Meet the Drunk Women Solving Crime
Drunk Women Solving Crime is a true crime podcast with a twist… of lime. It’s the drunken lovechild of writer and comedian Catie Wilkins, screenwriter Hannah George, comic and writer Taylor Glenn, and producer Amanda Redman, which features a different guest every week who reveals a crime that has been committed against them. Catie, Hannah and Taylor take it in turns to host the podcast and guide the others through a true crime, which they try to solve… whilst feeling the joyous effects of a G+T.
The drunk women are recording an episode today, so I arrive at Taylor’s flat beforehand to quiz them. I’m impressed by the vast array of snacks on the table and my eyes are drawn to a delicacy I haven’t seen before: prawn crackers with Maltesers on top. I’m worried. How drunk are these women? Should I have gone to the pub first? I decide not to try one, but we discuss odd drunken snacks for a while and I reveal that I once ate raw brown rice with a leftover Chinese at 4am. With that classy impression successfully made, the interview begins.
How do you all know each other and what was the inspiration for Drunk Women Solving Crime?
C: Well, Hannah and I met first, so we’re kind of the original two.
T: Yeah, rub it in. We all know each other from comedy. We were working on a script together when we realised we all have the same sense of humour. Catie had the Drunk Women Solving Crime title in her head for years, but didn’t know what it was or what to do with it. I remember sitting drunk with her at her house, and when she told me about it, I loved it. Then I met our producer, Amanda, at a gig and by chance she was leaving a career in radio and going into podcasting.
H: For me it was born slightly out of frustration. I make my living as a writer but I was finding it hard to get stuff further because I’m not a “name”. So, I wanted something to raise my profile.
So, what’s the process on a recording day?
C: We’ll have a drink and some food with the guest if we’re at Taylor’s to warm up. We never know the guest’s crime beforehand. Amanda, our producer, checks that it’s legal for them to say their crime but we haven’t heard it, so we react to the moment live.
T: We really don’t know each other’s cases either. That would ruin the fun! One of the things I like is that we alternate hosting. We all host differently and I think that’s what makes the podcast original.
H: It’s no mean feat researching and plotting out, because you’re essentially telling a story. I really flex the storytelling muscles when I’m hosting because we write half an hour of material every three weeks and so I need to think about when to reveal certain things within the story.
How are the live shows?
C: Sometimes I forget the audience is there because we’re so drunk. There’s a different energy. It’s nice to have the laughter.
H: It can be quite a rowdy crowd, but that’s only because people are trying to guess the year and join in with the questions. There’s a nice level – people like it and we know they’re engaged because they’re shouting out the answers.
T: Yeah, the live shows are much less pressure than stand up because we’re still following our format and not every line has to get a laugh. They get rid of everything I don’t like about stand up. I like the intimacy of recording in the studio as well, though.
How drunk do you get?
T: It really varies. We’ve had episodes where we’re drinking tea because it was so early in the day.
H: I’ve been drunk at every show, because I think at least one of us should. Some might say I’m a real hero.
C: There have been a couple of episodes where I just can’t concentrate and I’m not helpful. I say stupid things and I’m not grasping what people are telling me. There’s an element of feeling quite exposed. We’re putting ourselves out there, we’re trying to be funny, and getting drunk gives an extra layer of vulnerability.
What’s your favourite drink to have whilst recording?
C: Gin and tonic.
H: I like prosecco. It makes you feel quite silly.
T: Prosecco is my number one, too. We ask the guest what they’re feeling before. Once someone wanted whiskey and we were disappointed at first but we had a great time because we made cocktails.
H: That’s what’s nice about doing it in Taylor’s house – we can add stuff to the drinks.
C: Like mint from her garden!
How do you find the crime you want to talk about?
C: It kind of relies on what mood we’re in or who the guest is. Sometimes we tailor it slightly, but not much. My favourite ones are when the people involved are stupid. We had one where he thought he could get away with it because he grew a moustache!
T: I hope no one looks at my Google search – cute serial killers yay! We don’t have a method – sometimes we have a theme, like Christmas, but other than that it’s just what we find interesting.
H: I like the historical ones because there are loads of women in history who have done these awful things and, because they’re women, it’s more remembered. We need to be careful that we don’t just focus on serial killer women, though, because I’m more attracted to those cases.
T: Yeah, we always sympathise with them…
Of the guests you’ve had on, who had the most surprising crime story?
T: For me, Nerina Pallot, a very talented singer-songwriter. It was one of the early episodes and she came on and said she didn’t have a crime. Then, suddenly, she remembered this insane story where they took a lodger into their home and it turned out she was a drug trafficker with a young child and she was hiding drugs in a teddy bear! It was so funny because she didn’t immediately think of it. They even made a documentary about it.
C: Jen Brister attacked her attacker back. It was a horrifying story. That gave me proper chills.
H: So many guests have said they’ve been flashed. Sometimes we have to say we’ve had too many of those stories and ask if they have anything else. It’s sad that how common it is.
Do you have any advice for women in the industry?
T: Keep going, be aware of the barriers and try your best to bash through them. Just don’t stop. Without stereotyping too much, generally men are taught that it’s OK to fumble along and mess up and still be confident, but women are told that we should do everything perfectly. I feel like I’ve held myself back for so long being worried that I’m not good enough.
H: Show people that you’re doing stuff. As a writer, visually showing people what you’re doing really helps. The leap from being a writer with an agent and a writer with a show is huge and you need to do stuff in between, especially as a woman.
C: Make alliances with other women, because lots of men won’t help. Just do it yourselves. Stay in your general area but don’t be afraid to branch out because you never know which of the many projects will be the one that gets you to the right person.
You can listen to Drunk Women Solving Crime at https://drunkwomensolvingcrime.com.
And follow them on Twitter: @drunkwomenpod
Hannah George: www.hannahgeorge.com
Catie Wilkins: www.catiewilkins.com
Taylor Glenn: https://taylorglenncomedy.tumblr.com/home