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The Playwrights Forum > General > Question & Answer > Plays, Performances, Pantos with cartoon sound effects / slapstick?

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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2018 08:27 am
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CartoonChaosGirl
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Mana: 
Hello!
I am hoping you can help me with something related to my dissertation. I'm looking this year for plays that have scenes where a character is dizzy or hit on the head and they "bird tweeting" sound effect is used. Classic old humor, but surprisingly underutilized, I think, in a lot of theater.

Sometimes it's accompanied by goofy faces. Perhaps not. I could also settle for examples of scenes that don't use the sound effect but could fit well. It may be more common in children's theater or pantos but I cannot come up with any examples.


Here are some examples for you - in the musical Honk Jr, when the cat is "struck out by a foul ball" after Play With Your Food in one version I saw when preparing to block that performance they used the bird tweeting sound effect. That director made that choice, as I've never seen it done that way before. It made it much clearer what's happening in a scene that I've often seen confuse people.
(https://youtu.be/YQsKDBVj1Wc?t=42m0s)

Meanwhile, in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway they used the trope during Grand Old Ivy (https://youtu.be/AU7WT4iP8Iw?t=4m55s)
I'm surprised it's not used in any door slam scenes such as in Suite Surrender, but I'm probably just completely unaware of a banana peel slip or frying pan bop somewhere in play.

Thank you very much! Hopefully you'll have some suggestions so I can get my local group I work with some new shows while I'm at it!

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