Ray Bradbury: BBC Radio Plays

A giant of 20th century genre fiction, Bradbury's imaginative stories lend themselves particularly well to the audio medium. Here's a collection of dramatizations and readings from BBC Radio. In FLAC whenever possible.

1959-03-05 The Veldt (dramatized by Jack Pulman)
A futuristic cautionary tale about the perils of smart technology, where danger prowls in the nursery... Ray Bradbury's gripping sci-fi story first published in 1950.

Lydia/Witch... Diana Olsson
George... John Cazabon
Peter... Jon Hewitt
Wendy/Grethel... Nina Ludlow
David... Bruce Wightman

Adapted by Jack Pulman. Produced by Frederick Bradnum and first broadcast on the BBC Light Programme in March 1959

1962-09-12 There Will Come Soft Rains (dramatized by Nesta Pain)
2026: With surroundings destroyed and devoid of human life, an automated house carries on... Dramatization of Ray Bradbury's short story, adapted and produced by Nesta Pain. Cast:

The Woman ...... Joan Miller
Commentator ...... David King-Wood
Music composed and conducted by Antony Hopkins
Singers: Ann Dowdall and John Carol Case.

1968-05-03 Leviathan 99 (adapted by H. B. Fortuin)
A fantastical adaptation of Moby Dick, Ray Bradbury takes audiences past the moon and the stars in search of the greatest and brightest comet in the universe. Join a deranged captain, an eight-foot-tall telepathic spider, and our reluctant hero. You can call him Ishmael.

Adapted and produced by H. B. Fortuin and starring Denys Hawthorne as Ishmael

1982-11-13 Fahrenheit 451 (dramatized by Gregory Evans )
Sometime in the future the fireman's role has changed from stopping fires to starting them: the material being all books or printed matter of any kind. Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which books burn. But Montag the fireman is beginning to have doubts about his role ...
Dark futuristic tale dramatized for radio by Gregory Evans and starring Michael Pennington.

Montag - Michael Pennington
Millie - Pamela Salem
Beatty - Peter Miles
Narrator - Jonathan Newth
Clarisse - Patience Tomlinson
Medic/Announcer - Spencer Banks
Stoneman - Michael Simkins
Woman - Susan Dowdall
Faber - Peter Tuddenham
Granger - Hugh Dickson
Simmons - Alan Dudley
Director - Brian Miller

Bradbury observed many years later: " In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down kerbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there.

1991-01-31 Kaleidoscope (dramatized by Ray Bradbury)
A disaster strikes in space, leaving a crew of astronauts with no option but to make peace with coming death. Tom Watson and Finlay Welsh star in Ray Bradbury's own adaptation of his short story from The Illustrated Man. Directed by Hamish Wilson.

Cast -
Hollis: Tom Watson
Applegate: Finlay Welsh
Stone: Rebecca Hawking
Stimson: John Yule
Lespere: Stuart McQuarrie
With Neil Shackleton, John Adam Baker and Lynn Bains

1991-12-03 The Smile (read by Peter Whitman)
What would induce a small boy to queue in the cold at five in the morning? And what does it have to do with Leonardo da Vinci? An enigmatic tale set in a post-apocalyptic city written by Ray Bradbury and read by Peter Whitman. Produced at BBC Bristol by Susan Roberts.

1994-04-19 Shoreline at Sunset (read by Ed Bishop)
At summer's end, two beachcombers have the shore to themselves again, until they discover a strange creature. Read by Ed Bishop. From April 1994. Produced by Rosemary Watts

2004-08-20 The Pedestrian (read by David Horovitch)
There will come a time when we won't be allowed to walk - by order of the authorities. Produced by Duncan Minshull

2007-05-22 The Veldt (adapted by Mike Walker from his stage play)
Directed by Judith Kampfner. Two parents buy a nursery which simulates different environments for their children to play in. It comes alive - a startling premonition, from pre-computer days, of multimedia technology. The parents become concerned when the children keep returning to an African veldt scene and start feeding the lions, even though there are supposed to be no lions in the program...

TV Announcer ...... David Rapkin
Peter ...... Michael Wachter
Wendy ...... Reyna Shaskan
Lydia ...... Jennifer Van Dyck
George ...... David Slavin
Ms. Kim ...... Nancy Wu
The Room ...... John Henry Cox
David MacLean ...... Richmond Hoxie

2011-11-04 Something Wicked This Way Comes (dramatized by Diana Griffiths)

Composer ..... David Paul Jones
Sound ..... Paul Cargill
Produced/Directed by Pauline Harris

Set in 1960's Illinois this gem of modern Gothic literature is the memorable story of two boys, James Nightshade and William Halloway, and the evil that grips their small Midwestern town with the arrival of a "dark carnival" one Autumn midnight. These two innocents, both aged 13, (Will is born one minute before Halloween, and Jim one minute after) save the souls of the town (as well as their own). This is a vivid variation on the eternal theme of the fight between Good and Evil. A thrilling, chilling, richly kaleidoscopic sound world ensues; a shimmering mirror maze that reflects your older or younger self, depending on your desires, and a magic carousel that plays Chopin's Funeral March forwards - with each rotation you gain a year, and rotating backwards - you get younger.

