“Check out the list below of the best audio dramas and relive these cherished adventures again and again!”
Whether for playing on road trips, entertaining the family, or simply multitasking at home or work, audio dramas are a fantastic resource for meaningfully passing the time with adventures of cinematic quality. Whereas most audiobooks typically involve a single narrator reading the book’s text, an audio drama (also called “radio theatre” or abridged/adapted “dramatized audiobooks”) whisks the listener away in a movie-like experience and features a full cast of voice actors, immersive sound effects, and soundtracks — all without the requirement of getting stuck in front of a TV. Moreover, this list of world-class productions extends across a broad range of genres and family-friendly material, encompassing both dramatized renditions of beloved literary classics and exciting originals.
Fans of C. S. Lewis will be enchanted by productions of The Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis at War, and The Screwtape Letters. Readers of classic books, such as Anne of Green Gables, Oliver Twist, Les Misérables, and The Secret Garden, will experience their favorite stories in an entirely new way. Children are taught life lessons with the Adventures in Odyssey series while simultaneously having fun. Enthusiasts thrilled by the more obscure will be delighted to discover stellar productions of Billy Budd, Sailor and At the Back of the North Wind. Those who have a taste for the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes will be enthralled by the innovative and brilliant Father Gilbert Mysteries. Even still, this falls short of covering all the available possibilities!
Check out the list below of the best audio dramas and relive these cherished adventures again and again!
Featured image photo credit: Juja Han (@juja_han)
An unforgettable account of betrayal, revenge, redemption, Focus on the Family Radio Theatre’s production of Ben-Hur tells the tale of a nobleman who fell from Roman favor and was sentenced to live as a slave—all at the hands of his childhood friend, Messala. Once nearly brothers, any hope of reconciliation is dashed after Messala is seriously injured during a vicious chariot race won by the vindictive Ben-Hur. But what makes this adaptation of Lew Wallace’s best-selling story unforgettable is the changed man Ben-Hur becomes after seeing Christ on the cross.
Recorded in London with film-style sound, this action-packed production shares that compassion is the true path to redemption.
This captivating audio drama production based on the beloved book by Lucy M. Montgomery allows listeners to personally experience the world and characters presented in Anne of Green Gables in a whole new way! Anne of Green Gables is the story of a little girl’s feisty spirit and strong determination that wins over the hearts of the people of Avonlea.
From the award winning team that brought you The Chronicles of Narnia, these classic stories feature performances by a full cast of actors, including Gemma Jones from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and many others. Also features motion-picture quality sound design and original music score.
The story that has thrilled millions comes to life in a brand new way in Focus on the Family Radio Theatre’s Les Misérables. This audio drama beautifully portrays the redeeming power of forgiveness through the story of Jean Valjean, an embittered convict whose life is changed by a single act of kindness. Recorded in London with some of England’s finest actors, it will mesmerize adults and families alike.
The classic stories of C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia come to life through this beautifully boxed edition of fully dramatized audio adventures. Produced by Focus on the Family’s acclaimed Radio Theatre, the series is now presented in a collector-quality tin with original artwork and map of Narnia.
Recorded in London with an all-star cast of England’s brightest talent from the stage and screen, an original orchestral score, and cinema-quality digital sound design, this innovative recording includes all seven original stories and nearly 22 hours of entertainment! Adults and children alike will be entranced by stories of courage, self-sacrifice, friendship, and honor—in a world where talking creatures conspire with men, dark forces are bent on conquest, and the great lion Aslan is the only hope.
This is a repackaged, collector’s edition of this bestselling Radio Theatre resource, which has sold more than 340,000 copies.
An audio drama of the highest quality, Oliver Twist was recorded on location in London with an award-winning cast. This classic story will steal your heart as the timeless characters are brought to life in Focus on the Family Radio Theatre’s edition of Charles Dickens’ beloved tale. This amazing audio production comes on five CDs, with a bonus DVD that includes behind-the-scenes production footage and the documentary Modern Day Oliver. Purchase of the product also benefits Focus’s “Wait No More” adoption initiative.
