Funster trio Sound & Fury are regular visitors to Adelaide’s Fringe and in recent years have parodied Sherlock Holmes, Film Noir, Game Of Thrones and (incessantly) Shakespeare, although these targets are really just vague leaping-off points for high-spirited, amiably ramshackle narratives about all sorts of silliness.
Taking to the Tandanya stage for the usual pre-show briefing, ostensible leader Richard informs us that this is to be new third member Clayton’s first show ever. Although he might have been nervous this cool Californian gets into just the right freewheelingly jokey frame of mind as he improvises gags about the limited set, offers a late-on grammar lesson and riffs about how they supposedly forget Scene 12.
The plot itself sort of follows the structure of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac, with Richard as Cyrano (oddly without a fake nose), dragged-up Patrick as Roxane and Clayton as the randy Christian, although they keep on switching characters and much humour is derived from them having to fumble about as they change costumes in the dark.
There is also the usual audience participation, with random punters called upon to read aloud photocopied snippets of exposition and stuff about Cardinal Richelieu’s intolerance for fake news, and all manner of contemporary laughs are chucked in that might be improved upon or dropped altogether as the show continues.
Where to start? There are references to Kajagoogoo’s ‘80s one-hit-wonder Too Shy, a character called Wikipedius and a gorgeously out-of-nowhere reference to The Beatles’ infamous soundscape Revolution 9, as well as some subtly off-colour giggles, one of which seemed to somewhat offend a woman in the front row. But who nose, sorry, knows what she was expecting?
Always great, goofy fun, this particular Sound & Fury performance is notable for being a little rough around the edges (they were obviously trying out some new material for the first time, but it didn’t matter) and ending with a spectacularly dire boom-tish punchline that left the audience cheering — and groaning.
Sound & Fury’s “Cyranose!” performed at Tandanya Arts Café at Live From Tandanya on Friday March 2 and continues until March 18.