Stream 61 hours of Orson Welles’ classic 1930s radio plays: “War of the Worlds”, “Heart of Darkness” & more

Open Culture:

There has rarely ever been an artist more fully in command of as many different art forms as Orson Welles during his height – the late 1930s and early 40s. He revolutionized the stage, radio and cinema before the age of 26 and became a household name in the process.

Now you can listen to 61 hours of radio plays, all created by Welles for his 1930s radio show, The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The Spotify playlist includes A Christmas Carol, Heart of Darkness and even a rehearsal for Julius Caesar.

Most people only know of Orson Welles from his movies – Citizen Kane is arguably the greatest film of all time – but he started as a director of groundbreaking stage plays and radio dramas. I know what I’ll be listening to on my 24 hour plane flight to Sydney, Australia on Friday.



  • Mo

    Welles’ radio work was damned good.

    While I was still in my odd, ill-fated laserdisc phase, I had an LD disc set which had been released with audio only. It was a Voyager collection of his other non-War of the Worlds Mercury Theatre stuff, including adaptations of Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca” and Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” and it had all been newly processed for noise removal. Sounded great, and I’m glad I ripped the tracks before getting rid of the player.

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