Theatre Royal - Single Episodes

(4.3 stars; 13 reviews)


This fine British anthology series, features plays based on the best of literature, films and English theater. Produced in two series, Sir Lawrence Olivier and Sir Ralph Richardson serve as hosts, narrators and many times portray the leading roles. The program apparently was developed as a vehicle to capitalize on Olivier’s name and talent. His career spanned over 50 years and continues into the 21st century, as in 2004, 15 years after his death, he was starring as Dr. Totenkopf in a Hollywood fantasy film titled, Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow. This was accomplished by the producers who selected footage of Lord Olivier from various films and used to create a villainous leader of killer robots in the film. Jude Law, who stars in the film, said film-makers used Olivier because few other actors possessed his authority. Sir Ralph Richardson from 1954 – 1955 played the character of Dr. John Watson in another Harry Alan Towers radio series of Sherlock Holmes stories, which starred Sir John Gielgud as the famous consulting detective. Many fine actors of the British stage and screen were involved in individual episodes of the Theatre Royal series, such as Sir John Gielgud, Robert Morley, Harry Andrews, Muriel Forbes, Robert Donat, and Daphne Maddox. The music was credited to the renown British organist and arranger, Sidney Torch. However much of the same music was also used in other Harry Alan Towers productions on which Torch also worked, such as The Secrets of Scotland Yard, The Black Museum, and The Many Lives of Harry Lime. So how much of it was actually written for this series will probably never be known. Harry Alan Towers produced and directed the show for his Towers of London company for international syndication, at the time in Europe, South Africa and Australia. The episodes included in this distribution are from the initial US run on NBC. However selected episodes were repeated, with a different series opening and close on the ABC Mystery Time series during the late 1950s. The show Theatre Royal remained in active syndication in the United States well up into the 1970s. Many of the copies in circulation today, come from those 1970s repeats where the individual episodes were cut to about 20 minutes. Luckily these cuts were made by the production company and generally do not take away from the actual program enjoyment. This reduced length comes from a combination for factors including removing dated introductory material from the beginning of the early episodes, making time for local stations to include hourly 5 minute newscasts and to insert commercials locally. In conclusion, this series consisted of new radio adaptations of famous, and not so famous stories by some of the best authors in the United States and England. It is the inclusion of some of those little known masterpieces by many familiar authors that gives the series a variety element usually missing in this type of anthology series. Its long syndication run, well into the 70s, proves once again classic stories presented by talented actors never really goes out of style.

NOTE: Updated Release! Corrected dates and spelling (02-Jun-2012).

From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.



Theatre Royal 53-10-04 (01) Queen of Spades 29:37
Theatre Royal 53-10-11 (02) The Overcoat 29:15
Theatre Royal 53-10-18 (03) The Tale 29:22
Theatre Royal 53-10-25 (04) The Happy Hypocrite 29:36
Theatre Royal 53-11-01 (05) The Sire de Maletroit's Door 29:27
Theatre Royal 53-11-07 (06) The Judgement 29:15
Theatre Royal 53-11-14 (07) The Purse 29:17
Theatre Royal 53-11-21 (08) La Grande Breteche 29:30
Theatre Royal 53-11-28 (09) Markheim 29:27
Theatre Royal 53-12-19 (11) Zodomirsky's Duel 28:12
Theatre Royal 53-12-24 (12) A Christmas Carol 23:32
Theatre Royal 53-12-26 (13) The Canterville Ghost 29:14
Theatre Royal 54-01-02 (14) The Country of the Blind 28:53
Theatre Royal 54-01-16 (16) Little Louise 29:26
Theatre Royal 54-01-23 (17) Lord Saville's Crime 29:02
Theatre Royal 54-01-30 (18) Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 29:00
Theatre Royal 54-02-06 (19) The Case of Bardell vs Pickwick 18:52
Theatre Royal 54-02-13 (20) Bartleby 29:17
Theatre Royal 54-02-20 (21) The Inspector General 29:02
Theatre Royal 54-02-27 (22) The Suicide Club 29:05
Theatre Royal 54-03-06 (23) The Outcasts of Poker Flats 29:13
Theatre Royal 54-03-13 (24) Mr Micawber's Difficulties 25:35
Theatre Royal 54-03-20 (25) The Luck Of Roaring Camp 28:24
Theatre Royal 54-03-27 (26) A Tale of Two Cities 28:01
Theatre Royal 54-04-11 (28) When Greek Meets Greek 28:01
Theatre Royal 54-04-18 (29) The Snow Goose 27:53
Theatre Royal 54-04-25 (30) The Colonel's Lady 18:42
Theatre Royal 54-05-02 (31) The Black Mate 27:40
Theatre Royal 54-05-09 (32) Half an Hour 26:52
Theatre Royal 54-05-16 (33) Dr Knock 28:45
Theatre Royal 54-05-23 (34) The Aspern Papers 28:55
Theatre Royal 54-05-30 (35) My Adventure in Norfolk 29:13
Theatre Royal 54-06-06 (36) Private Rooms 28:58
Theatre Royal 54-06-16 (37) The Man Who Could Work Miracles 29:32
Theatre Royal 54-06-23 (38) The Liar 28:55
Theatre Royal 54-06-30 (39) My Uncle Toby 28:41
Theatre Royal 54-07-07 (40) Four Meetings 28:30
Theatre Royal 54-07-14 (41) A Sentimental Journey 29:11
Theatre Royal 54-07-21 (42) Becky Sharpe - Vanity Fair 29:11
Theatre Royal 54-07-28 (43) Queen Of Spades 28:29
Theatre Royal 54-08-04 (44) The Overcoat 28:55
Theatre Royal 54-08-11 (45) The Happy Hypocrite 29:00
Theatre Royal 54-08-18 (46) The Sire de Maletroit's Door 28:52
Theatre Royal 54-08-25 (47) The Judgement 29:14
Theatre Royal 54-09-01 (48) Country Of the Blind 29:15



(4 stars)

Theatre Royal 54-07-28 (43) Queen Of Spades AND Theatre Royal 54-08-04 (44) The Overcoat are Exact duplicates of Theatre Royal 53-10-04 (01) Queen of Spades AND Theatre Royal 53-10-11 (02) The Overcoat, respectively. The correct shows are identifiable because, at the beginning, the announcer specifies that they are a part of the Command Performance series. If you compare: Theatre Royal 53-10-25 (04) The Happy Hypocrite TO Theatre Royal 54-08-11 (45) The Happy Hypocrite, you will understand what I' saying. The New York Times RadioLogs for 1953-11-14, 1954-01-09, and 1954-04-04 show that these programs* were preempted. That would effect all episode numbers after episode #6 * 1953-11-14 8:30 - 9:00 pm WNBC American Diabetic Foundation Play, starring Fred Allen. 1954-01-09 7:30 - 9:30 pm WNBC The Big Preview. 1954-04-04 7:00 - 9:30 pm WNBC Drama: "A stranger Alone {Hansen's Disease) & The Big Preview.