An Ode to Zanzibar: the return of Inside No. 9.


A scholar and a gentleman, Inside No. 9 (2018)


Welcome to Hotel Zanzibar,

I see you have not stayed with us before.

But please, feel free to linger in our corridor

and take a butchers around the ninth floor.

The residents who here will spend the night,

like mountaineers at base camp who just might

be on their way up, or on their way down,

some wear an anorak, others, a crown,

are all here to meet their fate head on.

Will lady luck smile on them come the dawn?

Who knows? ’cause I’m just here to lick their chips,

and smile, and smile, and hope for decent tips.


A gentleman and a scholar, Inside No. 9 (2018)

A Question

How does one make one’s fourth series-opener a tour de force?

The answer lies above, dear reader, and that is “One does it with a sonnet of course“.

An attempt to deconstruct this tale,

through analytic jargon would surely fail.

To plainly describe the events

that the genius of these two scholars presents,

would surely fatigue, and do a disservice to the intrigue,

from these two gentlemen of the league.

So, bear with me, as I implore

to describe in verse how these two of the four,

inspire one, and enrapture one,

much like the Raven at Poe’s chamber door.


The players of the ninth floor, Inside No. 9 (2018)

An Ode to Zanzibar

Fred the bellboy, with luggage in tow, welcomes you as observant guest

to the Hotel Zanzibar, halfway between the house of Montague and the Grand Budapest.

‘Tis he who sets the scene for our players tonight:

a lonesome father, estranged twin brothers, a mother and her doting son,

a conspiring minder, a scarlet courtesan,

as well as a hypnotist, and maid, who seek to reverse two star-cross’d lovers’ plight.

What follows intertwines each character’s situations,

with the commonality of farce, misunderstanding and lack of explanations.

Soliloquy, sonnet and iambic foot, are masterfully implemented

to drive the narrative to a climax that is exquisitely demented.

Avoid spoilers, I will, but know that this thirty-minute homage to the bard is no bore.

This episode is not Much Ado about Nothing, quite the opposite,

the delivery of the economical storytelling these two gentlemen posit,

leaves the viewer with much to explore.

This delightful Comedy of Errors,

             introduces perfectly this fourth compendium of darkly comic terrors.


Happy New year.


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