I came to see this show at last year’s Fringe and fell in love with it. I was keen to see if my memory of the play was accurate or if those rose-tinted glasses had set in… I’m pleased to say it was just as funny as I remember!

The Defectors were formed in 2022 and debuted their first show Defective Inspector at last year’s Camden Fringe. Harrison Cole (writer and performer) delights again with this puns-galore crime caper. Starring as Richard P. Cooper, our hapless and delusional detective, he narrates (at great length) his toughest case alongside a chaotic duo: two hapless drama students who need the work experience – to fill in the jobs of the 20 actors he was sure he had asked for! This is hilariously portrayed by Daniel Hemsley and Francesca Eldred; will Dick find the would-be assassin in time for the election or get distracted by literally anything that comes his way?

A simple black box room is turned into a range of delightful settings with clever use of signs, ducking, and wonderfully over-the-top accents. This is Johnny English meets The Play That Goes Wrong; it’s an utterly endearing romp through the clichés of crime drama. 

You cannot help but smile and giggle along with the sheer volume of double entendres, dad jokes, and unnecessarily verbose explanations. 

Defective Inspector is irreverent and irresistible. 

It’s rare to get a double bill in on one evening but luckily Camden Fringe has this option. 

The second part is Defective Inspector: Stitch in Time.

No timeline is too sacred, and no sci-fi reference is too far-fetched, when Richard P. Cooper tires of his crime writing ‘career’, he takes on the more lucrative Sci-fi genre. 

A new cast member (Ellie Church) joins our troupe with the return of our favourite characters and related puns – mark my words (you’ll laugh at that later). Richard P. Cooper must use every slow-motion waving arm dance to move through the time tangle and stop Mr. Fluffington’s evil schemes! 

The whole audience is in stitches throughout this second instalment. With snappy, pun-tastic scripts, and the wonderful silliness of costume and prop mishaps, it’s a play that refuses to take itself seriously. Hemsley’s cockney cyborg sidekick is a particular highlight.

If you come across Part 2 before seeing Part 1, don’t worry, a hilarious recap begins our second instalment but see both if you can! This weekend only, head over to the Hen and Chickens Theatre for the double bill.

Defective Inspector:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Defective Inspector: Stitch in Time:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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