DVD NOW AVAILABLE!It's our parody of every Hollywood Western ever made...and Marlowe's Tragical History of Doctor Faustus.
$20/DVD + $2 shipping. Runtime approx 70 mins. Ages 13+. Available in NTSC (North America) only!
A Slideshow of production stills, for your pleasure.
5 STARS from Broadway Baby (Edinburgh, UK)
Sell Your Soul to Sound & Fury
"The first announcement from Sound & Fury was that they intend to offend. Whether they do offend depends upon one’s own sensibilities, but you’re likely to never stop laughing even if they do. Patrick Hercamp, Richard Maritzer and Ryan Adam Wells make up Sound & Fury, a vaudeville-nouveau troupe that performs this twisted American Wild West adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus.
Hercamp plays the renowned Doc Faustus as a clueless dude who dabbles in dark magic just to play tricks on people. By selling his soul to the devil, he gets a demon (Mephistopheles, played by Maritzer) to do his bidding for the next 24 years. The extent of their parody on both Doctor Faustus and the Western movie genre knows no bounds. They treat the story with a great deal of intelligence, consciously calling their interpretation of the West ‘revisionist history,’ but filling every other moment with both witticisms and vulgarity. The groans from the audience were not necessarily from deliciously bad jokes, but from ones that pushed the boundaries as much as possible.
The story sends them into a variety of hi-jinks with a surprise around every corner and even a historical twist on the ending. Interspersed is Wells’ crooning swoon-worthy narrations in the form of folk ballads. Other high points have no reference to Faustus at all, but came from their sharp witty wordplay (mishearing ‘thesaurus’ as different word), half-improvised, half-scripted pranks on fellow actors and incorporations of audience reactions into their lines. It’s absolutely baffling how they are able to pack so much into a bit of entertainment and speaks to the talent of the trio of comedians.
Don’t forget to add references to Western Hollywood heroes John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart into the mix and Doc Faustus is a recipe for one of the best comedies to be found at the Fringe."
--Lynne Marie Martens, Broadway Baby (Edinburgh)
TOP 50 EDFRINGE SHOW 2012, 5 STARS from The New Current (UK)
It’s not an Edinburgh Fringe Festival if there aren’t four or five Dr., Doctor, or Doc Faustus plays being performed by one student group or another. After five years of the fringe and some 15 Faustus’s later, I thought I had had my fill but standing in line for another show I saw a sign, literally, for Doc Faustus.
Elated I made room in my schedule to see it the next day but I was slightly trepidatious. Christopher Marlowe’s – a contemporary of Shakespeare but with less works to shout about – masterpiece, an examination of good and evil, want and desire, greed and selfishness, has taken many forms on the stage and groups love to play around with it.
Every possible version of the play has been performed from musical to classic interpretation (usually performed by an overly smug redbrick University drama society – you know who you are). But I have to admit I have never seen Doctor Faustus performed in a mash-up of the classic text mixed relocated to ‘olde time Texas’ and the infamous Battle of the Alamo. Would this really work?
Sound & Fury – Richard Maritzer, Patrick Hercamp, Ryan Adam Wells – have been bringing their unique brand of vaudevillian theatre to festivals all over the world. The multi-award winning trio manages to make what they do seem easy and they thrive on audience interaction and having the underage cast of ‘Spring Awakening’ gave them plenty of opportunities to keep the audience on their toes.
“Doc Faustus” only hints at the original text taking more the idea behind Marlowe’s work than the text itself, to this end there are only a few actual lines from the original used by the trio. For Sound & Fury they present Faustus as a selfish frontier doctor who with access to power can, and does, change the course of history, what a dick. And expect to see the most famous cowboy of them all and how they bring John Wayne into their story is shocking.
There was a scene between Pat and Ryan that was so natural and unexpected that the audience was in roars of laughter and their warning of the unfortunate inclusion of some ‘old time racism’ and the recurring jokes that ensue is inspired – I saw Pat yesterday to tell him how much I liked the show and I didn’t want to know if that scene was pre-planned and I never want to know.
