First take two foolish people…

Chris and Karen as Death and the Dominatrix

Two Foolish began, as all good things do, as an accident.

In 2016, a venue in Edinburgh had an act drop out from their Fringe programme and needed someone, or something, to fill it, preferably comedy, as a straight swap. A friend of Chris’ thought of him as a natural comic and wondered whether he would like to do a stand-up, or a one-man show.

Chris did not. But he knew a friend who would be interested in performing comedy at the Fringe.

Give them a reason to be foolish…

So Karen, with her background in theatre and directing, joined Chris.

Many years before, an actor had told Karen that she ‘would never act at the Fringe’ and so this had become a long-standing item on her bucket list. The Fringe was finally beckoning…

Neither had any idea what they were going to do, but Chris knew three Very Important Things:

  1. He could sing a bit like Jimmy Somerville (from Bronski Beat, the Communards, etc)
  2. On a recent tour of Turkey (only there, for some bizarre reason), several people had told him that he looked like Bruce Willis
  3. He loved the music of the 80s and specifically disco music.

Then one evening a title for a play popped into his head from nowhere:

“Get Fit With Bruce Willis”

Chris had no idea what it meant, or how it could be a play. But he had a title, and that was all he thought he needed.

And so was born Two Foolish Productions, in a van, driving from Surrey to London.

BE foolish…

The first show was indeed Get Fit With Bruce Willis. The title made it into a BBC ‘real or fake title’ quiz that year.

Cartoon of Chris and Karen in Get Fit costume.

Get Fit With Bruce Willis followed a Jimmy Somerville impersonator as he struggled to become a Bruce Willis impersonator. In addition to excerpts from many Jimmy Somerville hits, the show featured a cardboard cut-out Chippendale hunk and a medley of disco classics.

Two Foolish had survived the experience, managed an average audience that was in double figures, and had got the bug.

And don’t stop being foolish…

A second run of Get Fit With Bruce Willis at the Brighton Fringe was followed in 2018 by Painted Love.

Painted Love began, as all good things do, as an accident.

Talking to a stranger in a bar about his passion for Marc Almond after a London performance of Get Fit With Bruce Willis, Chris misheard her drunken slurring of the song Tainted Love and again, the title lead the play. This was becoming a habit.

Cartoon of Chris and Karen in Painted Love costume.

Chris’ voice, however, doesn’t match the floating tenor of the Soft Cell singer Marc Almond. The solution was to become the washed-up singer of a band who had moved into Marc Almond’s old flat as a means of rekindling his mojo.

Two themes were emerging from this run of accidents. Firstly, the dominant theme of Chris’ writing was the poignant melancholy of middle age, the feeling of the world spinning away from you and the sense that the world doesn’t quite respect you for what you are.

Secondly, the music of the 80s was central to the plot and the production of every show.

Still foolish after all these years…

Which brings us to 2019. A transfer from the Valvona and Crolla venue in Edinburgh for logistical reasons to Sweet Venues (who had been hosting Two Foolish in Brighton) and a change of lead actor.

In both Get Fit With Bruce Willis and Painted Love, Chris had been the protagonist and both plots had revolved around his journey. Time for Karen to be centre stage.

Cartoon of Karen and Chris in Death and the Dominatrix costumes

While at Karen’s house, Chris had seen a coaster that said ‘Remind Me Again Why I Need A Man?’ and he thought this would be a marvellous title for a play.

However, he was wrong.

Remind Me Again Why I Need A Man? played at both the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringes where Two Foolish got their first review – 4 stars from The Mumble.

Thought-provoking, dramatic, motivating, emotional, bewildering and burgeoning with love and fear, this comedy drama connects all the dots. Relationships are the key to life and this duo have smashed it. Creatively written, honest and open…

The Mumble

Unfortunately, no-one liked the title so it was changed to Death and the Dominatrix. London performances followed, bringing us to the present day.

Can’t stop the foolishness…

Future plans for Two Foolish include touring Death and the Dominatrix and writing a follow-up, as well as plays focussing on dementia, the self-help industry and existentialism. All comedies, obviously.