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Seven Crystall Balls: 1986 Audiobook?

#1 · Posted: 2 Nov 2019 12:37 · Edited by: Moderator
I have come across a Listen Productions 1986 audiobook of The Seven Crystal Balls (it says "With Sound Effects and Music"), and starring Roy Kinnear, John McAndrew, Wolf Morris, Andrew Sachs and Timothy West.

It's running time is given as 57 minutes, 55 seconds, and it says it was released in the UK in the 1980s.

Does anyone have these recordings? I'm assuming they were commercially available for a limited time.
There is also one for Tintin and the Picaros.
UK Correspondent
#2 · Posted: 3 Nov 2019 14:01
I have both of those audiobooks. They were released as 'book and cassette' sets in the 1980s; each came with a paperback copy of the album in a see-through plastic wallet. They were designed to be listened to whilst reading the books, as there is no explanatory narration, just dialogue and limited music (and I think sound effects; I haven't listened to them for a while).

I believe more may have been issued – I can remember seeing a library record for The Broken Ear years ago, but never managed to track it down, so I can't confirm any beyond Crystal Balls and Picaros.
#3 · Posted: 3 Nov 2019 14:52 · Edited by: jock123
I think I have the Picaros one somewhere, but I haven't seen it in a while, so I might have to do some digging. I don't remember what it was like, or even if I had played it (I either didn't have a cassette player at the time, or the condition wasn't good when I got it).
I know that there were meant to be six available, and that they cost £4.25 at the time of release, but I don't have a list of titles beyond these two, nor any certainty that they were all released.
If I can find the cassette, I will add any further details that it might have.
#4 · Posted: 4 Nov 2019 10:08 · Edited by: mct16
Roy Kinnear, Andrew Sachs and Timothy West. That's quite a distinguished cast. Is there any indication which parts they played?
UK Correspondent
#5 · Posted: 4 Nov 2019 20:44
Roy Kinnear, Andrew Sachs and Timothy West. That's quite a distinguished cast. Is there any indication which parts they played?

I don't recall there being anything like liner notes or credits anywhere on the cassette sleeves; the cast were listed on a sticker on the front of the wallet.

I remember Sachs played Professor Calculus; he of course later played Snowy in the 1990s BBC Radio series. Does that make him the only person to have played different Hergé characters in separate adaptations?

John McAndrew was Tintin – his voice may be familiar to listeners from the BBC 1981 radio adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, where he played Pippin. I can't remember Kinnear and West's roles, sorry.
#6 · Posted: 6 Nov 2019 22:42 · Edited by: jock123
I've posted the information we have gathered here on our Facebook page, with a scan of the Picaros cassette cover (which I managed to find!).
I'd have played it too, but I discovered I don't have a plug on the mains-lead of my cassette machine at the moment, but as soon as I have fixed that, I'll take a listen! :-)

Update: Tiny further piece of info - the tapes were available without the book, for a reduced fee of £3.50. They were available mail-order from the company, which was based in Hammersmith in London, but as it's a domestic address, and there is no sign of the company being active today, it seems unlikely that anyone involved is there now.

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