THE AUTOCRATS BY PAUL D'ANDREA - This play is based on an actual incident recorded in 1720, when a ship from Beirut was refused admission to the port of Cagliari in Sardinia. The Viceroy of the port refused to grant admittance, giving as a reason a dream he had had of a ship carrying the plague. In the words of D'Andrea, “...the play concerns an executive intellect being confronted with a manifestation of insurrection.” Directed by Michael Rolfe of the BBC with three of the BBC's finest actors: David Brierley as the Adjutant; Garard Green as St. Remys; Jumoke Debayo as Palla.
A KRAB.FM archivist writes: “KRAB broadcast The Autocrats at least four times:
- Apr 28, 1974 - 7:30pm
- Oct 5, 1974 - 8:30pm
- Apr 30, 1976 - 2:00pm
- Mar 18, 1977 - 7:30pm
In the early to mid 70's, National Public Radio and the National Endowment for the Arts financed the production of a series of radio plays, some of which were purchased from the BBC. KRAB was a NPR affiliate at that time.” The radio drama series was called "Earplay" and it was distributed on LP.
Nothing in the Radio Times listings matches this. Michael Rolfe is credited with producing some radio programmes for Schools in 1971-2, mostly Stories and Rhymes for 7-9 year olds, while David Brierly and Garard Green act in Rolfe's Orange-Coloured Holiday Show broadcast on 27 December 1971.
- Does not seem to have been broadcast by the BBC.
- Broadcast on KRAB.FM, Seattle on 28th April 1974 at 7:30pm. The current KRAB archivist has not found a copy but is asking around.
- Dozens of programmes in the "Earplay" series are available at
http://otrrlibrary.org -> Series beginning with 'E' -> Earplay NPR
but they do not include The Autocrats.
- The BBC Sound Archive's tape TRW 7379 is missing.
- Chuck Reinsch has a copy on reel-to-reel tape.
- Personal communication from Chuck Reinsch, September 2016.
- The Tape Library List's entry for TRW 7379.
- KRAB.FM's programme listing for April 1974.
- The 28th April 1974 was indeed a Sunday.
- KRAB.FM, personal communication, 26 May 2016.
- Search results for "Michael Rolfe" on the BBC Genome Project.
- Orange-Coloured Holiday Show on the BBC Genome Project.
- Personal communication, 26 May 2016.
- The OTRR Library catalogue was last checked on 26 May 2016.