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The Spanish Tragedy - Radio Productions

When it announced its 'Third Programme Plans' in September 1953, the BBC Radio had a similar goal with the earlier amateur revivals of The Spanish Tragedy: to 'lift the curtains on unfamiliar plays'. The three-month programme offered the listeners a 'curious' repertory of works, in which Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy was to be found in the company of Turgenev, Pirandello, Strindberg, Anouilh, Supervilles, and Claudel. ('Third Programme Plans. Lifting the Curtain on Unfamiliar Plays', The Times, 24 September 1953, 8) The play was adapted and produced by Martyn C. Webster, 11 November 1953.

Three years later, The Spanish Tragedy was broadcast again on the radio as part of the BBC Third Programme initiative 'to broadcast a selection of the best early English drama under the title "The First Stage". This time Kyd's play was part of a vast selection of works 'many of them rarely performed and never previously broadcast' that were 'included in the project to form a chronicle of the development of English drama from its earliest beginnings to the emergence of the Elizabethan public theatres in the 1580s. Mr. John Barton, Fellow of King's College, Cambridge, 'prepared the programme', 'arranged the plays for broadcasting', and 'introduce[d] each production': 'in order to rid the plays of  what Mr Barton describes as "anything that is indigestibly diffuse or archaic", most of them have been edited.' The selection included 'mystery plays, moralities, interludes, and dramas from the schools, the universities, and the professional theatre'. All plays were 'produced by Mr. Raymond Raikes', were broadcast in '13 programmes each to be heard three times' between November 1956 and September 1957. ('Early English drama. BBC Series of Monthly Performances', The Times, 22 August 1956, 4)

The latest Radio productions of The Spanish Tragedy were R. D. Smith's - broadcast on March 2nd 1969 - and Alen Drury's adaptation for the BBC Radio 3 in 1994.