The Faculty, Alumni, Staff, and Students (FASS) Theatre Company showcased the many talents that can be found on campus within their 2019 fall variety show, Feridun-dun-DUN! on Oct. 4 and 5, 2019.
Between the satire of Waterloo culture, parodies of well-known songs, and performances by year-round UW clubs, the 90-minute murder mystery-comedy and variety show was an absolute treat to watch.
The story was exceptional. Advertised as a “whodunnit” type murder-mystery, Feridun-dun-DUN! goes beyond the formulaic story beats of a murder-mystery, and uniquely breaks the fourth wall in an ingenious manner that doesn’t seem rushed or forced.
The most enjoyable aspect of the show was the aforementioned satire of UW culture. Shots were fired at everybody and anybody that attends Waterloo on a regular basis, adding, “University of Waterloo President and Vice-Chancellor,” every single time Feridun Hamdullahpur’s name gets dropped, elected officials not caring about students and going on lavish trips to the Bahamas when not sipping tea, Environment students always high, the struggle of finding co-op and reassuring yourself, “at least you’re not majoring in arts,” UW remaining open during brutal winter weather while Laurier students get the bliss of a closed campus, and last but not least, a geese uprising.
Even Imprint wasn’t safe as the show claims, “no one reads Imprint!” (But we know you do, don’t worry).
The amount of self-awareness that Feridun-dun-DUN! has is refreshing. It doesn’t have a political agenda that decorates a certain aspect of UW being ‘perfect’ (with the exception of flex dollars), but at the same time is light-hearted and talks its talk without the intention of offending or hurting anybody.
A captivating story and clever writing are integral to a show’s success but have no value without proper execution.
The cast of Feridun-dun-DUN! executed the script flawlessly. From the time the lights dimmed, these individuals lit up not only the stage but the entire room by using high energy and displaying pure talent.
Every line was delivered comedically pure and raw, and nothing seemed too over-dramatic or exaggerated. It was as if you were watching Saturday Night Live.
The character tropes were wonderfully presented, whether it was a bumbling detective, egotistically rude cooking competition chef, or simply a stressed student. The comedic timing was perfect.
Everyone on stage was focused and delivered a consistent, smooth performance, no one person overshadowed or took the shine away from the other performers.
If there was a ‘ball dropped’ or if something didn’t go as it was supposed to, no one could tell.
The cast was very enthusiastic and fun to watch—from the dimming of the lights to when they came back on.
There were also intermissions between scenes from other on-campus acts such as UW Cheer, Warriors Band, Bachata, UW Improv Club, Unaccompanied Minors, AcaBellas, and the Juggling Club.
They all did exceptionally well with hyping up the audience and were fun to not only watch but be a part of.
On the same topic of writing, the score was hilariously exceptional. Again, well-written and steering well away from cheesiness, Feridun-dun-DUN! showcased a rendition of popular songs with a royalty-free twist.
Sets included “Omigod He Died!” as parody of, “Omigod You Guys,” from Legally Blonde the Musical as performers serenaded a dead Feridun, a campaign song/speech “Wanna Vote,” which is a parody to the Spice Girls hit, “Wannabe,” a detective monologue “Motives to Kill,” a parody of Elle King’s “Exes and Oh’s,” and a SFW version of Lonely Island and Akon’s, “I Just Had Sex,” titled, “You Just Saw FASS” as the grand finale.
Feridun-dun-DUN! was an impressively well-executed variety show that encompassed and platformed many talents that can be found right here at UW. If you haven’t already, it is really worth checking out FASS and supporting their future shows. I give it a well-deserved five stars.