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Download The Radio Drama Handbook: Audio Drama in Context and by Richard J. Hand PDF

By Richard J. Hand

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104). According to Tim Crook, the ‘lawsuits that followed amounted to the not inconsiderable sum of $750,000’ (Crook, 1999, p. 108), which CBS settled out of court. Although the script was written by John Houseman and Howard Koch, and performed by the Mercury Theater on the Air ensemble, the 21-year-old Orson Welles was indubitably regarded as the ‘star’, or perhaps we should say ‘ring leader’, of this most mischievous of Halloween hoaxes. Despite the furore and lawsuits, for Welles this was the ticket to Hollywood.

Certainly, our reception of radio drama is dependent on the sense of hearing, but surely our appreciation of it calls on all our senses. In this sense, radio drama is extrasensory: a heightened and extraordinary experience. The vocabularies of radio drama Having devoted some time to a discussion of the unique qualities of radio drama, we will now turn to its structure; how those unique qualities are actually communicated. On the face of it, the constituent parts of radio drama are simple: ● ● ● ● Words Sounds Music Silence However, each of these elements communicates particular meaning, depending on its relationship with other elements within the play, with the listener and with the world around us.

Both plays use dialogue, sfx, music and soundscape in effective ways: although there have been countless ‘werewolf’ movies, and Charlton Heston stars in the role of Leiningen in the film The Naked Jungle (Byron Haskin, 1954), there is a genuinely unnerving intensity to the radio plays. One of the delights of Suspense is that it gave famous Hollywood actors the chance to act against type. Hence we find a young Frank Sinatra playing a psychopath in ‘To Find Help’ (18 January 1945). In a later revived production (6 January 1949), Gene Kelly – always typecast as a song and dance man on screen – takes the Sinatra role with evident relish.

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