Flo & Joan @ Assembly Roxy

It’s an absolute pleasure to be in Flo & Joan’s company – their new show is silly, sweet and surprisingly surreal

Review by Polly Glynn | 25 Aug 2022
  • Flo and Joan

Although Sweet Release isn’t the most high-octane of hours you’ll experience this Edinburgh Fringe, it’s an absolute pleasure to be in Flo & Joan’s company. Their dynamic on stage, with Nicola (dark hair, glasses, plays the piano) consistently, sardonically undercutting her sister Rosie (blonde, sings, percussion – expanding from the usual maraca egg to a full drum kit) is classic double act territory. There’s a sense of safety from the audience that, even when the duo play against type and predicted punchline, you’re in no doubt that you’ll walk away having had a wonderful time.

Sweet Release is very loosely themed around dating and being alone, and as in past Flo & Joan shows, they cleverly weave in callbacks from their front-of-tabs compering into their impressive setlist. The show also sees Flo & Joan foray into new musical styles, including salsa, disco and a stonking Jim Steinman-inspired finale, which adds a whole new edge to their usually classic cabaret tunes. Their lyrics are witty, pithy and continue to escalate as each song progresses and the sisters are so gifted at injecting energy into their set exactly how and when it’s needed.

Despite this, the show sags slightly during audience interaction around Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor [sic] Dreamcoat, but only as tonight's is not a crowd brimming with musical-lovers. Their reference to the Lloyd-Webber vehicle is playfully embedded into a couple of their songs and stands its ground.

As a complete package, the show is silly, sweet and surprisingly surreal. And that’s made even more so due to the dedication to their mother’s favourite (horrible) ornament.

Flo & Joan: Sweet Release, Assembly Roxy (Central), until 28 Aug, 8.10pm, £14.50-£16.50