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Marius Goring recording a radio broadcast at the BBC 1950s
L'Aiglon cast list in The Radio Times 16 November 1936

Radio Career


Marius began his radio career in two radio versions of Old Vic Company productions of Shakespeare plays for the BBC: as Malcolm in 'Macbeth' with Charles Laughton as Macbeth and Flora Robson as Lady Macbeth broadcast on 8 April 1934 and playing two rôles in 'King Richard II' as Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk and Sir Stephen Scroop with Maurice Evans as King Richard II which was broadcast on 19 May 1935. He would go on to do more Shakespeare for the radio in the 1930s, notably two versions of 'King Lear' in 1938 and 1939 respectively, playing The Fool in both to Godfrey Tearle's then Abraham Sofaer's Lear. Marius would later play The Fool to Michael Redgrave's Lear in a highly regarded stage production at Stratford in 1953. 


In October 1935 he played an uncredited rôle in a production of Sapper's 'Bulldog Drummond' adapted by Jack Inglis for the BBC and his first starring rôle was in a broadcast of 'L'Aiglon' also on the BBC. This was a 'free adaptation' from the French, by Clemence Dane and Richard Addinsell, of the Edmond Rostand play based on the life of Napoleon II. Marius played Franz, Duke of Reichstadt, Napoleon's son. It was written in rhymed verse and a review in The Times noted that "Mr Marius Goring, as Napoleon's son, managed his demonstrative language extremely well". He did another version of "L'Aiglon" for the BBC playing the same rôle in 1952.

He became famous (or infamous) in late 1939 by providing the voice of Hitler in 'The Shadow of the Swastika', a radio-drama in six parts of the story of the German National Socialist Party, produced for broadcasting by Laurence Gilliam for the BBC and written by A.L. Lloyd and Igor Vinogradoff.

An article published in Smith's Weekly, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on 27 January 1940.



By 'Short Wave'

THAT black chapter in the history of the Nazi Party which begins with the annexation of Czechoslovakia, and ends with the rape of Poland, will be dealt with in the seventh programme of the B.B.C. series. 'The Shadow of the Swastika', now being broadcast from London.


This next episode will be heard on Saturday, January 27, at 4.45 p.m. through GSD (25.53) and GSB (31.55 metres), and at 10.30 p.m on GSG (16.86) and GSJ (13.93 metres).


The search for the facts on which these programmes are based-and the historical accuracy of the series is one of its most striking features-involved the analysis of every book written in English and German on the Germany of the last twenty years, a minute study of the files of the German Press during that time, and the collection of private information about the Nazi Party and its members, from refugees and British subjects who have had access to leading personalities of the regime.


Carried out by Igor Vinogradoff, former Lecturer in History at Edinburgh University, this research work is probably the most exhaustive ever undertaken for a broadcast programme.


George Walter, a German musician who came to England about seven years ago, is the composer of the special music of the series. A pupil of Krenik and Schönberg, he conducted opera in Germany at the age of seventeen, and wrote the incidental music of many German radio-plays and films.


For the continually-recurring theme that denotes Hitler, Walter used the Horst Wessel song, rescored for brass only. An arrangement of Wagner's 'Wotan' theme accompanies the recollections of Hitler's broken promises, and the theme-music for the concentration camps is the folk-song, 'Die Lorelei', which, until it was proscribed by the Nazis, was sung everywhere in Germany.


A.L. Lloyd is the author of the script for 'The Shadow of the Swastika', and Laurence Gilliam is producing the series. Marius Goring, an actor well known for his interpretation of parts demanding great nervous energy, plays Hitler.

Article in Cambridge Daily News re MG playing Hitler on radio 18 November 1939
The Shadow of the Swastika review in The Guardian 18 November 1939
The Shadow of the Swastika review in The Guardian 2 December 1939

Radio Times Article 5 January 1940 by Guy Fletcher

Talking of Hitler, I met the other day the very clever young actor, Marius Goring, who plays the Führer in ‘The Shadow of the Swastika’ (the next instalment Thursday). His name only happens to be Goring (he comes from a Sussex family)—it had nothing to do with his being cast for the title role in this broadcast history of the Nazis.

After making his first stage appearance at the Old Vic at the age of fourteen as a fairy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, he spent the next three years in France and Germany as a student, and was at Munich University with Nazi enthusiasm growing and riots taking place everywhere.

Nazis would come up to him, slap him on the back and say: ‘Gott in Himmel, Goring, it’s good to have a name like our Hermann!’ In addition to all this, he speaks German fluently. So you can see now why he was cast as Hitler.

As an actor—and he is one of the best—Marius owed his chance to a rare opportunity. After returning from Germany he joined the Old Vic Company, and one night both principal and understudy were ‘off’ in Macbeth and he went on for the part and showed his mettle. As a result, at the age of eighteen, he was chosen to play Romeo to Peggy Ashcroft’s Juliet. Two years later he toured France with the Compagnie des Quinze in the repertoire of plays acted in French.

The Other Goring

On the air he has played other roles, the lead in L’Aiglon, Shakespeare in The Dark Lady of the Sonnets, Marchbanks in Candida, and the Fool in King Lear— and all in the last few years. And just now in the theatre he is playing Pip in Alec Guiness’s adaption of ‘Great Expectations’ at the Rudolf Steiner Hall, London. It is just on the cards that we shall hear a broadcast.

A very interesting paper by Alex Goody published online on 21 May 2018: BBC Features, Radio Voices and the Propaganda of War 1939-1941

The 1940s saw him doing considerably more radio work, though much was as a supervisor of the BBC's German Service, broadcasting propaganda to Germany from 1941 onwards. He did do some radio plays during the war (before joining up then being seconded to the BBC), including 'Ninotchka' based on the film screenplay by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder and Walter Reisch. He played one of the starring rôles as Count Leon D'Algout to his future wife, Lucie Mannheim's Nina Yakushova/Ninotchka. This was broadcast on the BBC on 3 April 1940.

Radio Times article 5 January 1940
Marius Goring & Laurence Olivier doing a radio play 'Christopher Columbus' with the BBC Symphony Orchestra October 1942
Appointment with Fear - The Tell-Tale Heart review in The Guardian 15 January 1944
Edmund Kean radio play review in The Guardian 11 July 1945
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