"...The Radioplay Hour is a set piece of The Drama Merchant and it would be wonderful to see more plays from their collection on the Sunshine Coast. If you are on the Gold Coast anytime, take the time to catch one of their shows..."

Katherine Barnes,

Anywhere Festival reviewer 2019

"We came to the show with no knowledge of what to expect and we were wonderfully surprised by the complete professionalism of the whole cast and the production. I wasn’t sure if we were going to hear the whole story in the hour long performance and was happy by how ‘complete’ it seemed. Loved the advertisements between each act and the other singing entertainment!"

Glennis Tutton,

Anywhere festival, audience member 2019

Retro. Audio. Storytelling

What is The Radioplay Hour?

In the 1920s, ‘30s, ‘40s and even ‘50s, sitting around the radio – or wireless as some called it – to take in a popular series, children’s drama, crime show or horror story as well as comedy and variety programs was a family ritual.

Now the Drama Merchant is bringing back the listening experience, and fueling the imagination, in the guise of The Radioplay Hour! 


The basic premise is that the performers you see in The Radioplay Hour are “radio actors” who are portraying the characters in a "Live" radio broadcast. Standing in front of a microphone and using voice, facial expressions, costumes, props and a little improv, with scripts in front of them, for reference, the team perform an old fashion radioplay, or audio story live... right before your eyes. 

The Drama Merchant, who is the director & sound effect artist, creates live sound effects right before your eyes, He can turn household objects like coffee beans, rice and sheet metal into a steam train, rain and thunder. He also has a Wind Machine and creaking box for windy nights and squeaky floorboards. There will certain shows where he sometimes even involves the audience.

So you can enjoy the show in two ways, one close your eyes and imagine the characters, or two be privy to the visual aid of the director, sound effects and performers creating a mixed media effect that makes it a personally involving experience and a welcomed escape to the past.

What is a radio play?

A Radio play, or Radio drama, is a dramatised, purely acoustic performance with no visual component. The Radio play depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story. 

The Radio play achieved widespread popularity within a decade of its initial development in the 1920s. By the 1940s, it was a leading international popular entertainment. With the advent of television in the 1950s, however, the radio play began losing its audience, but in most countries it remains popular.

Radio play serials were once the backbone of Australian radio broadcasting. Serials like Blue Hills, Dad & Dave, Biggles, The Caltex Theatre, Reach for the Sky and Tarzan amongst many other shows that the nation stopped for.

Performance Locations

Preece House

52 Nerang Street, Nerang, 4211


Gold Coast Little Theatre

21a Scarbourgh Street, Southport, 4215

The Radioplay Hour: Little Women performed at Bankfoot House, Sunshine Coast, as part of the

Anywhere Festival, in May 2019.

About the 2020 season

The 2020 season of The Radioplay Hour consists of Crime, Murder & Horror. And although we could have ended the year with one more crime caper, The Drama Merchant decided to end it with a little fantasy. To learn more about the season read Blog 7. A season of Murder and Hope... but mostly Murder.


Interested in auditioning or being part of The Radioplay Hour as a voice actor or singer? Check out our audition page coming soon

Audio workshop for Vacation Care, Schools, Birthday Parties and Corporate

Would you like the radioplay hour to come to you? 

Are you an events co-coordinator looking for a different kind of entertainment for your function?

Perhaps you work in aged care and looking and looking for some mid-morning entertainment for residents? Why not give The Drama Merchant a call to be part of his Radio play season or how it can work into your event.

Past Shows

2019: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, Little Women, The Coffin in Studio B, The War of the Worlds: the Infamous 1938 Broadcast,

A Christmas Carol 

2018: Rebecca, Treasure Island, Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, The Dark, A Christmas Carol