The Autocrat

From WikiDelia
Revision as of 03:03, 29 September 2016 by Martinwguy (talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

Delia is credited with Autocrats, an Arts & Education Feature for radio produced by Paul D'Andrea[1] and directed by Michael Rolfe, whose tape's catalogue entry is dated April 1971.[2]

The non-profit non-commercial, listener-sponsored Seattle radio station KRAB.FM lists, in its programme guide for April 1974,[3] on Sunday 28th[4] 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. 

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.[5]

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,[6] while David Brierly and Garard Green act in Rolfe's Orange-Coloured Holiday Show broadcast on 27 December 1971.[7]


The copyright to the production is owned by Paul D'Andrea, not the BBC.[1]


  • Does not seem to have been broadcast by the BBC.
  • Broadcast on KRAB.FM, Seattle on 28th April 1974 at 7:30pm.[3] The current KRAB archivist has not found a copy but is asking around.[8]
  • Dozens of programmes in the "Earplay" series are available at -> Series beginning with 'E' -> Earplay NPR
    but they do not include The Autocrats.[9]
  • The BBC Sound Archive's tape TRW 7379 is missing.[2]
  • Paul D'Andrea has a copy on reel-to-reel tape.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Personal communication from Paul D'Andrea, September 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Tape Library List's entry for TRW 7379.
  3. 3.0 3.1 KRAB.FM's programme listing for April 1974.
  4. The 28th April 1974 was indeed a Sunday.
  5. KRAB.FM, personal communication, 26 May 2016.
  6. Search results for "Michael Rolfe" on the BBC Genome Project.
  7. Orange-Coloured Holiday Show on the BBC Genome Project.
  8. Personal communication, 26 May 2016.
  9. The OTRR Library catalogue was last checked on 26 May 2016.