Radio Drama Analysis – Suspense: Sorry Wrong Number
This radio drama starts with a narrator setting the scene for the audience by explaining a basic
outline of a ‘Suspense’ radio drama. This opening is how all the ‘Suspense’ radio dramas begin giving
a sense of unease on the audience and intriguing them into the story. In this radio drama, the
narrator only opens and closes the story. He is not present during the narrative.
As a narrative this radio drama does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It is scary, intriguing and
slightly funny. However, I found it to be very predictable. In a way the, predictability works in a way
that lets audience unravel the story themselves giving them a sense of achievement.
The narrative starts with an elderly woman on dialling the phone. The audience know this by the
sound effects used. The way she winds the telephone up allows the audience to recognise her
actions, as well as putting the story into some context. By winding the telephone indicates it is a old
style telephone. This sound effect is used every time she makes a call, which consequently in the
particular radio drama, is a lot.
The way she begins to speak to the operator allows the audience to understand exactly what her
situation is, as well as other characters are in the narrative. This is a simple technique used to
introduce a story that worked well in this modest radio drama. As well as the storyline, the audience
are also voiced the location, the woman’s wellbeing and allows them to get a understanding of her
regular tone of voice (which becomes much more nervous and explosive towards the end).
The drama set out in a chronological order from start to end. It doesn’t contain any flashbacks or
lapses in time. This adds to the simplicity for the audience and makes it much easier to follow and
The most operative sound effect used in this drama in the use of silence. Lots of thriller or horror
genres will use this effect not only in radio dramas but other contexts of media including film of
television drama. Whilst listening to the intruder come up the stairs there is a sudden stop to the
sound. It picks up 4 seconds later with the man viciously entering her room. The small gap of silence
literally puts the audience in suspense, making reference to the name of the drama.
Overall I believe this radio drama was a success and very intriguing to listen to. It’s the perfect
amount of time without the audience getting bored, contains the right amount twists in the plot,
and is easy for the audience to follow and understand.