The eccentric, boisterous Dusty Horne transports her audience into a world of sound – the sound effects of films. A jingling set of keys becomes a suit of armour and vegetables are used to evoke breaking bones. With Dusty Horne’s Sound and Fury, Honourable East End Company deliver a performance filled with comedy and Foley.
A “Foley Artist” is someone who creates sound effects for movies and videos, conjuring anything from footsteps to a bird flapping its wings. It’s 1963 and Dusty Horne, along with her assistant Nicholas, immerse their audience into a world of live cinematic sound effects. With an underlying story, this performance is full of content, keeping the audience both entertained and laughing at the absurdity of Dusty’s personality.
Natasha Pring brings life to the quirky persona of Dusty Horne, creating a character who is perfectly over the top. Introducing audience members into the mix only made it all the funnier, and I loved the way the volunteers were able to interact during the performance. The narration over the old black-and-white movies is only one example of an occasion when Pring was able to show off Horne’s personality, and there’s no doubting how well-developed her character was.
I was aware of Foley work before I saw this show, but it was still the first time I experienced it in action and I couldn’t help but be thoroughly impressed at the range of sound effects produced. Dusty has the audience close their eyes near the beginning of the performance, to show us something as simple (and diverse) as a person’s footsteps. With a projector on the back wall, Dusty demonstrated her range of sounds live while a movie clip played in the background; you would be surprised at the effects gloves, cabbages and horns can make when you’re narrating a really old monster movie.
The main weakness lies in the underlying story about Dusty’s past. I won’t give anything away, but overall, it feels sudden and forced; I’d have preferred to be eased further into the sub-plot earlier in the play, rather than have the revelations piled on near the end of the show. It’s a shame this pulled down the overall quality, because if executed differently, it could have made for a compelling in-depth story.
I enjoyed the comedy antics throughout the show, and the audience on the night made the climax particularly effective. So Dusty Horne’s Sound and Fury is a fun performance full of skilful sound effects and prominent characters. The story could be better shaped, but overall the show did its job in introducing its audience to the wonders of cinematic Foley.