Chatting with Richard Maritzer of the show Cyranose at the Adelaide Fringe

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Sound & Fury are touring the Adelaide Fringe with their prize-winning show Cyranose. I spoke with Richard Maritzer about the show.

The show was also featured on our list of 20 shows to see at the Adelaide Fringe.

It’s on from 2 to 18 March (except for Mondays and Tuesdays). Buy your tickets.


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Who are Sound & Fury?

S&F is an American-Vaudeville trio based in Los Angeles, who do original genre-parody plays. The cast for Australia this year is Richard Maritzer, Patrick Hercamp, and new-to-the-cast Clayton Hamburg, who has never been to Oz before, and can best be described as a “Happy Puppy”, about coming here.

You refer to yourselves as Vaudeville Nouveau Players. Can you explain this to us?

We write and perform in the style or spirit of the Marx Brothers, or the Bing Crosby/Bob Hope “Road Movies.” So there is little or no ‘fourth-wall’: we often speak directly to the audience, in character or out. The shows have broad humor and appeal, but are also peppered with very narrowly targeted ‘high-brow’ jokes for those who are learned in the genre or work, or call-backs to classic routines they might recognize.
Tell us about your show Cyranose which you will be performing at the Adelaide Fringe.

We wrote it about 10 years ago when we were looking for something other than another “Fakespeare” show to create, and thought Cyrano had just the right amount of tragedy to it…to make silly. We brought it to Adelaide, where it won the People’s Choice award in 2008, and then took it to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that year as our first foray into the grandmother of all Fringes, where it garnered a number of 5-star reviews and completely made us feel like we hadn’t wasted our lives.

How closely linked is your Cyranose de Biouvac to the Cyrano de Bergerac we know from Edmond Rostand’s play?

It actually follows the plot very closely (though shortened to one hour), but takes comic-turns in each scene wherever possible, so that even the tragedy of the story, is sweetly-sad rather than pathos.

What inspires you?

Works which can make you see something familiar in a new way, or make you feel like a kid again, or make you laugh without care.


What will French audiences think of Cyrano?

Our “French Accents” are awful and intentionally over-the-top, and other than a few awful “traditional” pokes at the French, and Blaise Pascal in particular, it’s more about the story than about France, per se.


Why should people come to see the show in Adelaide?

It’s a guaranteed laugh. The show is tried-and-tested, and has a high joke-per-minute ratio, if that’s how like to categorize the shows you see! If you like silly humor and verbal-slapstick, or need to know how to romance your cousin, this is the show for you.


Have you been to see Cyranose before? Or the original it was inspired by: Cyrano de Bergerac?

7 things to see at the Adelaide Festival

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The Adelaide Fringe festival started on Friday 16 February but this Friday 2 March the Adelaide Festival itself starts.

From 2 to 18 March you can watch theatre, listen to authors speak about their novels, listen and dance to world music or to jazz and see French video installations.

Below is a list of the 7 things that we recommend at this year’s Adelaide Festival.

1. the far side of the moon

Robert LePage has been called a Québécois theatre genius and he is bringing his work “The Far Side of the Moon” to Australia after having been performed in 45 cities around the world. It’s a story of two brothers who couldn’t be more different or distanced from each other who reunite with the space race of the 1970s. On from 2 to 7 March.

2.. The Great War

Hotel Modern, Dutch theatre and animation company is presenting their play “The Great War”. The script has been based on interviews with veterans and diaries and letters from soldiers, in particular those of a French soldier. While the soldier speaks of the horrors of the war and the mundanity of life in the trenches, the performers will bring his words to life in miniature animation. You can see it from 8 to 11 March.

3. The triplets of belleville

Benoît Chares, the Oscar nominated composer of the soundtrack to the French film “Les Triplets de Belleville“, will bring the soundtrack and the film to life with a live orchestral performance of the film score while the film is played on the big screen. On 14 and 15 March.

4. writers’ week

Canadian author, Louise Penny is best known for her Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She writes in English but her stories are always set in Quebec and her characters are québécois and as such francophone. You can see her on 4 March at 9:30am.

French author David Foenkinos will also be at Writer’s Week. His novel “Charlotte” has won the Prix Renaudot and le Prix Goncourt des Lycéens and has been translated into 19 languages! He will speak about his novel on 7 mars at 10:45am.

5. WOMADelaide

WOMADelaide (World of Music and Dance) will take place over the long weekend from the evening of Friday 9 March to Monday 12 March. While a festival in its own right, it is officially under the umbrella of the Adelaide Festival. Here’s some info about the line-up for WOMAD. We will also be publishing interviews with some of the francophone artists over the coming weeks.


Jazz singer born in Miami but to French and Haitian parents will perform one concert exclusively at the Adelaide Festival. See her on 17 March.


The Barr Smith Library at the University of Adelaide will be transformed by video projections created by French graphic designers Antoine et Manuel. Only on 16 and 17 March.

Are you going to see any of these shows at the Adelaide Festival?