Review: Knickers and Gnomes are On the Case
I listened to Cambridge’s brilliant new comedy murder mystery spoof and had a wonderful time!
Online theatre has prompted an explosion of new radio plays and audio dramas as Cambridge thesps adapt their original works to the constraints of the pandemic. Roaring into the podcast game is Ella Palmer’s new spoof murder mystery, Knickers and Gnomes are On the Case, which releases new episodes every Monday and Friday on various podcast platforms, including Spotify. At the time of writing, the first two episodes have been released.
Ella Palmer’s imaginative audio drama transports the listener to the world of Hitchcock Gnomes and Lacey Knickers, two detectives who work out of 331C Quaker Street. The puns and jokes fly thick and fast and keep the comedic tone of the podcast upbeat to ensure an enjoyable experience. Both witty and dramatic, each 2o minute episode captures the attention of the audience and leaves the listener hungry for more.
The plot of the podcast follows detective in training, Lacey Knickers, as she works her first case with the renowned detective Hitchcock Gnomes when they learn that a famous painting has been stolen from the Mate Modern art gallery.
What the script may appear to lack in the originality of its plot and subject matter it more than makes up for through characterisation and production value which serve to effectively transport the listener. Boasting a host of well-developed side characters alongside the two leads, it is the characters which are used to drive the plot and provide the comedy which makes for an enjoyable experience.
What really makes this podcast stand out however is its professional production value. A variety of sound effects and embedded descriptions effectively set each scene alongside Lily Blundell’s brilliant original music to give the podcast a professional feel. Further congratulations must be extended to the producers and sound editors who have done a tremendous job in crafting and creating an authentic and enjoyable radio drama.
The cast’s leads, Dorothy Burrows (Lacey Knickers) and Joseph Tedds (Hitchcock Gnomes) do an excellent job in carrying the podcast, with most of the humour and drama resting on their shoulders. Burrows’ charming performance as the inexperienced Lacey brings a humanity and depth to the character which makes the podcast more engaging and anyone who knows Joe knows that a grouchy, ageing, snobby detective was pretty much the part he was born to play.
The relationship and interplay between their two characters is the backbone of the show and is impressively maintained, especially when considering that the actors and directors concerned were recording in different locations.
In the first two episodes, we have also been introduced to Sophie Brawn’s Mrs. Plumber, Tom Sparkes’ Larry, Theo Rooney’s Plumber and Amy Mallows’ Paula and in each instance, these actors do a tremendous job of characterising their performances through their voice acting despite limited screen time. Mallows’ deadpan delivery of meta-comedy lines was a particular highlight of the second episode.
All in all, Knickers and Gnomes provides the listener with a charming, witty, and enjoyable audio drama with enough comedy to keep audiences laughing and enough plot to keep listeners engaged and ready for more! Have a listen here. 4/5
Feature image credit: Cody Knight