“Imagine the W.I. run by the Mighty Boosh” says Emma Edwards of A+E Comedy about their award-winning show. I spoke earlier to Emma and her co-creator Abigail Dooley to get the lowdown on Enter The Dragons – a show “for anyone who’s considered ageing”.
What’s the show about? The show takes the classic mythological quest and re-imagines it for the older modern woman. Banished from the land of the young, our “protagonist” must now negotiate a weird landscape, populated by strange creatures and weird sisters. Expect fantastical costumes, ridiculous puppetry and extreme wigs.
What inspired you to write the show? We felt that there was a lot of negativity about getting older. We know lots of funny, dynamic and stylish women over the age of 45, but we couldn’t see women like that represented anywhere. We wanted to write the show we would like to see: funny, ridiculous, surreal and that explores and celebrates getting older with optimism and joyful dissent.
Which older women inspire you? There are so many amazing, uncompromising older women who are tearing up the rule-book on ageing. Patti Smith rocks our world. We’re a little bit obsessed with Frances McDormand. Her performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri just blew us away. Also very inspired by the wave of older fashionistas, like Iris Apfel and Accidental Icon who are totally owning their own style.
What do you hope audiences take away from the show? We hope our audiences, whatever their age or gender, come away having had a really good laugh and maybe shed a tear too. If they are inspired to embrace getting older, worry less, wear what ever they like, stop apologizing, behave badly and kick ageing up the arse then that’s fantastic.
What plans do you have for the show in the future? We were chuffed to have won the Broadway Baby Bobby award for best show in Brighton Fringe last year, so this year we’re taking the show to The Pleasance at Edinburgh Fringe, which is going to be intense but so much fun. A national autumn tour is also on the cards.
Do you consider yourself to be a feminist? If so, what does feminism mean to you?
Absolutely we’re feminists! To us, the definition of feminism is simply working towards equality: political, economic, social and personal. It seems ridiculous that any human being wouldn’t want that! If we could achieve a balanced, equal society we wouldn’t need to label ourselves anymore.
What’s making you angry, excited or calm for 2018?
Angry: The infinitely infantile Trump, the slow motion car-crash that is Brexit, there’s a lot to be angry about. It’s especially infuriating when women are told they shouldn’t be angry, that they should “calm down, dear” and not make a fuss! Anger when used wisely is a powerful force for change. With the emergence of The Time’s Up movement, there’s a sense that hard won, and long overdue change is going to come. It feels like a very energizing and inspiring time and that now is a pivotal moment.
Excited: We are so thrilled to be taking the show to The Edinburgh Fringe. Performing our show and inspiring other women to kick aging right up the arse really is exciting!
Calm: Herbal tea and mindfulness; only joking! Not giving a f**k about the small stuff, and a large gin and tonic.
You can catch Enter The Dragons at The Old Market on Thurs 22 – Sat 24 March (http://theoldmarket.com/shows/enter-the-dragons/)