Funny Women had the pleasure of seeing A&E Comedy’s Enter the Dragons at the Edinburgh Fringe in August. Now that they’re on tour, I headed to the Pleasance Theatre in Islington to see how they’re getting on.
This riot of a production certainly lived up to expectations! A joyous mix of modern myth, social satire and slapstick, it’s both explosively funny and unapologetically frank.
Using a play within a play structure, Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards introduce us to the story of a woman in her 50s (aptly named ‘The Protagonist’), who heads off on an archetypal hero’s quest – with a difference. This is the quest to overcome the pressures facing women as they age.
Dooley and Edwards’ protagonist faces a myriad of larger-than-life characters – including a couple of misogynistic scientists and a singing siren. With the help of some bonkers wigs, false teeth, a Barbie doll and some help from the audience, the duo take us on a whacky journey where no topic’s off limits (even hot flushes are lovingly rebranded as power surges).
Wickedly funny and brilliantly self-aware, Dooley and Edwards arm their protagonist with an essential M&S cardi – “It is the cloak of invisibility. Wear it and you will pass completely unnoticed into society.” The pair never slip up on a chance to provide a laugh, whether it’s through verbal misunderstandings or pointed observation.
But it’s the moments where they step out of the action to talk candidly about the ageing process that impressed me most – far from feeling gratuitous, these moments give the show a real roller coaster effect, bringing the whole audience along for the ride.
A hilarious production with a real message at its heart, Enter the Dragons is all I could really ask from an evening at the theatre. Last time we commented that this production’s cheaper than therapy. I’d go one step further – Dooley and Edwards are set to change the world, one laugh at a time.
Enter the Dragons is touring until 24th November, with another UK tour planned for Spring-Autumn 2019.