Usually I keep this blog to crime writing and books, but I’ve recently got into a new (to me) crime television series and I thought I’d share this, as someone had to write it, Paul Matthew Thompson and Jude Tindall in this case. So this blog is rather lighter than some.
The series I discovered is “Shakespeare and Hathaway”.
If like me, you’re new to this series, this is how IMDB describes it:
“An oddball couple of private detectives named Luella Shakespeare and Frank Hathaway investigate crime in Stratford-upon-Avon.”
Staring Jo Joyner (Shakespeare) and Mark Benton (Hathaway), the oddball couple (hate that hackneyed phrase, but it’s their description), are joyous to watch. The characters are human and make mistakes. Their office assistant, wanna be actor Sebastian, is fabulous, he takes on undercover roles with aplomb, and is brilliant in every facet, which only goes to showcase the real talent of the actor playing the role – Patrick Walshe McBride. The series has been filmed in Stratford-Upon-Avon and the surrounding area. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some locations in Midsomer Murders mind!
All the elements of this show work brilliantly together, but the glue is the writing.
Each episode is titled with a quote from Shakespeare, the Bard himself of course, not the lead character! A lot of names are taken from the plays, and those associated with Shakespeare, for example DI Marlowe is named for Shakespeare’s contemporary, Christopher Marlowe. The plots reflect some aspect of the plays too – though often rather loosely so knowledge, or lack thereof, of Shakespeare’s work is irrelevant to watching the series.
The series is cosy crime, as it fits into the weekday afternoon slot, around the same time you’d otherwise find shows like “Father Brown”. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s funny, and intelligent and well worth the time to watch. Given that there were three series already up for streaming, I’m clearly late to the game on this one, but I have to say – better late than never.
If you want a light-hearted giggle with your murder, I can verily recommend this series of “plays” and we all know – the plays the thing. Series 1 – 3 are on BBC iPlayer and series 4 is due out some time this year.