Fringe preview: Norris & Parker, the new French & Saunders?

Norris and Parker

Norris and Parker

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WHEN Katie Norris and Sinead Parker debuted on the Fringe last year, their edgy humour quickly attracted a cult following.

This year Norris & Parker are back with more of the same in See You At The Gallows. But while their influences might be the likes of The League of Gentlemen, Father Ted and Peep Show, here Norris explains why they are the new French and Saunders.

“Like French and Saunders, we met at university and have been shackled together as comedy duo Norris & Parker ever since. Their comedy partnership has endured over time and we hope ours will too (Parker’s already been looking into civil partnerships). 

But the similarities don’t end there; we have a long list of successful TV shows, famous comedy husbands and a collection of BAFTAS in our downstairs toilet... Oh wait... our mistake... perhaps that will happen after the Edinburgh Fringe?

Our list of celebrity friends is nearly as impressive as that of French & Saunders too.

It includes Holly from Hollyoaks, who often flyers for us in Lycra Spandex, and always guarantees an audience for all the wrong reasons. 

Incidentally, a Hollyoaks super-fan pretended to be our super-fan (our first and last) to get closer to her... it worked.

Our other big hitter is Al Haskey from BBC’s Doctors, who provides voiceovers for us, but doesn’t really know what they’re for.

Like French & Saunders we play heightened versions of ourselves, as well as creating characters, sketches and songs.

We also like to play men a lot, especially Norris, who is freakishly good at transforming into a middle-aged Northern man with a mullet.

You can tell Jennifer and Dawn (we feel like we know them now), love the acting as much as the comedy, and that’s something we can relate to. Also, like them, we are more concerned with what is funny than pandering to gender specific comedy.

Our show See You at the Gallows holds up a mirror (a somewhat dark and scratched mirror) to today’s society and culture, in the same way that French & Saunders’ sketch show reflected the 80s, 90s and beyond so well.

While they had the Fat Women Aristocrats, we have the Feminazis (they’re after your wives). Where they had Jackie and Leanne, we have Tish and Tash, a pair of Australians, making their way in the UK by running an events company for the desperately unemployed.

But perhaps the most important thing we have in common is... that we’re really really funny.”

Norris & Parker: See You At The Gallows, Pleasance Courtyard, Attic, until 28 August, 10.45pm, £7.50-£9.50, 0131-226 0000