14 May 2000

Theatre of the Mind: The story of drama and serials

From the collecton Resounding Radio

We demonstrate a voracious appetite for overseas-produced soap operas but we also make drama which wins awards around the world.

Programme content

0' 00" Actuality: 'A Panorama of New Zealand' 1938.

2' 15" A listener's letter about 'Jane', first drama broadcast on radio in New Zealand, 1928, 2YA Wellington.

2' 45" Actuality: first play specially designed for radio by BBC in 1924. Danger was first produced in New Zealand in 1929 but this excerpt is from 1996 Broadcasting House studio re-creation using 1920s' technology and techniques.

4' 00" Member of original 1929 cast of Danger recalls production techniques. Elsie Lloyd

6' 45" Early 1930s radio drama recalled. Selwyn Toogood

8' 15" First serials from America arrive here early 1930s. Peter Downes

9' 45" Actuality: Early serial The Japanese Houseboy.

10' 55" Actuality: First New Zealand produced commercial serial One Man's Family about 1937.

12' 00" One Man's Family recalled by members of original cast. Lawrie Constable, Selwyn Toogood, Elsie Lloyd

14' 10" Actuality: Long-running serial Dr Paul and design of serial as mainstay of commercial radio.

16' 30" Grace Gibson representative discusses Australian produced serials broadcast in New Zealand. Reg James

17' 45" Censorship of serials. Lawrie Constable

19' 20" Pressure on actors producing serials in Australia. Reg James

20' 50" An associate recalls Bernard Beeby, first head of NBS drama section formed, 1938. Bernard Kearns

21' 10" Actuality: Beeby producing in studio. Bernard Beeby

22' 10" Actuality: NBS war drama The Grey Ships Put To Sea.

23' 25" Writer G. Holder and wartime drama production recalled. Peter Harcourt

25' 55" Dress formal, regular drama scheduling and work for actors. Davina Whitehouse

27' 40" Actuality: Drama Jack Winter's dream by James K. Baxter.

29' 05" Summary of post-war drama development including role of new drama Head William Austin and international recognition of NZBC drama by 1960s. Roy Leywood

30' 55" By 1960s drama studios established in South Island. Bernard Kearns

32' 40" Actuality: Serial Life with Dexter.

34' 05" Actuality: The Archers of Ambridge, non-commercial BBC serial. This final episode made especially for New Zealand and broadcast in 1982.

34' 30" Increasing costs of Archers causes its demise in New Zealand. Peter Downes

36' 50" In 1960s and ‘70s actors earn living from radio drama. A kind of radio repertory company exists. Also sense of community with the theatre. Ginette McDonald

37' 25" 1970s sees change from British to more local writers. John O'Leary

39' 40" Large diversity of drama work for actors. Ginette McDonald

40' 45" New Zealand drama winning international awards by 1980s. John O'Leary

41' 40" Actuality: Award-winning An Angel hovering round by Richard Dingwall and produced by Ross Jolly.

42' 50" Daily routine of drama in 1970s and 1980s and colourful personalities. Ginette McDonald

45' 20" 'Broadcasts to schools' scripts good training for plays. Michael Wilson

46' 40" Sound FX gear in studio and on-microphone techniques. Everyone smokes. Ginette McDonald

48' 20" During 1980s drama increasingly seen as too expensive. John O'Leary

49' 30" Drama output decreases from lack of support and financial-cuts, John Craig

50' 55" Drama in mid 1990s a shadow of former self. Also severe staff cuts. But drama still thrives on international scene. Future directions. Carol Dee

52' 25" Strength of drama is its ability to look at all facets of human condition. John O'Leary

52' 55" Actuality: Roger Hall's comedy satire Gliding on staged in Broadcasting House Wellington.