With cinema-quality sound and an original soundtrack, this audio drama tells the story of a young orphan sent from a child farm to begin life in a workhouse. After committing the unpardonable offense of asking for more food, Oliver is sent off to apprentice with a coffin-maker whose wife mistreats him. He runs away to London, where he meets the Artful Dodger and Fagin, who trains kids to be pickpockets. Despite his many trials and hardships, he finally gets his happy ending, bringing hope for redemption to all around him.
Mary, a young orphaned girl, meets her bedridden cousin, Colin. She discovers an enchanting secret place, separate from the outside world. It is in this place that Colin and Mary learn lessons about overcoming obstacles. By putting their faith in God and others, their lives are forever altered. This story will captivate audiences of all ages.
From the award winning team that brought you The Chronicles of Narnia, these classic stories feature performances by a full cast of actors, including Gemma Jones from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and many others. This complete audio theatrical performances with original musical scores features motion-picture quality sound design.
Peabody Award winner!
With faith comes a price. What are you willing to pay? That’s the question explored in Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom. Chronicling the life of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this provocative Peabody award-winning dramatization shares the story of one man’s battle against the evils of Nazism, a decadent culture, and compromising church—something that’s not so foreign to society today. Challenging and compelling, it’s entertainment with a message!
From the award-winning audio drama team that brought you Radio Theatre’s Amazing Grace and The Chronicles of Narnia. In his enduringly popular masterpiece The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis re-imagines Hell as a gruesome bureaucracy. With spiritual insight and wry wit, Lewis suggests that demons, laboring in a vast enterprise, have horribly recognizable human attributes: competition, greed, and totalitarian punishment. Avoiding their own painful torture as well as a desire to dominate are what drive demons to torment their “patients.”
The style and unique dark humor of The Screwtape Letters are retained in this full-cast dramatization, as is the original setting of London during World War II. The story is carried by the senior demon Screwtape played magnificently by award-winning actor Andy Serkis (“Gollum” in Lord of the Rings) as he shares correspondence to his apprentice demon Wormwood. All 31 letters lead into dramatic scenes, set in either Hell or the real world with humans—aka “the patient,” as the demons say—along with his circle of friends and family. This Radio Theatre release also stars Geoffrey Palmer (Tomorrow Never Dies), Laura Michelle Kelly (Sweeney Todd), Eileen Page (The Secret Garden), and other world-class actors.
Includes 10 new songs inspired by the classic book, four behind-the-scenes video documentary featurettes, and a 5.1 surround sound mix. Four CDs, approx. 4 hours total.
You’ll never believe it—Eugene has invented a robot version of Whit! And if you think that’s strange, wait until you hear about all the other odd things going on in Odyssey: Eugene and Connie are getting married? Tom is shutting down the Timothy Center so Bart Rathbone can turn it into a space camp? And—most amazing of all—Harlow Doyle actually solves a case? What in the world is going on? Find out in these wild and wacky adventures that include some of the most important lessons you’ll ever learn!
Edward Woodward (star of The Equalizer television series) and Jenny Agutter are just two of the experienced cast that lends its talents to this enchanting audio-play adaptation of the famous story by George Eliot. Betrayed by his best friend and maliciously accused of being a thief, Silas Marner loses everything—his fiancée, his friends, his reputation, and—worst of all—his faith in God and his fellow man. When a beautiful, golden-haired child enters his life—a girl he loves as if she were his own daughter—his life is amazingly changed for the better.
Enter into The Hiding Place to relive Corrie ten Boom’s heart-pounding account as a leader in the Dutch Underground during World War II. In this latest release from Focus on the Family’s Radio Theatre, you’ll find tragedy, perseverance, and the reality of God’s amazing love. With a cast of internationally acclaimed actors, cinema-quality sound effects, and full orchestration, you’ll experience this classic, real-life story like never before.
In this Radio Theatre audio drama adaptation of George MacDonald’s classic story, a beautiful woman known as the North Wind blows through a small village in Victorian London, and everyday lives are mysteriously enveloped by a power and a glory. Along the way, she visits a poor stable boy named Diamond and takes him with her on her journeys. At the Back of the North Wind explores the place of death in our lives, social injustice, and our deep need for love and forgiveness.
C. S. Lewis, author of the classic Chronicles of Narnia series, said of MacDonald, “What he does best is fantasy—fantasy that hovers between the allegorical and the mythopoeic. And this, in my opinion, he does better than any man. MacDonald is the greatest genius of this kind whom I know.”
