Fringe female comedy duos: Enter the Dragons

This article is from 2018

Enter the Dragons (Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards)

Enter the Dragons: Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards / credit: Georgia Apsion

Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards introduce themselves ahead of their Fringe run

Enter The Dragons arrives at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival courtesy of Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards, a double act who have a habit of accidentally wearing the same outfit. Their describe their show as a riotous, surreal odyssey exploring the pressures facing women as they age. We caught up with them to find out how they met, whether they get on well, and who they'd replace the other with (if they had to).

What one thing do you remember most about how you met each other?

Emma: The first time I saw Abigail was in a show Running Dogs by Trestle. She was playing a frisky Labrador puppy, and I thought she had a lovely shiny coat and a cold, wet nose. We then met properly when we worked together on a show, and I was a bit in awe of how many amazing things she'd done, like working with Told by an Idiot, Peepolykus, Philippe Gaulier and so on.

Abigail: It took us about 15 years to eventually meet! We just missed training together at Philippe Gaulier school, then were on the same touring circuit in two different shows, arriving at a venue just as the other had left! The first time we met face to face was in a theatre bar: Emma was massively pregnant and entertaining the room (impressively sober!).

What's the best thing about working with the other one?

Emma: We genuinely make each other laugh a lot. We're very honest with each other and if something isn't working we'll be brutal about cutting stuff and editing ruthlessly. We are both equally serious about being funny.

Abigail: She makes the good times brilliant and helps me through the crap ones. Over the years we've honed our creative partnership so we can now bounce ideas back and forth with the skill of a couple of Olympic fencers!

What's the worst thing about working with the other one?

Emma: We both talk too much and it can be hard to get a word in edgeways. Also we often turn up wearing the same clothes which makes us look like twats.

Abigail: Emma can be fierce and doesn't suffer tossers: fine if you're on the right side. Worst thing she does is make me drink too much.

If your comedy partner hadn't become part of a double act, what do you think she would have done with her life?

Emma: I think she would have become a very serious classically trained actress / grand dame. She'd be wearing a lot of velvet and keeping crystals in her bra for good luck. Maybe with a pet ferret and an entourage of young male leads.

Abigail: It would be a job involving capes, shoes, cutting the bullshit, cocktails and wigs. So maybe a peer in The House of Lords.

If your current comedy partner was suddenly unable to work with you ever again, which famed comedian would you headhunt to replace them?

Emma: Tina Fey. I have a massive girl crush on her. I love Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The gag count is phenomenal! She's such a funny writer and has created so many hilarious female characters.

Abigail: Kathy Burke. She is just AWESOME on every level.

Enter the Dragons, Pleasance Dome, 4–27 Aug (not 13), 4.10pm, £8.50–£11 (£7.50–£10). Previews 1–3 Aug, £6.50.

Enter the Dragons

  • 4 stars

Surreal sketch comedy about the pressures that face women as they age.