Carrie Morrison gives us a real taste of what it was like at the Drunk Women Caught RedHanded live show for London Podcast Festival…
At the London Podcast Festival, the cast of Drunk Women Solving Crime (Hannah George, Catie Wilkins and Taylor Glenn) and RedHanded (Hannah Maguire and Suruthi Bala) head to the stage with bottles of Waitrose-branded Cava. This is the second time the shows have collaborated so there is already a deep familiarity with each other and their sense of humour. The ladies pour Cava into their glasses, ready to tackle some mysteries.
Since 2018, the three hosts of Drunk Women Solving Crime have gathered to solve true crimes that are a bit more lighthearted than the usual calibre of misdemeanours. Plus, every guest must present a personal crime that the team must solve together.
Tonight, they begin by inviting Suruthi Bala to share a story from her university days: the strange disappearance of her notebook with crucial notes from lectures, as well as a distinct pair of shoes she found at a stranger’s house… Suruthi’s story goes on for some time, with each extra detail making the case more intriguing. In the end, the team reckon it was the rival flat of girls below Suruthi as revenge for her disrupting their partying activities. It’s good fun and gets the audience warmed up to the true crime we are about to dissect.
The case is that of Helen Hullick, who was arrested for repeatedly wearing trousers when testifying in court. Host Taylor Glenn is fairly arbitrary in the rules of the game. She begins a sentence about the story but then leaves a pause for Team Drunk Women or Team Redhanded to guess what happened next. Most of the scores are dished out for who made the funniest quips rather than legitimate guessing (though the two sometimes came hand-in-hand).
This section of the show has a good balance of an intriguing story, whilst also having the air of a bunch of friends having fun and making each other laugh, which is infectious. The audience feel welcome to contribute their guesses, which is welcomed by the teams on stage, and we are even granted a point! When it comes to wrapping up this segment, Team Drunk Women and Team Redhanded call it a draw, because it doesn’t really matter who won, but instead it was about sharing this fascinating story.
Now it’s time for an audience member to share a story. The chosen storyteller is the sister of someone who previously submitted a ‘true crime’ for the team to solve (which if you hadn’t listened to the show you might not understand). This segment ends rather succinctly, as Taylor’s now keen to keep to time, but it leaves room for some extra jokes and funny misunderstandings.
The audience members who were familiar with the shows had had the Drunk Women/Redhanded fix they wanted, and laughed alongside the cast. There were a number of people who had not listened to either podcast featured, but this felt like a show where it was not necessary to have done the research. The structure was clear, the story of Helen Hullick was engaging, and the comedy left the audience feeling satisfied, with their spirits lifted.
Before we leave, Taylor shares all the achievements Helen Hullick went on to do as a way to celebrate a fantastic woman who always advocated for fairness and equality. I think about how the show was a fun way to dissect the way the patriarchy can be needlessly inconvenient, and the fantastic ways women hit back with their stubbornness.