Mysterious Circumstances

The following 26 half-hour plays were either recorded for BBC Transcription Services or taken by them from the BBC's main archive and distributed under the series title "Mysterious Circumstances".

I believe that some may never have been broadcast within the UK itself, but cannot be absolutely sure about this, because I do not have a complete BBC playlisting.

The plays below were broadcast on R4, or its predecessor, the Home Service, unless otherwise indicated.

The titles, in alphabetical order with names of author in brackets are :-

A Glass of Lemonade (Barry Bermange) 28.2.62
An Unrecorded Instance (Mrs. Belloc Lowndes) 14.8.63 **
Blind Man's Hood (John Dickson Carr)
Cold Storage (Philip Levene) 10.10.73
Grundy (Haydn Wood) 12.8.78
How Love Came to Professor Guildea (Robert Hichens)
Isn't That A Girl's Locket? (Pat Connell)
Markheim (Robert Louis Stevenson)
Martin's Close (M.R. James) 20.8.63 **
Night Drive to Dover (Julian Symons) 30.9.63
Oh Whistle, And I'll Come To You (M.R. James) 24.12.63
Returned Without Thanks (Berkely Mather) 23.1.67 Lt. Prog
Shadow of a Magnitude (Michael Robson) (first of a series of tales entitled 'the bounce back', being tales of retribution)
Something To Fear (John Graham)
The Dancing Partner (Jerome K. Jerome) 15.1.63 **
The Demon King (J.B. Priestley) 26.12.62 **
The Dog (Ivan Turgenev)
The Drowned Village (Berlie Doherty) 16.10.82
The Goblins Who Stole A Sexton (Charles Dickens) - a reading by Sir Ralph Richardson
The Lady On The Grey (John Collier) 7.8.63 **
The Monkey's Paw (W.W. Jacobs)
The New Catacomb (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) 25.11.58
The Playfellow (Cynthia Asquith)
The Signals (C.S. Forester) 29.5.66
W.S. (L.P. Hartley) 29.8.63
What Do You Think? (Francis Durbridge) 12.9.62 Lt. Prog

I checked the cast list of "The Monkey's Paw" against two other BBC versions, one broadcast on 16.12.1958, the other in the "Fear on Four" series on 17.1.1988 (repeated on 31.10.1991). The MC version is neither of these and almost certainly went out on the World Service only, as it was directed by Gordon House.

The items 'starred' were broadcast under the series title "Mystery Playhouse", the first being "The Demon King". Not all these plays were transferred to the MC series, though, one exception I came across being "Number 17" by E. Nesbit, Tx (Home) 3.3.1963. There may be others - watch this space.

Roger Bickerton.

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