One of World's Longest-running Radio Drama Celebrates 55th Anniversary

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The Wola Museum in Warsaw hosts a 55th anniversary celebration for one of the world's longest-running radio dramas. Here's more from our correspondents.

Actors and scriptwriters for one of the world's longest-running radio dramas, called The Matysiaks, join officials from the Wola Museum in Warsaw to celebrate 55 years on the air.

[Dzennet Poltorzycka, Scriptwriter for The Matysiaks]
"The radio drama The Matysiaks is a story about a family. A Polish family from Warsaw spanning over half a century. […] It's a reflection of life in Warsaw and life in Poland."

The show came on the air thanks to the easing of some freedom of speech restrictions which gripped communist Poland at that time.

[Dzennet Poltorzycka, Scriptwriter for The Matysiaks]
"This radio drama started out in 1956, which is a very important date for Poland. This was the so-called Polish October, so a time when there was a slight thaw in restrictions to freedom of speech and expression. In a word, a lot of truth returned to public life and maybe that's why this family quickly won the hearts of our society because it began to show the truth about our life."

But dealing with censorship remained a constant fact of life for the show's writers.

[Dzennet Poltorzycka, Scriptwriter for The Matysiaks]
"There was censorship, like always in these types of political systems, and we fought with it and talked to the censors and sometimes we managed to break through it and sometimes not."

It's widely believed that one reason for the show's huge popularity was the fact that it never became a propaganda mouthpiece.

[Ludmila Laczynska, Actress in The Matysiaks]
"Nobody really expected that it would become so popular. But people began to listen and write letters. At one point we had 12 million listeners."...

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