It really seems like ages since Doctor Who author Paul Magrs last Brenda and Effie novel, Brenda and Effie Forever! in 2012 and indeed, for fans of this quirky, funny series of books set around the Yorkshire town of Whitby, it did seem at the time that the novel was to be last featuring the errant pair of ageing but oh so active supernatural investigators – one, as it was quickly revealed, the Bride of Frankenstein and the other a reluctant White Witch.
Well, there’s good news this Hallowe’en: Paul has announced he’s bring Brenda and Effie back, in a series of audio adventures starring Anne Reid from Bafflegab Productions, producers of the equally glorious The Scarifyers, which also made the jump to comics back in 2012.
The first new story brings fans the first ever time Brenda and Effie meet, which never featured in any of the six novels published to date.
There’s a strange new landlady in town, opening a B&B by the harbour; a lady with a tall black beehive, nasty scars about her person and a very chequered past. Soon she’s teamed up with part-time witch Effie and together they investigate the mystery of the ghostly singing cat on the rooftops of the old town, and the savage maulings of old ladies in lonely alleyways. Also – there’s something very peculiar about the quite frankly awful oil painting Effie drags home from an auction. Can it really be coming to ghastly life?
Here we are at the very start: about to hear the truth of what happened when Brenda met Effie and hell was unleashed in Whitby for the very first time..!
Directed by Simon Barnard, with sound design by Simon Robinson and music by Edwin Sykes, Paul Magrs’ macabre creations are to be brought to life by Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax), with Alex Lowe and Chris Pavlo, in the first of three planned The Brenda and Effie Mysteries, with the first to be released on download only on 12th December 2014 (you can listen to a sample here).
Bafflegab Productions (formerly Cosmic Hobo Productions) is an audio production company producing quality original drama and documentaries. In addition to The Brenda and Effie Mysteries, the company also produces The Scarifyers, tales of comedic supernatural intrigue set in 1930s Britain, which has been acquired by BBC Radio 4 Extra. Starring such luminaries as David Warner, Brian Blessed, Leslie Phillips and Nigel Havers, the series has been described in the national press as ‘rollicking good fun’, ‘a slice of audio perfection’, ‘the smartest and most enjoyable thing on British radio’ and ‘like Tintin but with the lights out.’
Bafflegab has also released Peter Cushing’s readings of his own autobiography Not Forgetting and the Sherlock Holmes stories, and launched Vince Cosmos: Glam Rock Detective, also written by Paul, starring Green Wing’s Julian Rhind-Tutt as the eponymous hero and featured former Doctor Who companion Katy Manning in the cast.
Bafflegab was established in 2006 by network radio producer Simon Barnard who has produced documentaries for BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 1; music shows for BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6Music; and won three Sony Awards, including Gold in 2005 for the John Peel tribute Teenage Dreams So Hard To Beat.
Novels, audio adventures… now all Brenda and Effie need is their own comic. We’re waiting!
Artwork by Stuart Manning