This is controlled mayhem that leaves the audience on the edge of their seats. The show they create gives that audience as unique an experience you could ever want due to the originality of their performance, their chemistry, and the comedy. The trio each manages to bring something unique to the show and play off each other greatly.
Doc Faustus is a resounding success, a wonderful, and at times mean, reworking of a classic. The trio keep their audience gripped at every step and even the occasional slips are added and there is hardly a moment you can stop to catch your breath.
-- Niger, The New Current (UK)
4 STARS from ThreeWeeks (Edinburgh, UK)
Within the first two minutes, I realised that the group aim to mock just about everything and everyone (including themselves), but in an original, somehow inoffensive and thoroughly hilarious way. The story is loosely based on Christopher Marlowe’s ‘Doctor Faustus’, but of course it was the bloopers which made this show so amusing: collapsing scenery, unexpected sound-clips added by the technical team, and costume mishaps made for giggles galore; whilst with their improvisation, banter and natural comic timing, the cast really proved their comedy potential. Offering all this, as well as a plethora of puns, parody and pastiche, Sound & Fury were never going to leave our sides intact.
tw rating 4/5 | [Grace Hardy]
4 STARS from Stage Won (Edinburgh, UK)
If you like laughing and watching three grown men squabble on stage in between scenes, if you enjoy silly songs and ridiculous costumes and if you like watching actors struggling to get back on script because they've gone off on an irrelevant tangent, then this is a show for you.
It's silly, it's different and most importantly it's historically accurate (not really). If you're looking to just have a guaranteed good time then I strongly recommend seeing this whilst you can.
I don't want to give too much away about the show itself, but I can say that you won't be disappointed by the special guest appearance of John Wayne towards the finale of the piece. --Jack Gogarty
"BEST OF THE ADELAIDE FRINGE" - The Punch (Australia)
American nouveau vaudeville company Sound & Fury’s signature dish – the parody – is built upon a bed of puns, accompanied by sweetly chilled aural aperitifs, baked physical theatre and visual gags (I’m looking at you, dying goat) tossed with innuendo and served at a breakneck pace with little or no regard for the wall separating audience from performer.
In this case Christopher Marlowe’s original Faust, a highly successful scholar dissatisfied with his life, makes a deal with the devil (Mephistopheles, or Mel) and exchanges his soul for 24 years of unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Faust has long symbolised humanity’s dichotomous nature and how unbridled success, pleasure and power can weirdly lead to regrets and a quest for purity and redemption.
In Doc Faustus, the scholar becomes a quaint, slightly goofy, patient-killing doctor in a one-horse town just outside of Abilene whose highest personal ambition is to become the personal physician to the state’s Governor. We are treated to a staccato travelogue of Faustus’ desires, whims and journeys through the ages and continents told in the most engaging manner. Both versions deal with the 24 years of untrammelled success, freedom and desires, both show the peccadilloes of human nature and regrets that come with living. Sound and Fury just happen to do it with better songs, cheaper jokes and nary a wasted line to be seen or heard.
Sound & Fury - aka Ryan, Patrick and Richard - have an obvious affection for theatre and classic tales mixed with a healthy irreverence and genuine and clear love of what they do. The story provides room for them to parade their skills of improvisation and imagination while allowing them to incorporate easily recognisable pop culture references into it. Their skills and familiarity enable them to jump off into comedic cul-de-sacs often based on mistakes or glitches or build upon something that they may have found particularly amusing. This allows the feel of the show to be tailored to the audience accordingly meaning that Doc Faustus can be seen repeatedly.