Will: Theo Gregory
Jim: Joseph Lindsay
Charlie: Henry Goodman
Mr Dark: Kenneth Cranham
Mr Coogar: Gerard McDermott
Lightening rod salesman: Gerard McDermott
Miss Foley: Barbara Barnes
Dust Witch: Buffy Davis
Robert: Taran Stanzler
Young Miss Foley: Amelia Clarkson
Jed: Ethan Brooke

2014-06-14 The Illustrated Man (dramatized by Brian Sibley)
Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) is the Illustrated Man in a dramatization by Brian Sibley of Ray Bradbury's iconic short story collection. Directed by Gemma Jenkins.

A young traveller encounters a vagrant on the road who claims his tattoos come to life after dark and have the powers of prophecy. The vagrant offers his young traveling companion tantalizing glimpses into the future with tales of restless androids, children caught up in a sinister game and astronauts stranded in outer space which all hint at dark and troubling times ahead.

The Illustrated Man.....Iain Glen
The Youth.....Jamie Parker
The Tattoo Witch.....Elaine Claxton
The Driver.....Wilf Scolding
Brayling/Brayling 2.....Patrick Kennedy
Smith.....Stephen Hogan
Mink....Nell Herrin
Mother....Heather Craney
Father....Clive Hayward
Anna....Lucy Hutchinson
Hollis....Alec Newman
Applegate....John P. Arnold
Stone....Jaimi Barbakoff
Stimson....Craige Els
Adapted by Brian Sibley
Directed by Gemma Jenkins
Production Co-ordinator: Philippa Tilbury
Studio Managers: Anne Bunting, Peter Ringrose, Alison Craig.

First published in the UK in 1952, it's the startling framing device of a man whose tattoos predict the future of humankind which signals Bradbury's collection out as one of the defining works of 20th century Science Fiction.

The award-winning radio dramatist, Brian Sibley's other credits include dramatizations of TH White's The Once and Future King, Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast novels and The Lord of The Rings trilogy.

2014 The Martian Chronicles (dramatized by Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle)
Derek Jacobi and Hayley Atwell lead an all-star cast in a thrilling dramatization, re-imagining Ray Bradbury's timeless fable of doomed Martian colonization.

When the first expedition to Mars mysteriously disappears, Earth sends a second to find out what happened. But the real mission is classified. And only Captain Wilder knows the truth.

Dramatized for radio by Richard Kurti and Bev Doyle.
Original Music: Imran Ahmad
Sound Design: Alistair Lock
Executive Producer: Dirk Maggs
Produced and directed by Andrew Mark Sewell
A B7 Production for BBC Radio 4.

Captain Wilder -Derek Jacobi
Spender - Hayley Atwell
The Lawyer - Anna MadeleyHathaway - Mark Lewis Jones
Parkhill - John Altman
Evie - Zoe Tapper
Biggs - Jonathan Rhodes
Thompson - Dean Harris
Young Wilder - Ryan Sewell
Pluto Survey Officer - Rachael Naylor
Soldier - Jacob James
Prison Officer - Robert Lock
Miss Edwards - Mellissa Aston-Munslow
Robert - Owen Sewell
Mayflower Rocket Kids - Polehampton Junior Schoo

  1. 1959-03-05 The Veldt (dramatized by Jack Pulman) (26Mb)
  2. 1962-09-12 There Will Come Soft Rains (dramatized by Nesta Pain) (28.9Mb)
  3. 1968-05-03 Leviathan 99 (adapted by H. B. Fortuin) (64.8Mb)
  4. 1982-11-13 Fahrenheit 451 (dramatized by Gregory Evans) (79.8Mb)
  5. 1991-08-28 Kaleidoscope (adpt by Ray Bradbury) (56Mb)
  6. 1991-12-03 The Smile (read by Peter Whitman) (19.6Mb)
  7. 1994-04-19 Shoreline at Sunset (read by Ed Bishop) (26.7Mb)
  8. 2004-08-20 The Pedestrian (read by David Horovitch) (13.6Mb)
  9. 2007-05-22 The Veldt (adapted by Mike Walker from his stage play) (40.7Mb)
  10. 2011-11-04 Something Wicked This Way Comes (dramatized by Diana Griffiths) (20.1Mb)
  11. 2014-06-14 The Illustrated Man (Iain Glen) (96.7Mb)
  12. 2014-xx-xx The Martian Chronicles (Derek Jacobi) (92.7Mb)

MP3 files hosted by archive.org.