Hell Cats


Critic Rating

As the old sailor's adage goes, a woman on board invites bad luck, a superstition that turned out to be true for the enemies of notorious pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read. As quick to draw their cutlasses as they were to fall in love, Anne and Mary sailed the Caribbean leaving a trail of looted treasure, outfoxed law enforcement, and treacherous ex-lovers (suitably dealt with) in their wake. Born hundreds of miles apart, both Anne and Mary were disguised as boys in their childhoods to escape poverty, propriety and disgrace, only to find freedom on the high seas. Anne, a poor fit for polite society, kicks her treacherous husband to the curb to turn pirate with the dashing Captain Jack. Meanwhile, Mary endures navy and army life disguised as a boy before being captured by pirates. When Mary and Anne’s worlds collide a love affair between the two ensues and adventure beckons - the Governor and Anne’s spurned husband continue to hunt them across the oceans, but even the shadow of the gallows couldn’t darken the blazing spirits of these incredible women somehow mostly forgotten by history. This series explores themes of equality, freedom, love and survival. Ultimately it is a story about the determination to live fully and freely without the limitation of gender, class or society - a life without restraint. Inspired by the true story of Anne Bonny and Mary Read, Hell Cats is a fast-paced, gender defying tale of eighteenth-century pirates, cutthroat adventure and an enduring love affair cut short by the shadow of the gallows.

Critic Reviews

Score: 4.3

Miranda Sawyer • The Guardian Nov 28, 2020

"A new Audible Original that dramatises the true tale of two female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read, operating around the turn of the 18th century. Written by Carina Rodney and directed by Kate Saxon, this is a deliciously rollicking listen, noisy and dramatic from the start."

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Score: 4.7

Lily Wakefield • Pink News Nov 22, 2020

"While the podcast series has healthy doses of treasure, duelling and swashbuckling, it also artfully explores themes of queer love, gender expression, equality and freedom. It’s a poignant tale for queer listeners and an exciting piece of LGBT-storytelling, refreshingly different from the norm. At its core Hell Cats is a story of two fearless queer women, bringing to life erased and forgotten LGBT+ history, and giving Bonny and Read the recognition they deserve."

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