I was recently made aware of some very early plays from the BBC, rebroadcast in the 1950s by
NBC (New York Broadcasting Company), introduced by Gene Hamilton. Martin
Fennell enabled me to obtain recordings; they all lasted 30 minutes and went out under the title "Showcase".
Listeners were asked to write in with their comments, and to say what they would like to be
broadcast later in the series. There was a mixture of drama (Thirty Minute Theatre), Variety
and feature programmes.
So far as I have them, here are the details. * indicates that we have
a recording. I would be interested in further information about this
series, and in recordings of other drama episodes.
I must add that the plays I've heard (all four of them) are
superb. Radio gems.
TAKE IT FROM HERE ... 24 Apr 1954
Part of a thirteen-week series including variety, drama and features.
With Jimmy Edwards, Joy Nicholls, Dick Bentley.
PRISONER AT THE BAR ... rpt. 1 May 54
True story of a famous trial from the Old Bailey in 1911. (I
do not know whether this is a drama or a feature).
*PUSSY CAT, PUSSYCAT ... rpt. 22 May 54
little supernatural tale from the BBC's "Thirty Minute Theatre" slot fifty years ago.
A woman visits a doctor; she has a premonition. Producer David H Godfrey.
SPIDERS.. rpt. 29 May 54.
Feature about spiders - their courtship, family cares, their enemies
and their hunt for food.
*THE CHAIN ... rpt 11 Sep 54
By Richard Baldwin; prodiced by Charles le Feux. Classic English tale of
an old man who goes to London for the first time in his life.
THE CRYSTAL EGG ... rpt. 18 Sep 54
By H.G.Wells. I think this was adapted by Lance Sieveking.
*VELVET JOHNNIE ... rpt. 9 Oct 54
Many years earlier a man was imprisoned for a killing associated with a
robbery. He is now due for release. But ... was he guilty? By Peter
Cheney; produced by Charles le Feux.
*MR. LEADBETTER'S VACATION ... rpt 16 Oct 54
Adapted by Lance Sieveking and based on a short story by H.G.Wells.
Mr. Leadbetter is in holy orders, and for more years than
he cares to remember has led a virtuous, worthwhile and very
dull life. After drinking a little more than is good for him
whilst on holiday, he rashly decides to commit a crime. It
has consequences he could never have imagined - he ends up
on the other side of the world. Producer - Martyn C. Webster.
copyright Nigel Deacon, Diversity website
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