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’80s Schwarzenegger flick turned into old-school radio play by Winnipeg actors

A collection of props used to make sound effects for Commando: The Radio Play. Commando: The Radio Play / Facebook

The 1985 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Commando is a big-budget action film, full of explosions, gun shots, and fight scenes. So it’s the last film that could be successfully converted to a 1930s-style radio play, right?

A group of local voice and sound effect actors begs to differ.

The cast of Commando: The Radio Play presented their audio interpretation of the action flick at last summer’s Winnipeg Fringe Festival, and the show was so successful, they’re bringing it back for a one-off performance at the Gas Station Theatre.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Fringe Festival takes a big step back in time

Local comedian Cory Falvo leads the cast as a sound-effects artist, using a box full of props, from pop cans to hot water bottles to cookie tins, to create the sounds of gunfire, car tires, and much more.

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“I help tell the story through sound effects by adding to the performance by performing every sound you hear in the show 100 per cent live, with no digital effects,” Falvo told 680 CJOB.

“Everything is a prop or an instrument or anything to make that noise and kind of sell it.”

Falvo said his unusual talent comes from doing DIY sound design for a sketch troupe’s videos, which led to a gig working on Evil Dead: The Musical at the Park Theatre.

“Now I watch movies and start picking it out. I watched the new Lion King… sucked. No sound effects.

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“Then I watched Stranger Things season three or the new Dracula. Horror stuff has great sound effects — you just imagine which vegetables they’re crushing behind the scenes.”

Actor Will O’Donnell said he had been doing voice work for feature films and animation, when he got an email from Falvo about the radio play.

“The second that I heard it’s a radio show adaptation of Commando… I had to audition for it,” he said.

“It was a challenge, because I’d never done an Arnold impression. I auditioned for every single character, because I just knew I wanted to be a part of it, and I’m lucky I got to be.”

The full performance of Commando: The Radio Play takes place Feb. 22 at the Gas Station Theatre.

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Click to play video: 'Silence! The Musical premieres at the 2019 Winnipeg Fringe Festival'
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