‘It’s a rallying call for anyone who is considering ageing’
- Credit: Archant
A playful comedy which gives ageing a good kick up the arse is on all this week at the Pleasance Theatre.
Enter The Dragons is a show with plenty of characters shared between a cast of two: Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards. The play centres on a protagonist eager to ‘stop’ ageing, highlighting the stresses and pressures placed on women as they get older with bags of razor sharp wit.
“It’s a rallying call for anyone who is considering ageing,” Edwards tells me while en route to the opening night of the show’s UK tour.
“It’s basically a mythological quest of ageing. There are lots of costumes, mad characters, a very rude song – it’s a cross between the Mighty Boosh and Absolutely Fabulous.”
Enter The Dragons first appeared in 2017 where it was wonderfully received, winning Best of the Brighton Fringe along the way. What brought it on in the first place?
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“We felt that as women getting older, we weren’t seeing ourselves represented,” adds Dooley.
“You’re either a witchy old crone or a Helen Mirren and there’s not much in between. Of course, all the women we know are such diverse, interesting, stylish people and we wanted to provide a positive message.
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“We find that we are having a great time, there is lots of stuff going on, plenty to celebrate and we give far less of a s*** about anything. It’s a time of great freedom and we want to encourage women to embrace that. Enter The Dragons is a joyful dissent.”
Although it’s aimed primarily at women aged 40 to 60, Dooley says there’s something in the show for everyone.
“We wanted to make something with a broad appeal. We have younger women and men coming to our shows, after all everybody is ageing! For a lot of audience members it can help them identify with their mum too, it has quite a universal appeal.”
The Brighton-based duo, who have been writing and directing together since 2011, hadn’t actually been on stage themselves for 25 years prior to the launch of Enter The Dragons. Their goal is to bring lots of laughs to what can be a sensitive topic.
“That’s how we have approached the project from the start: to bring humour to illustrate more serious points.
“Also there’s a stereotype that women – particularly older women – aren’t regarded as funny. We are all about challenging that idea.”