Last week we showcased one of Rudyard Kipling's world famous stories adapted for radio. This week we turn to another world-class author with Robert Louis Stevenson's (1850-1894) 1886 tale "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Originally titled "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," this timeless tragedy of a doctor who partakes of a drug that turns him into a monster has been put to film more than 123 times and won Frederic March an Oscar as Best Actor for his performance in the 1931 version of the film. (Photo above right: Frederic March and Miriam Hopkins from the 1931 film.)
Theatre Royal was the name of the British radio anthology series which first ran this adaptation in the 1950s. The show adapted mostly classic literature, featuring work by Dumas, Stevenson, Dickens, et al. Famed actors Sir Ralph Richardson and Sir Lawrence Olivier hosted, narrated, and often starred in the dramatizations (the legendary Olivier appears in this episode). Following its run in the UK, episodes were imported and syndicated in various U.S. markets for decades, the (very slightly, with nothing important lost) edited U.S. versions clocking in at around 20 minutes in order to give radio stations time for their local commercials.
Listen now to this well-produced radio dramatization of a doctor's inquiry into the nature of good and evil, and what turns out to be one of the greatest split-personality tales of all time, as Sir Lawrence Olivier stars in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde."
Play Time: 20:11
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