Reading, as much as I love it, comes second though, after Radio Drama. Broadcasts of dramatised books or plays haven’t really been popular for decades – and it’s certainly 40 or 50 years since the glory days of radio when families gathered around the wireless to tune in for the latest installment of Paul Temple’s latest intriguing case. That was way before my time, so I’ve had to scour speciality bookshops and online for my fix but over the last year or so though, scanning through the internet listings of terrestial and internet radio stations, I’ve noticed that radio drama is making a comeback – with not just old favourites finding a new audience, but new radio drama being commissioned at a rate we haven’t seen for years.
However, one a week on the radio isn’t quite enough for me, so I’ve been working my way through Audible.com’s huge collection of classic radio drama. And they do have a great selection – particularly of BBC Radio Drama – [which is the best sort]. But Audible have contemporary dramatisations also – from not just the BBC but interesting productions of Dante’s Inferno and a brilliant dramatised production of David Mamet’s Speed The Plow..
However, let’s start with some old fashioned classics – here’s what I recommend to get you started in in the comfy world on radio drama.
|Paul Temple and the Geneva Mystery : Francis Durbridge
Pau Temple and his glamorous wife Steve plan a much needed break – but before they know it, they become embroiled in a plot of deception stretching from London to Switzerland with anonymous gunmen, exploding cars, ransom demands, and more than one mysterious rendezvous. Unbeatable.
|Cards on The Table : Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot, along with three other luminaries from the world of crime detection, is invited to dinner by the renowned London socialite Dr Shaitana. Also on the guest list are four members of what Shaitana calls his Black Museum – a collection of murderers who have each succeeded in ‘getting away with it’. You know where this is going, but it doesn’t matter.
|Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy : John Le Carré
Starring the award-winning Simon Russell Beale as Smiley, and with a star cast including Anna Chancellor, Alex Jennings, Kenneth Cranham, and Bill Paterson, this is truly an epic. Ane brilliantly depicts the complicated moral dilemmas of those who practice espionage – the spooks.