Following their award-winning show Enter The Dragons, A&E Comedy return with a surreal and darkly hilarious brouhaha directed by Cal McCrystal. These coven-ready weird sisters are brewing a cautionary tale for our time as they ask who really holds the power in a world where the witches are hunting and predators have become the prey. Witch Hunt is the new show from Abigail Dooley and Emma Edwards, which they shared with The Fountain along with the drivers behind the show.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting is that?
Very! It’s a rollercoaster of a month with elements of Groundhog Day thrown in. So you need to strap in and not eat anything too sickly before getting on the ride.
TF: Witch Hunt certainly sounds interesting, what is the premise?
Witch Hunt is a darkly humorous twist on the stereotypical images of witches. Using a surreal fairy tale structure, we expose contemporary gender politics and the ways in which, women’s voices have been repressed through entrenched social misogyny. We will achieve this with wigs, false teeth, nudity and puppets. If you are struggling with what that will look like, think Vic and Bob doing The Crucible.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
We set up A&E Comedy out of frustration of not seeing enough mature female led companies out there, especially in comedy. In our first show, Enter the Dragons, we adopted the classical mythological quest structure to explore female ageing. With Witch Hunt we continue to examine the powers of archetypal stories. The notion of predator and the harnessing of the collective feminine wisdom exemplified by the #metoo and #timesup movements and the demonisation of the female voice were areas we wanted to explore.
Stylistically we use bouffon techniques that elevate the grotesque and macabre nature of the material. Bouffon has historically been used to hold a mirror up to society and ridicule the status quo. We devised and wrote Witch Hunt with the marvellous Cal McCrystal as director and the incredible Bryony Kimmings as Dramaturg.
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
We performed our show Enter The Dragons last year and now have the taste! There are sooo many great shows at Edinburgh this year. Here are a few of our recommendations. For a bite of the best circus-variety show then get down to the Atomic Saloon Show (@AtomicSaloon) – described as Blazing Saddles meets America’s Got Talent! I’m a Phoenix, Bitch (@BryonyKimmings) is a one woman roller-coaster of a ride. Bryony packs a punch at heartbreak, motherhood and more. Garry Starr Conquers Troy (@TheGarryStarr) – Garry is a comedy genius (nuff said). David William Bryan, the king of one man shows has two (yes two!) shows this year, Fragility of Man and Loyal Company (@DavidWBryan).
Need more gal power and a haircut? Head down to Pamela’s Palace (@PamelasPalace) – three comedy queens with wit as sharp as their scissors. Medea Electronica (@PechoMama) is a unique gig-theatre experience like no other we have seen before, spell-bounding and extraordinary. HoneyBee (@Elle_D_Reams) Eleanor Dillon-Reams is a brilliant poet, watch her wield her powerful words in her play about identity and self-worth.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond Witch Hunt ?
Witch Hunt at Brighton Fringe in May to sell-out audiences, 5 star reviews and a Bobby nomination. After Edinburgh we are off on an Autumn tour of Enter the Dragons and a Spring 2020 tour of Witch Hunt.
You can see Witch Hunt at Pleasance Dome until 26th August at 17:30. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com