The pace of the show is frenetic, costume changes are continuous yet never detract from the main action while the three oscillate wildly between some of the most hilariously two dimensional characters one could expect to see in a parody of a Western genre steeped in this tradition. The singing narrator provides a link between scenes and ties it up neatly in a series of wonderfully crafted songlets. Vaudeville is out and proud in Doc Faustus but is aligned with a genuinely entertaining and funny script making it a feast for the eyes, ears and funnybone.
The script is full of clever wordplay, superb one-liners and some surprisingly acidic social commentary and rewarded both the overtly intellectual and fart-joke loving sides of my brain. It was droll and edgy without being offputtingly so, dumb without being stupid and consistently mirth making.
Doc Faustus stands as a testament to the ability to successfully mix genres and settings to produce something new, something blue and something that audiences genuinely enjoy. It is an esoteric revue accessible to all and one that all enjoyed, certainly one that had me hogtied with delight. Sound & Fury have produced a show that can only be described as a hootenanny and one that everybody should git along to. --Darien O Reilly
Sound & Fury are a vaudeville-comedy trio from Los Angeles who have won the “People’s Choice” award at the Adelaide Fringe three times (2008, 2009 & 2011). This year, they return with their latest show “Doc Faustus” – a bawdy satirical re-imagining of Christopher Marlowe’s stage play.
The trio consists of Richard Maritzer, Patrick Hercamp and Ryan Adam Wells, each taking a slightly different role in the show. Richard is the charismatic host who plays characters with more of a “high theatre” approach. Patrick plays the lead role of Doc Faustus, an ambitious yet hapless physician from Abilene, Texas, and gracefully plays the straight man to the high jinks of the other players. Ryan is the musician and singer in the group and, when not performing narrative interstitials between scenes, also ably fills lesser roles.
After a short pre-show briefing in which the audience is engaged directly and asked to participate fully in the show, the following hour or so is a fantastic ride. Without wanting to give away too many spoilers, the main show rolls along at a great rate. The pacing of the show is brilliant – there’s a great balance between references to the original Marlowe text, madcap variations on the theme, outrageous sexual innuendo and awful puns. The humour ranges from snarkily high-brow to just plain silly and the acting, use of minimalist props and costumes and the interstitial musical narratives serve to propel the story forward and carry the audience along with it.
Sound and Fury is an experienced troupe of performers who are clearly old hands at building and maintaining crowd energy. Their performance is frenetic, entertaining and full of pop culture references wrapped in wry and rambunctious witticisms. Keep an eye out for subtle pointers to Doctor Who, Blade Runner and more. While the bawdier nature of this show makes Doc Faustus more suitable for adult crowds, it is also definitely targeted at those adults who remain young at heart.
— Jeremy Huppatz, TwitterAdelaide.com
THE BAREFOOT REVIEW - (Adelaide, Australia)
Sound & Fury are best described as an updated vaudevillian trio (Richard Maritzer, Patrick Hercamp and Ryan Adam Wells) who present scripted stand-up comedy loosely based (very loosely based) on fictional and real historical characters and events.
They are from LA, they are regulars at the Adelaide Fringe, they already have a bag of Fringe awards under their belts from previous shows and they deserve another for ‘Doc Faustus’. It is a full-on laugh from the time they usher you into the venue and exhort you to “please fill the empty seats first!”
Their stagecraft is excellent, especially Hercamp who swaggers and postures around the stage underlining every vacuously silly remark he makes! They relish audience interaction, and they smash the traditional fourth wall between actor and audience at every opportunity. They enjoy mistakes and glitches, and make great fun of each other if a line is fluffed or the lighting/sound technician gets carried away or forgets to come in on cue. Sometimes it seems as if the mistakes might actually be scripted, but who cares.
This is a fun show and appeals on a number of levels and across a wide range of ages and tastes. It is energetic high-octane silliness, but it is also clever, witty and literary. It’s also full of enough one-liners and silly stand-up that you don’t have to concentrate too much if you don’t really want to.
Last year’s Sound and Fury show won a People’s Choice Award. This one is better. It is great fun.
