Enter The Dragons
The Old Market, Hove
22 March – 24 March 2018
I don’t particularly like comedy. I just don’t find it very funny, generally speaking. I didn’t laugh at Harry Enfield, Brass Eye, The IT crowd. Motherland gave me existential angst. The Office made my bum wink. With that in mind, it is high praise indeed from this particular reviewer, that Enter The Dragons made me laugh. A lot.
Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards of A+E Comedy have billed the show as a ‘a knock-out combination of joy and dissent for anyone who is considering ageing.’ and although it is most certainly addressed to the (mostly) female audience, it is witty, warm and heartfelt enough to include everyone who has ever looked in the mirror and felt the ‘widening disconnect’ between their age and how they feel. With a simple set and some hilarious costume changes and props, the story is set out as a mythological quest on which the ‘protagonist’ (‘heroine’ having been dismissed as an epithet for its connotations of romantic love, which is ‘not what this story is about’) has to venture forth to conquer Chronos, but not before battling the ‘Sea of Apology’ and the ‘Bridge of Tears’, for which she must shed all her baggage – including her poor body image (“but I’ve had that since childhood!”) her vanity, and most importantly, her armour. In this she is aided by her Spectacles of Insight, her Tongue Sharpener and her Cloak of Invisibility’ – a beige M+S cardi.
Mixing utter farce and brilliantly absurd clowning with poignant insight, moving vulnerability and moments of real bravery, the show manages to highlight all the good things about being an ageing woman while still raging against a world where youth is equated with value. It was a well-deserved best of Brighton Fringe winner in 2017. Particular highlights were the Seers (asking Siri for some fortune telling advice) and the Fuck-It List song. Enter The Dragons shows the power that dragons really hold when they shake off their inhibitions, let out their inner divas and say Fuck It.