Radio Drama pp 69-85 | Cite as

The Arrival of the Poets

  • Ian Rodger


It might be supposed that when the war ended in 1945 and the traditional markets in the theatre and in publishing were revived in Britain, the attraction of radio as a market for literary and dramatic talents was diminished. But during the war, radio had become a great cultural force and the focus of attention of any thinking man or woman. It had not merely become the national theatre, offering under Gielgud’s direction a repertoire which included plays not commonly performed even in university theatres. Because the rationing of newsprint limited the space devoted to feature articles in newspapers, radio’s features directed by Gilliam had become the principal means of discussing a wide variety of social and cultural matters of interest. Their use of music specially composed for the occasion made Portland Place the cultural centre for composers and musicians as well as poets, dramatists and writers of all kinds. Many returning ex-servicemen with similar interests therefore looked first to radio for employment and an outlet for their talent. There was little opportunity for such people in films; television, which was revived in 1946, was still a limited market.


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Notes and References

  1. 4.
    Bernard Kops, Interview in a Secret Workshop, BBC feature programme, 1977.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ian Rodger 1982

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  • Ian Rodger

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