Born: Established: 8 Apr 1906 Parkside, Unley area, Adelaide - South / South East, Adelaide, South Australia, ; Died: Ceased: 2 Nov 1954 Mosman, Cremorne - Mosman - Northbridge area, Sydney Northeastern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,
Two interviews with Thelma Afford, wife of Max, are held at NLA. She speaks about his writing and career in Australian theatre.
A number of secondary sources (including an earlier version of this AustLit entry) have claimed that Afford's Flail of God was the first 'play' by an Australian to be produced for Australian radio, citing the date of broadcast as 19 July 1932. While it may have been the first 'drama' broadcast, Flail of God was by no means the first locally written work to be heard by the country's radio audience. The previous year Evan Senior's On the Air, became the first musical comedy to be specially written for radio. It was broadcast by South Australian station 5CL on 5 August 1931. A few weeks later Fred Whaite's musical, The Tin Soldier, also specially written for the medium, was broadcast by the ABC's Sydney station, 2BL (26 August).
Between 1929 and 1954 Afford wrote more than sixty radio and stage plays and radio serials. Most of these remain unpublished, but some of his plays are included in the posthumous selection Mischief in the Air (1974). His film scripts include Smithy (1944), about the aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. In 1940, Afford claimed to be working on a script The Case of the Talking Fingers, which was 'a complete hour play depicting a murder seen by a deaf man and heard by a blind man' ('Write Tough–but Aren't', Lockhart Review and Oaklands Advertiser, 23 January 1940, p.2). However, the original play from which it was adapted has not yet been traced.
Afford also adapted The Mulberry Bush, a play by E.M. Delafield, which aired on 30 May 1937. But since Delafield's was originally written in 1933 as a radio play, the extent to which this has been adapted by Afford is unclear, as is whether he was working from the radio play or the stage play, which was produced two years later. A Hundred Years Ago was advertised as an adaptation of a play by Spanish playwrights the Quintero Brothers (Los hermanos Quintero). It was broadcast on radio on 7 March 1937, but the original play from which it was adapted has not yet been traced.