Enter the Dragons @ Pleasance Dome
A&E Comedy challenge both audiences and societal norms in a surreally hysterical hour
Feminism has made a strong comeback on the comedy circuit in recent years, but it’s still relatively rare to see it discussed by a woman over 50, let alone two. It is precisely double standards like these that Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards skewer with pinpoint precision in Enter the Dragons.
The clarity with which the duo highlight the pertinent – and under-addressed – issue of how sexism and ageism intersect is no mean feat given the surreal framework within which they choose to do so. Luckily, the concept works perfectly: audiences are walked through the construction of a show which uses a metaphorical mythological journey to tell the ageing story, complete with puppets, prosthetics, fourth wall breaking and moments of genuine shock. The absurdity of the comedy serves to highlight the absurdity of the societal expectations it explores.
The bizarre premise works because Dooley and Edwards are quite simply brilliant comedians: each can hold the audience on their own, reducing us to stitches with a single look or movement, but together they interact and bounce off each other to brilliant effect. It helps that the writing they are working with is simultaneously clever, funny and rich with analysis that is communicated with absolute clarity. The audience find themselves genuinely moved one moment and crying with laughter the next.
Enter the Dragons explores an issue that is well overdue the spotlight, and it couldn’t be in better hands than those of Dooley and Edwards.
Enter the Dragons, Pleasance Dome (Jack Dome), until 27 Aug (not 13), 4.10pm, £6.50-11
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From our August issue, The Women With A Thousand Faces: Abigail Dooley, Emma Edwards, Beth Vyse and Naomi Paxton on female character comedy