The Wireless Sings

By Tim Wander

This is the true story of the first British radio concerts which were transmitted from the Marconi Wireless and Telegraph Company’s New Street Works in Chelmsford, Essex, during the long summer of 1920.

The highlight of that year was a concert given by the world famous Australian soprano, Dame Nellie Melba.

In an age before radio broadcasting existed, the Marconi wireless station was completely experimental. It was designed, built and operated by young engineers who were researching the relatively new science and techniques required to transmit high power speech and even music over the radio.

The success of these early trials and the first British radio concerts led directly to the famous station known as Two Emma Toc at Writtle. Almost by accident, the Marconi men had created the new science and art of British Radio Broadcasting and within three short years, the BBC was born.

The play’s writer, Tim Wander, and John Rhodes, who was responsible for the recording, editing and sound effects, were both Marconi engineers for many years. Their detailed technical and historical knowledge, and the care they have taken to relay the story accurately, gives the play an engaging warmth and authenticity.


  • Sam Davidson - Darren Egan
  • Radio Operator - Scott Peters
  • Captain Henry Round - Keith Flack
  • Bill Ditcham - John Ellson
  • Arthur Burrows - Mike Collins
  • Winifred Sayer - Kate Smith
  • Dame Nellie Melba - Carole Williams
  • Narrator - John Rhodes

Directed by Angela Howard

Recorded and edited by John Rhodes

The Wireless Sings

Click to Play or Download
© Essex Audio Theatre 2016 - web design by archaeoimages