Sound and Fury’s “Private Dick”
Sound and Fury @ Le Cascadeur
10:00pm, Tue 23 Feb 2010
An admission: Sound and Fury’s “Private Dick” was actually the first show to get bumped from The Shortlist onto the newly-created “On Second Thoughts…” section of my Scheduling Spreadsheet of Doom. Sound and Fury are great chaps – wonderfully friendly and personable – but I’ve always found their pun-laden work to be a little too… well, punny. Cheap. And the faux mistakes that seem to be in every show? Oooh, I hate them.
However, it was also the first show to get a reprieve, graduating from the “On Second Thoughts…” section thanks to awkward timeslots and a big gaping hole in the Schedule. And they are nice fellas, and I love the very idea of a Sound and Fury adventure inspired by film noir… and so, after a swift walk in from Norwood, I wind up sneaking into Le Cascadeur as the lads try to fire up the front couple of rows. I wind up sitting near the back next to another FringeFriend, Julie – it’s been awhile since I’d bumped into her (probably a whole year, I’d guesstimate).
The show opens with a cliffhanger – we’re privy to one of the closing scenes, the boys quickly backtrack to the beginning, and all the noir stereotypes are there: the drunken private-eye protagonist, the double-crossing female lead, and the lighting lends an authentic feel to the production. And, as expected, it’s incredibly pun-tacular. Here’s the thing, though: no-one seemed to mind… even (surprisingly) me. Sure, one section of the audience was almost screaming in delirium (a touch over-the-top, I thought), but – even with all the elements that usually piss me off (the constant laughing-at-themselves, for example) – this left me feeling not-annoyed. The fact that Julie and I were able to share an almost private chortle at the “Shaft” jokes (that fell flat with the rest of the audience) was an added bonus.
There’s some great singing in there (the three-part “It’s a [Man/Woman]’s World” is bloody brilliant), a great noir feel, and the audio & lighting cues were tighter than a duck’s chuff… it’s very much exactly the show I imagined when contemplating the phrase “Sound and Fury does noir”. Sure, they still do that faux mistake thing… but hey, that’s part of their raison d’être, and it keeps the audience happy. I’m just happy that it didn’t irritate the shit out of me… this time.