The Autocrat

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Delia is credited with Autocrats, an Arts & Education Feature for radio directed by Michael Rolfe, whose tape's catalogue entry is dated April 1971.[1]

The non-profit non-commercial, listener-sponsored Seattle radio station KRAB.FM lists, in its programme guide for April 1974,[2] on Sunday 28th[3] at 7:30:

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. 

“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.[4]

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,[5] while David Brierly and Garard Green act in Rolfe's Orange-Coloured Holiday Show broadcast on 27 December 1971.[6]


  • Does not seem to have been broadcast by the BBC.
  • Broadcast on KRAB.FM, Seattle on 18th April 1974 at 7:30pm.[2]
  • Dozens of programmes in the "Earplay" series are available at -> Series beginning with 'E' -> Earplay NPR but they do not include [on 26 May 2016] The Autocrats.
  • The BBC Sound Archive's tape TRW 7379 is missing.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Tape Library List's entry for TRW 7379.
  2. 2.0 2.1 KRAB.FM's programme listing for April 1974.
  3. The 28th April 1974 was indeed a Sunday.
  4. KRAB.FM, personal communication, 26 May 2016.
  5. Search results for "Michael Rolfe" on the BBC Genome Project.
  6. Orange-Coloured Holiday Show on the BBC Genome Project.