Audible teamed up with Broadway Video to produce an original production Heads Will Roll, an audio fantasy comedy. From the minds of Saturday Night Live‘s Kate McKinnon and her sister, stand-up comic Emily Lynne, Heads Will Roll debuted on May 2.
I first discovered Heads Will Roll at the official activation event during South By Southwest (SXSW) back in March. The activation transformed the Rainey Street bar Javelina to the Night Realm Tavern, featuring themed drinks and food. The Night Realm Tavern actors handed out a code to guests to pre-order the audiobook for free. I redeemed my code and once the audiobook became available, I instantly streamed it at work. And laughed my ass off.
The 10-episode audio fantasy-comedy featured talented voice work from a star-studded cast: Kate McKinnon, Emily Lynne, Tim Gunn, Peter Dinklage, Queer Eye‘s Fab Five, Chris Redd, Carol Kane, Audra McDonald, Aidy Bryant, Andrea Martin, and Meryl Streep.
Enjoy our spoiler-free review of Audible and Broadway Video’s Heads Will Roll.
Queen Mortuana of the Night (Kate McKinnon) rules the kingdom, with her raven minion JoJo (Emily Lynne) at her side. After Queen Mortuana receives a prophecy about an imminent peasant uprising, they journey to find the Shard of Acquiescene, which will put down the rebellion and save the throne.
Listeners will find out if their friendship will survive the perils of politics, which entails sensitive generals, chatty sex slaves, whiny behemoths, princes with bird fetishes, and the notion of democracy.
Kate McKinnon plays a silly, albeit evil/corrupt, queen who is relateable. Queen Mortuana has flaws and her life is extravagant but her personality and her world is very satiric. JoJo also gets her own storyline, so it’s not all focused on the queen. In fact, JoJo’s encounter with a particular character, voiced by one of my favorite Game of Thrones actors Peter Dinklage, is hysterical.
The universe in the story interweaves aspects of modern society into medieval society. For example, Queen Mortuana owns a “shell phone,” which is how she communicates with her mother, JoJo, and various important people in her life. She also has a harem of f*ck boys and she calls them that. The faux commercials that appeared sporadically throughout the audiobook was HILARIOUS and well thought-out.
Don’t get me wrong, I love singing and music in fictional works but I will admit that there were a few occasions where the singing could have been performed better. It was hard to hear exactly what the singers were saying.
The audio comedy overall is very clever, witty, and raunchy AF. It’s like South Park meets Disenchantment. If you have an Audible membership and you hadn’t heard of this comedy, you better use a credit and go download it. It is totally worth your four hours.
If you do not have Audible and you’d like to listen to this comedy, you can try a free 30-day trial membership to access it!
Any geeks who enjoy fictional works set in the medieval era will enjoy this audiobook. Geek gals will also like it because it stars two leading female characters, both of whom are comedic gold. I hope this Heads Will Roll review encourages you to check it out!
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Featured image credit: Audible, Broadway Video