— Kym Clayton
FRINGEWORLD - (Perth, Australia)
"The spontaneity and unpredictable nature of the performance make it an entertaining hour with plenty of laughs!"
— Belle Taylor, The West Australian
FIVE STARS - Uptown Magazine (Winnipeg)
L.A.’s Sound & Fury start the laughs before the show even begins, joking with the assembled audience at the expense of late-comers scuttling to their seats. From there they launch into a rip-snorting, loosey-goosey adaptation (they admit it includes only about four lines from the original play) of Christopher Marlowe’s "only hit", his medieval Doctor Faustus re-imagined as a wide-eyed, Texan "Doc". Marlowe’s play provides a structure, including narration delivered by a chorus, for largely improvised giggles about damnation ("Actually, [Lucifer]'s a vegetarian, but he will eat your soul"). Tipping their Stetsons to the "no fourth wall" tradition of vaudeville, costume/character changes are woven into the action and the dialogue: "How theatrically convenient." The comic quips shine brightest when the actors genuinely crack each other up; the whole thing is brought to a (literally) crashing conclusion when John Wayne upstages Doc Faustus during his big dramatic scene, then demons cart the doctor off to Transcona. Alakazam! Allosaurus! Devilishly clever laughs are summoned forth.
— Sandee Moore
FOUR STARS - Winnipeg Free Press
Sound & Fury, those secretly erudite goofball thespians from Los Angeles, are back again, this time this time tackling Christopher Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus.
The tale of the failed physician who sells his soul to the devil has been transplanted to Abilene, Texas. That allows for a Johnny Cash-style narrator, some David Bowie-at-the Alamo bits and a corn-pone Texas governor who sounds oddly like CBC Radio’s Stuart McLean. It’s classic, meandering, self-deprecating and very funny S&F.
It’s also insidiously smart, like vegetables hidden in the brownies. There are many lines from the real Faustus, lots of historical references and some moral lessons about wasting your Lucifer-given talents and meddling with history.
It all starts with a bang — the opening Faustus song is sharp and funny and by then you already have a crush on all the actors from the pre-show.
S&F in fine form!
— Mary Agnes Welch
FOUR STARS - CBC (Winnipeg)
Fringe stalwarts Sound & Fury re-imagine Christopher Marlowe's soul selling classic as an "old-timey" western show that owes as much to Groucho Marx as it does to Buffalo Bill.
These three "nouveau vaudevillians" make it very clear before you even enter the theatre that they are willing to work hard for your laughs by setting the stage while you stand in line outside, and then actively participating in the seating process to ensure maximum comic density (or something like that) in the crowd.
They had me laughing before the show started, and when it did, I had a rip-snortin' good time.
Only a few actual lines from the source play are used as this "Faustus" tells the tale of a selfish frontier doctor whose small-mindedness and access to power have the potential to change the course of history, but that doesn't matter. Sound & Fury prefer a focus on hilarity to one of history or text, and in their hands Faustus features a guitar-slinging man-in-black narrator, cameos from John Wayne and Voldemort, and even a couple of spit takes.
If you like your comedy broad, bawdy, and without a fourth wall, you know where to mosey.
— Kelly Stifora
TOUR SCHEDULE EARLIER THIS YEAR:
Jan - Feb Perth Int'l Fringe Festival (Australia)
Feb - March Adelaide Int'l Fringe Festival (Australia)
Regional touring in Australia:
TENTERFIELD : 21 March at School of Arts
GLEN INNES : 22 March at The Chapel Theatre
KENTUCKY : 23 March at the Kentucky Memorial Hall
BUNDARRA : 24 March at the Bundarra School of Arts
BINGARA : 29 March at The Roxy Theatre
BARRABA : 30 March at The Playhouse Hotel
PORT DOUGLAS : 31 March & 1 April at the Clink Theatre
June - Hollywood Fringe Festival, Hollywood California
Our main website: soundandfury.org