Audio Drama Wiki
RTÉ Players record ‘Ulysses’ ’ (1982)

RTÉ Players record ‘Ulysses’ (1982) L-R: Daphne Carroll, Paddy Dawson, Cathryn Brennan, Denis Staunton, Marcella O’Riordan, Conor Farrington, Kate Minogue, Eamonn Keane, Gerry McArdle

The Radio Éireann Players (RÉP) were a repertory company for radio in Ireland, formed in 1947, which performed in regular drama productions for Irish broadcaster Radio Éireann (later called RTE ),

Roibeard Ó Faracháin was the first Radio Éireann Talks Officer in 1939 (his title changed to General Features Officer in 1945). In 1939 the station broadcast over 80 plays. During 1942, Ó Faracháin drew up his plans to ensure the radio drama, as well as other radio activities, should be served by professionals forming the first full-time theatre company for an english speaking radio. He also fostered Irish writers such as Kate O'Brien, Edna O'Brien, James Plunkett and Francis MacManus, among many others.

The founding actors (plus three who joined the following year) were: Tom Studley, George Greene, Éamonn Kelly, Joe Lynch, Arthur O'Sullivan, Pegg Monahan, Laurence O'Dea, Frank O'Dwyer, Christine Spencer, Ginette Waddell, Marie Mulvey, Gerard Healey, Leo Leyden, Charles McCarthy, Deirdre O'Meara, Una Collins, Seamus Forde, Charles Davis, Ronald Ibbs, Florence Lynch, Mairín Ní Shuilleabháin, Joseph O'Dea, Christopher Casson, John Stephenson and Aiden Grennell. These "temporary, unestablished Civil Servants" started work at the studios on 18 August 1947. Between plays, the players acted in radio variety programmes and read pieces on the radio as necessary.

Plays were written by writers such as Michael Farrell, Padraic Fallon, Benedict Kiely, Frank O'Connor and Seán Ó Faoláin. This was a convenient income for these writers during the hard economic times of the 1940s and 1950s and also provided them a large audience. Another contributor was Brendan Behan, who made his debut with two plays for radio.

External links[]

"Temporary Unestablished Civil Servants" RTÉ radio documentary exploring the Radió Éireann Players