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Quirky comedy and audience participation in Inspector Norse

Off the back of The Killing’s success comes Inspector Norse, a likeable and clever parody of the Scandinavian crime genre.

Inspector Norse 1

Sandra Larsson, a monosyllabic, jumper-wearing detective travels with her hapless companion to deepest Sweden to investigate a murder of the members of FABBA, a successful 70s pop band (based on – you’ve guessed it).

With an excellent pastiche of The Bridge’s melancholic intro, Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding’s show is made for Nordic crime fans. But even those with better things to do on a Saturday night than watch BBC Four can enjoy the gentle ribbing of Scandinavia’s other exports, the flatpack woollen set a nod to Ikea and Denmark’s knitwear.

While this quirky comedy took a little while to warm up, it picked up in the second half, not least because the cackling hen party in the back row chose to depart, an action welcomed by one audience member with a joyful punch to the air.


Audience participation are two words which strike fear into heart of even the most attention-seeking theatre-goer, so it says something about the skill of the two writer-performers that they managed to pull it off so hilariously. The interaction with the audience was not limited to the evening, as knitting clubs around the country donated their wares for the set (which is a lot better than it sounds).

Some jokes fell flat, such as the overdrawn surreal gangster moose sketch which poked fun at the youth with ever-diminishing returns.

But on the whole, the playful ribbing of the Scandinavians, from the grumpy detective to the Bjork-esque blonde member of FABBA, worked well; I’m surprised it hasn’t been done before.


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