Unmade 1932 BBC radio play

Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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Over the past couple of days I've come across a some newspaper articles from all parts of the world about a 1932 BBC radio play about Titanic's sinking which was apparently never produced and protests by, among others, Arthur Rostron, to such a broadcast. I've added four of those articles to ET: a 25 February article from The Mercury of Hobart, Tasmania, an article of the same date from The New York Times, carrying an AP release that appeared in a number of newspapers in North America; a third article of the same date, this one from The Times, publishing a BBC statement denying that such a program was in the offing; and a 10 March article from The Evening Post of Wellington, which suggests that the author of the play in question might have been Filson Young.

I don't have immediate access to any of the news articles referred to in the BBC statement. If anyone has any further info, feel free to supplement this thread.
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
In February 1932 the public got word that a graphic Titanic play was going to be broadcast for the 20th anniversary of the sinking. The public protested and the BBC received widespread condemnation from listeners. The decision to broadcast the play was stopped. Do you agree that it was too early and in poor taste to broadcast a play about the Titanic disaster in 1932?


Here are some of the UK news bulletins from newspapers nationwide.



- On With The Radio: We are told that the BBC are arranging a production written around the sinking of the Titanic in mid-Atlantic in 1912, and already an outcry is being raised against broadcasting such a work.

- A play based on the sinking of the Titanic would renew in us admiration for the greatness to which the human spirit may rise in adversity.

- DIFFICULTIES OF HISTORICAL DRAMA
A broadcast based on the Titanic disaster has attracted much attention and protest this week.

- TOO CRUEL TO RELATIVES, SAYS COMMANDER OF RESCUE LINER
Wireless operator on Titanic, said. "I think it is a horrible idea to have such painful memories revived. We shall have sufficiently sad memories on April 15, the anniversary of the foundering of the Titanic."

- SINKING TITANIC CONCERN FELT FOR RELATIONS OF VICTIMS

- The BBC has given us plays of horror.....It thought lately of revising the tragedy of the Titanic, to the vociferous indignation of many.

- Public night of horror likely to surpass anything given before.

- NOT A SUITABLE SUBJECT FOR PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT
The disaster of such magnitude as the loss of the Titanic, with 1.490 lives, is not a suitable subject for public entertainment. Such was the comment of a high official of the White Star Line, owners of the Titanic, yesterday.

- DOCTORS CONDEMN BROADCAST OF SINKING

- The BBC might broadcast without fear of distressing listeners-in.......A night of horror which, in gruesome realism, likely to surpass anything given before.

- TURN DOWN TITANIC BROADCAST

- TITANIC DISASTER PLAY NOT TO BE BROADCAST

- BBC SURRENDERS - TITANIC HORROR BROADCAST STOPPED

- NOT ACCEPTABLE
BBC decides that it is “not acceptable”.

- TITANIC BROADCAST OFF

- NO TITANIC DRAMA - BBC DECIDE AGAINST BROADCAST
The BBC has decided that 'Titanic, A Tragedy', a drama which would have revived all the poignant horror of the greatest British sea disaster, is not to be broadcast.

- NO TITANIC PLAY
The BBC issued last night the following statement - "Some weeks ago the BBC received a proposal for the production of a radio play based on the Titanic disaster. The motive was to emphasise the heroism of British people in moments of crisis....."

- TITANIC PLAY
Suggested Programme Not Acceptable to BBC

- COMPLIMENTS THE BBC
The News-Chronicle compliments the BBC on the good sense and good taste shown in the abandonment of a broadcast play on the Titanic disaster.

- A SOUND DECISION
It has been decided by the BBC that the suggested radio play based on the Titanic disaster is not acceptable. This decision which was endorsed by public opinion and will accord with public taste. We are glad that the proposal broadcast of a representation of the sinking of the Titanic has been abandoned.


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