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Great Detectives radio drama hits the road


An Adelaide Fringe show that re-creates the experience of attending a 1950s radio drama recording has been revamped for a national tour featuring actors, singers and media personalities as special guests.

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Great Detectives of Old Time Radio Live, produced by Preachrs Podcast OnLine and OnStage, was first presented at the 2015 Fringe.

Show director and Preachrs Podcast founder Benjamin Maio Mackay describes the show as “an evening of mystery dramas” inspired by radio theatre and audio entertainment.

It uses scripts from 1950s radio programs Candy Matson, which centred on a tough and sassy female private investigator of the same name, and the long-running Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, about a freelance insurance investigator.

“Each show combines the element of mystery, comedy and slapstick that’s entertaining for all ages,” Maio Mackay says.

“Two of the three stories have been adapted from selected episodes of Candy Matson, who was the only female lead character of the era, and the third from Johnny Dollar.

The 75-minute production is playing at the Sydney Fringe Festival this month, then returns to Adelaide for a season at Tandanya from September 28 until October 9, before heading to seven other cities.

Guest performers in each city who will take on cameo roles and provide narration linking the three mysteries. They include cabaret singer David Gauci and former TV newsreader Graeme Goodings in Adelaide, The Chaser’s Andrew Hansen and Dirty Dancing The Musical star Kurt Phelan in Sydney, and comedian Dave Callan in Melbourne.


However, it is four Adelaide actors – Maio Mackay, Eden Trebilco, Julia Sciacca and Jennifer Barry – who take on the main roles in Great Detectives of Old Time Radio Live.

“Although there are only four main actors, it’s interesting and entertaining watching them each bend their voices in order to play a range of different characters,” Mackay says.

Maio Mackay, who finished high school only last year, also presented the audio-drama Matthew Reilly’s Ice Station Live at this year’s Adelaide Fringe.

Details of Great Detectives of Old Time Radio Live performance dates can be found here.

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