Part of 45North’s series of audio dramas, Written on the Waves, this four-part comedy is the work of Ell Potter and Mary Higgins, the writing duo who created Hotter and Fitter for the stage. As circumstances dictated a change of direction, they turned to the development of Lem N Ginge.
Set in a mythical land where the princess has lost her voice, the newly named duo (titled after a popular cure for a sore throat), Potter and Higgins are joined by a third cast member for the first time in their career, with narrator Sharon D Clarke offering plenty of snip and snark as she recaps each episode and interjects along the way.
With clear influences from Alice in Wonderland and the fairy tales of Angela Carter, Lem N Ginge mixes music, a bawdy script, and a sense of fun in their tale of two unemployed actors thrown into a queer comic quest.
This show is very lively, fun and brings a whole bonkers universe to our attention. With Potter and Higgins performing every other role than narrator, they bring a hugely entertaining and expressive tale to life utilising camp amphibians, hot air balloons, and even a pastiche inspired by the teenage delinquents of West Side Story.
The episode titles may give a flavour of what to expect: Now bugger off!; Testicle tree; We got woke; and It was me. As our heroines stumble into a quest which might be slightly better than kicking their heels in theatre lockdown, any pretence of taking themselves seriously gets now just ignored, but firmly trampled underfoot.
There are laugh-out loud moments aplenty in this clever quartet of twisted fairy tales, where the ending seems as unlikely as the opening, and where anything can happen in-between in this chaotic romp.
You can listen to Lem N Ginge and the other audio plays in the Written on the Waves series here (listen for free).
A second series starts on 27 May with a new piece released every two weeks until August.