadcasting Commission will inaugurate a Radio Drama Week...'

Radio-Drama Week : Series of Fine Plays 1937 single work
— Appears in: The Telegraph [Brisbane] , 16 April 1937; (p. 3)

— Review of Radio Drama Week [1937] 1937 series - publisher radio play
News About Radio : The Play's the Thing on the Air This Week L. Fitzhenry , 1937 single work review
— Appears in: Sunday Mail , 18 April 1937; (p. 28)

— Review of Radio Drama Week [1937] 1937 series - publisher radio play

A preview of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's forthcoming Radio Drama Week (19-25 April 1937).

Radio Drama Week 1937 single work
— Appears in: The Mercury , 15 April 1937; (p. 6)

— Review of Radio Drama Week [1937] 1937 series - publisher radio play

'Comparatively little encouragement has been offered in Australia to spur writers of plays to keener efforts. True, an odd competition has been arranged, but of any organised attempt to create a permanent and efficient incentive there has been marked lack. A new development is, however, promised on Monday next, when the Australian Broadcasting Commission will inaugurate a Radio Drama Week...'

Australian Radio Drama Week 1937 single work review
— Appears in: Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate , 15 April 1937; (p. 10)

— Review of Radio Drama Week [1937] 1937 series - publisher radio play

Preview of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's forthcoming Radio Drama Week.

Radio Drama Week : Bright Sessions 1937 single work review
— Appears in: The Maitland Daily Mercury , 17 April 1937;

— Review of Radio Drama Week [1937] 1937 series - publisher radio play

A preview of the Australian Broadcasting Commission's forthcoming week of Australian radio drama.

4QG Has a Busy Night - Three Outstanding Units A Pianist, a Play, and a Cantata 1937 single work review
— Appears in: The Telegraph , 24 April 1937; (p. 28)

— Review of The Mingled Yarn Edmund Barclay , 1937 single work radio play

'Edmund Barclay's contribution to drama week, is also a work requiring bigness of outlook. It rests securely on the beautiful and richness of the imagery in its lines, rather than on plot, or on subtlety of characterisation. It is episodic in character, treating of the days of the Mermaid Tavern, and Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe and Ben Jonson, and many others of that Elizabethan ilk...' ('4QG Has a Busy Night,' p.28).

Last amended 31 Jul 2016 09:49:55
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