When Norris – one half of the outstanding comedy duo Norris and Parker (Katie Norris and Sinead Parker, directed by Lucia Fox) – learns that she was lured here labouring under false pretences and will not in fact be performing in a contemporary dance piece at the Traverse theatre, all hell breaks loose. What follows instead is an hour of absolutely delightful sketch and character comedy brimming with vibrant originality.
Quite simply, if you don’t spend most of the show raucously belly-laughing, you’re probably dead.
The pair’s parodies of classic Disney songs were undoubtedly highlights – I left humming Everybody Wants to be a Twat under my breath – but Norris and Parker offer us far more than creative parody. With deftness and wit, the performance space is transformed from school hall to reality television set inhabited by a colourful array of diverse but instantly recognisable characters, expertly portrayed.
Ultimately, it was the show’s self-awareness which had us in stitches - perceived inadequacies were transformed into opportunities for self-deprecation to hilarious effect. Norris’s undeniable musical prowess might have otherwise cast Parker’s less-than-perfect vocals into a harsh light (though, as was demonstrated through her edgy beat poet character, she can rap wonderfully) had the show itself not sent up this very thing. Similarly, the cod accent of an ambiguously eastern European pop singer was superbly mocked.
The show must also be commended for its gentle political awareness. There’s some light-hearted Tory-bashing which won over the Edinburgh Fringe Festival audience quicker than you can shout ‘cuts to public arts funding!’ and the obligatory non-appearance from Nick Clegg. Without explicitly setting out to be so, it’s a very feminist show – these women are unapologetic about dressing up as men and being sweary and unladylike whilst eating chicken like frenzied carnivores.
This fantastic all-women troupe is bursting with talent and potential. Quite simply, if you don’t spend most of the show raucously belly-laughing, you’re probably dead.