Rosie and Nicola Dempsey, AKA Flo & Joan, became a word-of-mouth hit with their debut show Victory Flaps in 2016. Since then, the previously Toronto-based sisters have appeared on Canadian TV, released an album, and had a viral hit with “The 2016 Song.” Their new hour, The Kindness of Stranglers continues their eye for an eye-catching title. We asked them about the new show, expectations for 2017, and Fringe pros and cons.
Can you tell us about your new show The Kindness of Stranglers, and why people should come and see it?
The Kindness of Stranglers is our new hour of songs and chats that cover such subjects as sisterhood, suicide and sausages, so if any of those things tickle your fancy we’ve got you covered! You maybe learn a bit more about us than we revealed last year in our show Victory Flaps, and it’s ten minutes longer so we’ve squeezed a few more songs in as well.
Should we expect all new songs, or will there be some existing favourites thrown in?
There’s one classic in there for old time’s sake, but for the most part it’s brand spanking new. And we have different haircuts to last year.
You’ve had quite a year since the last Fringe! How has it been to have released an album and had a viral hit? Does this put any pressure on this Fringe run that wasn’t there last year?
Oh hasn’t it been a bit of a year indeed! We’re very proud of the album because we loved the show that it came from, Victory Flaps, and we got to record it live at our favourite comedy spot in Toronto, Bad Dog Theatre. The viral video was rather unexpected and a lot to take in at the time. There were definitely good things that came from it, but thankfully now that the year 2016 is over we can all move on!
With that we do feel a bit more pressure coming into Fringe this time because last year we were quite new to comedy in general and total unknowns just popping in for a couple of shows to see if anyone in Scotland might find us amusing. If it was a disaster we could sneak back to Canada and never speak of it again. But we’re very excited to be back this year with new stuff, and we don’t live in Canada anymore so there’s nowhere to hide, we have to own it!
Some of your songs reference life in Canada. How does the Canadian comedy scene compare to the British one?
We only moved back from Toronto at the beginning of July and haven’t experienced the British comedy scene outside of Edinburgh so we can’t really compare the two. What we can say is that the Canadian comedy scene is amazing and inclusive and if you want to do it and be involved then you can. It was extremely welcoming and supportive to us and the level of talent is insane and EVERYONE GO TO CANADA WE LOVE IT!
Who are your comedy heroes?
The women of Smack the Pony.
The women of Baroness von Sketch.
What are the best and worst aspects of the Fringe?
Carrying our piano around the city in the rain is the worst.
Day drinking and eating discount sandwiches before bed is the best.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at the Fringe? Are there any hidden gems that may not be getting the attention they deserve?
We fell in love with The Kagools last year so we’re very happy they’re back. We’re really excited to see Rob Auton’s The Hair Show. And our very good friends from Toronto, Death Ray Cabaret are an awesome duo who are doing a limited run and everyone must go and see them!