Adelaide Fringe 2016
Sound & Fury bring their brand-new mash-up parody of two reasonably well-known literary works. A lucky audience member plays the hero, Frogurt Snark, on the adventure of a lifetime! If you like Hobbits, royalty in questionable relationships, and too much walking, this is your show. Laughter is coming!
Just to be clear: this is not serious theatre! Vaudevillians Richard, Patrick and Ryan proudly declare this at the start of the show, during the preamble to warm up the audience. They return once more to the Adelaide Fringe Festival with a brand new show that mashes, punches, tears, and spits out a story that vaguely resembles the major plots of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. This is frivolous entertainment and an explosion of energy that lasts the whole hour.
This year, one lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view) audience member is part of the entire show – the ‘reluctant hero’ goes on an epic journey and battles copyright lawyers, scheming royalty, and the fear of what’s coming next. Literally! With the Sound & Fury troupe, one really doesn’t know what to expect…
Knowing the talent and capabilities of Richard, Patrick and Ryan, they were somewhat lacking in this show. Unfortunately, the pieces of literature chosen for this Fringe season don’t lend themselves to a great deal of humour – many of the jokes and quips were weak, and felt forced in order to feed the energetic atmosphere.
Although the show is largely improvisation – reacting and responding to the audience – the characters portrayed weren’t exploited to their full potential and there was relatively little room for humour, which could have been avoided with a little preparation and confidence in the lines.
While dragging a reluctant audience member on stage added to the humour, having this character throughout the show slowed it down a little. Again, the flaws and weaknesses in the character of the ‘reluctant hero’ provided ample opportunity for clever humour that was lost. There wasn’t enough time to fully explore the comedic opportunities in the plots of the story either.
Despite all this, the audience wept with laughter and responded to the principal actors, who made the most of the tiny space, cheap props, multimedia montages, and their wits. Fans of these books will enjoy this performance especially, but even those who don’t know these stories will have tears rolling down their faces.