Mission Statement:

Audio drama is one of the most intimate and expressive dramatic mediums, rivaling theater and film in poetic, visual, and narrative qualities. Many people are unaware of this - a stigma lingers that "radio drama" is a scratchy, cartoonish thing of the past, as if people thought that cinema ended with silent movies, unaware of all the great films made since that time. In reality, audio and radio drama is the great frontier of modern theater - with subtle, intimate performances and powerful, gripping stories.

My aim is to promote a discussion of the art, sociology, theory, and future of this remarkable artistic form. The current state of audio drama is precarious, but through careful consideration of how content is presented, distributed, and interacted with, I believe that the radio and audio drama community can grow and prosper and reach an even wider audience.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

World Service Drama Archive

Check it out!  One of the monumental breakthroughs in recent radio drama history.  The World Service has posted roughly 700 radio plays in low-quality streaming format.  Downloads are not allowed, and you have to request an account to sign up to access them. 

This is just a trial for now, check it out while you can!!

World Service Drama Archive, list on Diversity


  1. I'm getting time-outs for Sutton Elms (Diversity).
    I can't find anything on the BBC site either. The World Service 'World Drama' page lists 8 dramas that I can hear in iPlayer but that's it.


    here's the link - but it's registered users only. there's a place at the bottom of the FAQs where you can email to request a login. I did, but haven't heard back from anybody yet.

  3. Johnny after signing up I received a confirmation email straight away and I'm signed in now as well.
    Maybe not open to those outside the UK? Or maybe the email ended up in your spam folder?

    1. Yep it's working for me now, just had to wait to get the confirmation email. Very exciting!

  4. Hello

    I'm part of the BBC R&D team building the World Service archive prototype and just wanted to note that the list on Sutton Elms is a fantastic starting point but isn't an exhaustive list of all the drama in the archive. It's a list of episodes from Play of the Week and Theatre of the Air but there's lots more drama from outside these programme brands. And we need help finding it.

    The World Service archive is a new approach to archive release for the BBC. Traditionally we've released themed collections rather than a full archive. In the case of the World Service we've released everything we have and need help from users to make sense of it all by tagging programmes appropriately. Most of the archive is unexplored and we're looking for ways to bring more of the good content to the fore. For many of the episodes, when you click the play button, you're the first person to have heard that episode in several decades. There's more on the project here:

    Also to note that the links from Sutton Elms to MP3 files won't work for all users so please use the prototype to explore and play programmes.

    So far the prototype has been in invitation only beta. We're now opening it up to anyone who's interested. Please go to:
    to register.

    Hope you enjoy

    ps If you're a Twitter user you can follow progress here: