Wooden Overcoats is a unique podcast. It's a full studio sitcom made by independent professionals. It has an orchestra. It has a writing team. It's a tale told by a mouse.
This comic radio drama tells the stories of rival funeral directors and the island they fight for. Season One was released last year with eight episodes and was lauded by national and international press.
It takes almost a year of hard work per season by dozens of professional writers, actors, musicians and radio producers to create the highest quality audio comedy.
We love this show. We want to pay the talent behind it. And we need your help.
Wooden Overcoats has featured in The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian, on BBC radio, Denmark's DR1, The Huffington Post, Splitsider, Stylist and more.
The show follows the staff at Funn funerals - dour and weird twins Antigone and Rudyard Funn and their plots to sabotage the new arrival, sinisterly likeable Eric Chapman.
The whole is narrated by local biographer and illustrator (and Rudyard's only real friend) Madeleine. She is a mouse.
The core cast of Wooden Overcoats comprises Ciara Baxendale, Tom Crowley, Beth Eyre and Felix Trench, with Belinda Lang as Madeleine.
Recurring actors include Andy Secombe (you know him as Watto in Star Wars) as Rev. Wavering, Steve Hodson as Mayor Desmond Desmond (Follyfoot, Z Cars) and Alison Skilbeck (Midsomer Murders, Miss Marple, Sherlock Holmes) as sweet-shop-owner-cum-constable Agatha Doyle.
Season One featured guest stars including Andy Hamilton (Q.I., Old Harry's Game, Have I Got News For You), Julia Deakin (Spaced) and Paul Putner (Downton Abbey, Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle).
Comedy writer David K. Barnes runs the series, with Masters of Radio Andy Goddard and John Wakefield producing and directing. Elizabeth Campbell manages the production and makes sure everything happens.
The music is composed by James Whittle and recorded with a ten-piece orchestra. As well as the main theme quartet below, we had mariachi and jazz bands coming together to form the soundtrack.
It's really important to us that the main episodes of Wooden Overcoats are free to download for anyone who wants them. Podcasting is a medium which allows independents like us to deliver radio-quality programmes across the world to our listeners for no charge whatsoever.
Let's keep it that way.
The first season was created by a team of fifty professionals. They volunteered their time for no more than travel and food expenses over the ten month production cycle and we are extremely grateful to them. But all that's changing now. We will only make more Wooden Overcoats if we can pay everyone a fair rate for their hard work.
Season 2 is in the planning stages. Last year, we covered our £2,000 in production expenses with live fundraisers in London. This time, to hire the recording studio, cover expenses, and also pay everybody properly, we need £10,000.
We've been hard at work since Season 1 raising money to make this happen. It's now up to you to help fill in the rest. That's why we're asking for £8,000 on Kickstarter to press GO and make Season 2 a reality.
Season 1 saw funerals sabotaged, lusts enflamed, and a life-like replica dummy thrown off a cliff.
For Season 2, we're raising the stakes. You'll hear Rudyard and Antigone running Funn Funerals side-by-side, Eric facing a new enemy, and Georgie working for someone else. There's an undertaker's convention, a séance, and a travelling circus. There's love, pride, envy and fear.
And many, many more embalmings.
As well as Season 2's full eight episodes, we've put together a whole coffin-full of rewards for our donors.
On top of the individual rewards, we've created a series of mini-episodes, Piffling Lives, telling stories from around the island. These will be released over the course of our campaign. Whenever we hit the next funding target, that mini-episode goes out to everyone.
But get ready for the really exciting bit: when we hit our stretch goal, we'll be able to make a full-length bonus episode - a Christmas Special!
Rudyard Ruins Christmas will be written by Tom Crowley and David K. Barnes (the duo who brought you episode 3 of the first season, The Little Death) and be released exclusively to everyone who donates!
And if we hit £20,000, we'll even promise a Season 3.
Keep an eye on the timeline to see how we're doing.
We love making Wooden Overcoats and we can't wait to bring you Season 2. We're so grateful to our fans for all of their support and we appreciate every donation.
We want more Wooden Overcoats. With your support, it will happen.
Additional still and video photography by Lars Thornhill.
Risks and challenges
If we can make £8,000, this will happen. We made Season One on next to nothing - we know how to make audio drama and we know how to overcome challenges. If an actor takes ill and needs dosing up with lemons, if a script is late and needs hasty rewrites from the boss, if an engineer's finger breaks and needs a rapid splint, we'll do it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (37 days)