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Audio Comedy Review


Elephants to Catch Eels
Series One


Starring: Lucy Speed and John Bowe
RRP: £6.79
Click here to buy on MP3 for £5.49
ISBN: 978 1 44584 071 0
Available 02 June 2011

Tamsyn Trelawny and her band of 18th century Cornish smugglers are constantly kept on their toes as they have to come up with new ways to outwit the local customs officers. In this first series a hairy folk band helps Tamsyn and the Cornish smugglers to escape the law and Tamsyn tries to keep her love-life out of the scandal rags. Also, when a new rival appears in town, Tamsyn tries to quit then, finally, Tamsyn joins customs men to stop Courageous Kate from marrying her dad...

The first series of Elephants to Catch Eels was originally broadcast in 2003. It takes a bit of a while to find its feet. The first four episodes are fairly poor, with the gags sparse and hit and miss when they are delivered. Even the studio audience seem uncertain whether to laugh or not in places.

The premise is fairly straightforward. It's the 18th century and Tamsyn Trelawny is a barmaid in a public house in Drumlin Bay, Cornwall. She's also the region's most successful smuggler. She and her band of followers are constantly having to come up with new ways to out fox the rather stupid customs officers in the area.

The show finally starts to come together by episodes five and six - a two-part story that finishes the series off. The increased usage of Dewey also helps to up the comedy element.

Lucy Speed turns in a good performance as Tamsyn. Speed is probably best known for playing Natalie Evans in EastEnders, and DS Stevie Moss in The Bill. In addition Imelda Staunton makes a quest appearance in episodes five and six as Courageous Kate, a smuggler who threatens to take Tamsyn's place in the hearts of the locals.

This first series is interesting enough, but just felt a little old fashioned, comedy wise. The second series, which is also available, is much more enjoyable.


Darren Rea