The Cambridge Geek

Mrs Hudson's Radio Show

An adaptation of the Cryers' Mrs Hudson's Diaries, this is something that I feel weirdly convinced I've listened to before, but I'm struggling to prove it. Must have just been something similar given it's new. Possibly one of the other Sherlock Holmes radio comedies.

It's 1881, and Holmes and Watson are looking for rooms to rent. They have been given a hint by Mrs Hudson's maid, Martha, that 221B Baker Street might have some space available. Which is very handy for Mrs. Hudson, who has recently lost a tenant, the great Mysto.

The magician has vanished an Indian elephant, and managed to vanish himself at the same time, leaving behind only a trunk of tricks. This is a particular problem, as he owes her six months of rent, and Sir Charles Swift, the leaseholder, is chasing her for the ground rent rather aggressively. He's a wrong'un.

So now Mrs. Hudson has to perform an investigation into his disappearance. It's exactly the sort of thing that a great detective will be helpful for. Shame, then, that the detecting duo find themselves a bit lost, and only feature peripherally in this series. Holmes might be an incredible deducer of facts, but he can't write down an address to save his life.

That leaves Mrs. Hudson in the investigative role, with a helpful local "community support officer", Mrs. Brayley, playing Watson. They might not be quite as polished or pugilistic a pair, but they're surprisingly effective at squirreling out the truth.

It's silly, with a capital silly. Barry Cryer acts as something of a narrator/storyteller, in the form of Harry Fryer, manager of the local music hall where Mysto worked. His personal experiences in that environment bleed into the overall feel of the show, with Barry's daft interjections leading to some delightfully groan-worthy jokes. And his filth is outmatched more or less constantly by Mrs. Brayley, who is utterly common and speaks almost entirely in double entendres.

Absolutely worth a listen.

Score 4

Tagged: Radio Comedy Cast Sitcom Spoof