Dusty Horne's Sound and Fury
Sound effects of Hollywood's golden era are explored in this delightful, campy show
Dusty Horne is easily one of the most fully-formed characters at the festival this year. She's an egocentric, acid glamour puss (apart from the rather telling holes in her sweater) addressing her public with grand gesticulations and pronouncements of her genius. Along with her put-upon, nebbishy husband Nicholas, the repartee is initially all very jolly – until their perfect relationship starts to unspool like celluloid.
Natasha Pring, who plays Horne, and Edmund Digby-Jones as her desperate sidekick have a charming, hilarious and insightful show. Its unique selling point is the demystification of the techniques for making sound effects. Where else can an audience learn how to break bones by crushing walnuts or recreate the flapping wings of Hitchcock's The Birds with gloves?
Horne is a foley artist, creator of sounds for movies, albeit one who has been downgraded from Alfred Hitchcock thrillers to Roger Corman monster movies ('Nicholas, give them crabs,' Horne deadpans as Attack of the Giant Crab Monsters appears on the screen). Whether flirting with men in the audience, or swigging from a gin bottle, she builds her character into a believable mixture of diva and failure. The allegations that brought her down have never been proved, she insists, but she will cling to her achievements as only a deluded also-ran can.
Above all, the audience get to make their own contribution, by joining in the sound effects. It's a lovely, innocent homage to Hollywood's golden age, when invention was favoured over expensive CGI. One of the most enjoyable, quirky hours at the Fringe. Go and get the Horne, darlings.
Pleasance Dome, until 29 Aug, 2.30pm, £8.50–£11.00 (£7.50–£10)