See You At The Gallows, Norris & Parker ****

Norris and Parker

Norris & Parker fall into the sketch comedy genre, creating over the top characters through a melodramatic, physical approach. Their style maybe dark and surreal, but their fusion of sketches and songs go a long way to cultivating mayhem and drawing the audience into the bizarre world of their characters. 

Katie Norris and Sinead Parker return to this year's fringe following the cult success of last year's offering, All Our Friends Are Dead, and their grotesque and surreal characterisations continue to engage this year. There is something of the French and Saunders in the duo, and their contrasting personalities (despite their shared birth date) bounce well off each other, allowing for an interesting plot twist. Rude but relatable, shocking without being confrontational; surreal stories, interspersed with the fragmenting of their own relationship make the show snappy and engaging. There is also the spooky presence of Christoph (Chris Thomson) at the keyboard, who adds more to the proceeds than I think he realises. We encounter him on entering the attic space, like some sort of gothic member of the band Madness, and his minimal dialogue and deadpan delivery set the tone perfectly. 

The duo show outstanding range, switching personalities faster than their costumes allow. Opening with a cabaret number glorifying the ‘feminazis’ in black jumpsuits and exaggerated German accents, racing through the tale of a cannibal named Billy and one of the funniest portrayals of a urban performance poet I've ever seen; they leave no stone unturned and come out all guns blazing. This is particularly evident in the moments of audience interaction when several unsuspecting gentlemen were coaxed onto the stage for everything from some lighthearted mockery ‘competition style’ to an all out skin crawling moment with a chap who got much more than he bargained for from Parker’s crazed, needy persona…but you should see for yourself!

See You At The Gallows is a loud and raucous ride, with a feminist undertone which isn't rammed down your throat. It's great to see women owning their art form without needing to delve too deeply into the ‘message’, and seemingly having just as much fun as their audience. Racy, filthy, angst ridden work from two hugely creative ladies.

See You At The Gallows is running at the Pleasance Courtyard at 22.45