The Radio Theatre production of Amazing Grace provides a prequel view to events featured in Amazing Grace, the movie. It offers listeners a more in-depth and personal story of each of the main characters—William Wilberforce (an evangelical Christian politician), John Newton (author of Amazing Grace), and Olaudah Equiano (slave turned quaker merchant)—three men instrumental in overthrowing the slave trade. The original Radio Theatre drama will bring out the essential spiritual elements in each story and show how the efforts of each man turned the tide of public opinion.
Experience Charles Dickens’s beloved story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the ghosts of Christmases past, present, and future in a 90-minute full-cast drama production. Since 1996, Focus on the Family Radio Theatre has produced innovative audio entertainment for families and individuals. These dramas feature cinema-quality sound design and original music scores.
Listeners will be captivated by this moving tale of good versus evil through the life of winsome young sailor Billy Budd. Aboard a 1700s British warship, virtuous Billy is unfairly accused of treason by the villainous Master of Arms—a cold-blooded superior officer intent on Billy’s destruction. Adapted from Herman Melville’s famous novel and presented by Focus on the Family’s Peabody Award–winning Radio Theatre team, Billy Budd will remind listeners of another man, perfectly just, who suffered and died a criminal’s death.
Combing the stellar script-adaptation skills of award-winning writer Paul McCusker with the best-selling novel by Jan Karon, Radio Theatre’s At Home in Mitford will leave listeners longing for more. Set in the charming village of Mitford, this book will delight listeners as it draws them into the life of Father Tim, an Episcopal rector who finds himself running on empty and longing for change. His bachelor existence is changed and enriched by a lovable cast of characters, including a stray dog, a lonely boy, and a comely neighbor.
When Louis Gilbert turned in his detective badge to become an Anglican priest, he thought his days of solving difficult mysteries were over. Now, as the vicar of an ancient church in a small English village, Gilbert finds himself as the center of one strange mystery after another. And he brings to each one his unique combination of streetwise smarts and spiritual intuition. All nine Father Gilbert Mysteries are offered in this special 10-CD collection, providing over 10 hours of audio entertainment.
Discover the incredible story of one of American history’s least known, yet most compelling, figures as it unfolds in The Legend of Squanto. This Focus on the Family radio theatre drama is more than just a tale about an honest man who triumphed over tragedy. It is also a tribute to honor, integrity, and the God-given ability to look beyond the color of one’s skin . . . and into the heart.
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis is widely considered one of the greatest Christian books of the twentieth century. What most people don’t realize is that it was first created as a series of radio broadcasts that came about due to the conflict and adversity faced by Britain during World War II.
C. S. Lewis at War is a powerful and entertaining radio theatre–style audio drama on CD that brings to life this amazing period in Lewis’s life. It provides a rare insight into Lewis’s life, friends, and family, illuminating a time of personal difficulty that also brought forth some of his most influential works: The Screwtape Letters, The Problem of Pain, and Mere Christianity. Recorded in London and written by Paul McCusker, the script comes alive with a full cast of award-winning British voice actors, cinematic sound effects, and an original score.
The story begins when England was at war with Germany. Injury and death impacted everyone. Day-to-day living was immensely difficult. Children were evacuated from London and sent to other parts of the country (Lewis himself took in a few). It was a time of strain, heartbreak, and weariness. A visionary in the BBC’s religious department—James Welch—passionately believed Christianity should be meaningful and relevant to the British people in this hour of need. Looking for new and diverse ways to present programs that explored Christian ideas, he contacted Oxford tutor, lecturer, and writer C. S. Lewis. Reluctant at first, Lewis finally agreed to make a case for a “moral law,” drawn from common human experience that he believed was essential as a foundation for faith in Christ. He presented his thoughts in a series of Broadcast Talks that were later gathered together and published as Mere Christianity.
This behind-the-scenes drama powerfully integrates the ideas Lewis explored in Mere Christianity with the very real influence that comes from living out a Christian life in a period of trauma, proclaiming the reasons to trust God even when the world screams otherwise.
In addition to the three-hour Radio Theatre production, C. S. Lewis at War includes a complete and unabridged dramatic reading of Mere Christianity—capturing the clarity, intelligence, and wit of the original classic. This provides listeners with a full ten hours of audio entertainment on 8 CDs.