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FAMOUS "ESCAPE" STORIES to
Be Radio PLAYS
New 2GB Series For 1938
"There seems to be some peculiar magic in the word 'escape'," says William Power, the brilliant young radio dramatist, who has just completed a series of radio dramas entitled "Famous Escapes," which are soon to be heard from 2GB.
The mere word itself has the power to banish our drab environment and lead us into a land of adventure and romance, he contends.
LOOK at all the books that
use the word in their titles. There are 'Ways of Escape,' 'The Escapers' Club,' 'Escapers All,' 'Escape Me Never,' to mention but four, and all of them have been good sellers, if not best sellers.
"The truth is that when we read books, listen to music, go to the pic- tures or the theatre, we are seeking an escape from dull Suburbia or from business worries, or even from our- selves and our own limitations.
"For that very reason I believe that most radio listeners, as they hear the various episodes that go to make up the series, will imagine themselves in the place of the hero, will plot and plan along with him, and when finally they have made the escape will feel all the better for the experience."
The idea came to Mr. Power whilst
reading the famous memoirs of
He had been asked to write a series of romantic dramas with his- torical backgrounds, and was cast- ing around for an idea which would link them into a series.
"I wanted each episode to be abso- lutely complete in itself," said Mr. Power. "As I read Casanova, I re- marked that by far the most popular portion of the book was the famous escape over the roofs of Venice, and that in spite of the many romantic love incidents in the life of the man who is undoubtedly the 'World's Greatest Lover.'
"It gave me an idea. Why not write a whole series of 'Famous Escapes'?"
From escapes out of prison, Mr. Power began to extend the ground of
Having been a lawyer before he be- came a radio dramatist, Mr. Power added to his list those equally dramatic escapes, from the rigor of the law, brought about by fate or by the cleverness of lawyers.
There was for instance the case of "The Man They Couldn't Hang." His name was John Lee, and though three attempts were made to hang him each one failed.
Then there was the greatest legal fight of the ages, the Escape of Drey- fus. It was a fight In which such men as Emile Zola, the novelist and master of realism, the young Anatole France, and the young Clemenceau (later to
become the Tiger of France) pitted their strength against the whole mili- tary clique of France - and won.
"I soon discovered," continued William Power, "that all the heroes of famous escapes were not men. Quite a number of the escapees were
'Take the case of Mary Queen of
Scots, who escaped from Loch Leven,
an escape which, alas, was to bring her beautiful but unwise head to the
block at the command of Queen Eliza- beth.
Or the escape of Catherine the
Great, the little German Princess who married a weakling Emperor of Russia, and escaped the death that was planned for her as a hated foreigner by meeting plot with coun- terplot, cunning with greater cun- ning, and making herself ruler in place of her husband.
"In other famous escapes, women have played an important part. Bonnie Prince Charlie would never have escaped but for the lovely Flora Mac- donald, celebrated in Scottish song and story.
"So you see," concluded Mr. Power,
! Our Radio Sessions j i From Station 2GB i
? Featured by Dorothea Vautier. ?
' YJITEDNESOAY, January 5.- j ! VV 11.45 a.m.: Serial (» ro- , j mantic thriller). 2.45 pjn.: j J The Fashion Parade.
THURSDAY, January 6.- ¡
I 11.45 a.m.: Serial. 2.45 p.m.: ?
¡ People in the Limelight.
FRIDAY, January 7.-11.45 ?
¡ a.m.: SeriaL 2.45 p.m.: Musical J
I Cocktail. I
! SATURDAY, January 8.- ¡
? 7.45 p.m.: The Music Box. 9JO I
! p.m.: Feature Programme. ¡
I Selections from Gilbert and ? ' Sullivan.
SUNDAY, January 9.-130 I
¡ p.m.: Celebrity Singer Recital, J
I Elizabeth Schumann. 6.10 I
? p.m.: San Francisco Symphony J
? Orchestra and Charles Kullman ? ? (tenor). 1 I MONDAY, January %%r- I
j 11.45 k.m.: SeriaL 2.45 p.m.: ?
I Review of The Australian ? . Women's Weekly.
? TUESDAY, I muary IL- I
j 11.45 a.m.: SeriaL 2.45 p.m.: !
I The Homemaker, Mrs. Eve Gre. ?
"I had endless scope. History offers m wealth of famous escapes. Legend pro- vides the escape of Penelope from her suitors; fiction the escape of Monte Cristo. Even our own short history offers quite a number of episodes from the escape of Buckley, the wild white man, who incidentally provided us with that Australianism, 'Buckley's Chance,' to the escape of Australian Diggers from prison in Turkey."
WM. POWER, whose teriet of plays dramatising famous escapes of fact and ñction will toon be heard
from Station 2GB.