FRINGE REVIEW: SLEEPING TREESWORLD TOUR, AT CAMPANILE IN THE GARDEN OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS, 2019

After ten years of living and working together in close proximity, even the best of friends find that the bonds of companionship can almost stretch to breaking point at times.

English comedy trio, James Dunnell-Smith, Joshua Smith and John Woodburn, known collectively, and more succinctly as the Sleeping Trees, reached that breaking point a year ago and, subsequently, have spent the last twelve months going separate ways.

Now they have reunited after exploring the world and have embarked on this current performance tour, which may – or may not – have already taken them to Europe, the U.S., South America, and a seemingly endless list of other much less exotic places than Adelaide where they now find themselves.

The Sleeping Trees’ World Tour show is a very funny, fast paced sketch show which, for the main part, has James, Josh & John sharing some hair-raising stories of their individual exploits whilst on their respective solo sojourns.

So we get to hear of being caught up in dodgy business schemes in Egypt, of close calls with vampires and randy centaurs, and get to experience and share the trauma of being kidnapped in Hawaii, and hear of encounters with a strange man-dogs on the Great Wall of China, amongst many other original comic delights.

At other times in the show we are exhorted, by way of a merry Trump-esque singalong, to appreciate the benefits of building large and lengthy walls of exclusion; and we are given the privilege of a sneak preview of the new cutting edge trend in stand-up: sketch drama – a new form where audience laughter is actively discouraged.

All of this crammed in to an hour – and we also get the metaphorical ‘steak knives bonus’ of getting to vicariously experience the thrill of going to a Glastonbury Festival headliner’s performance!

These three talented Englishmen all certainly have a high degree of charismatic stage presence and are all equally as adept at convincingly playing their own inanimate props as they are at switching quickly between the various human characters they play so well in this fast paced show.

Those who are considering attending this show but are reticent because  you break out in a sweat at the thought of  being singled out by the performers and being publicly humiliated need not worry. There is nothing to fear in that regard here – I am sure it was just by pure coincidence that, at this particular show, the trio happened to fortuitously find an unsuspecting young man in the front row who just seemed to know his way around a double-headed dildo, and also, by another stroke of pure chance, that there was a lovely middle-aged woman in the same row, who, in an example of the strange synchronicity that seemed to be in the air on the night, just happened to be wearing a pair of easily removable red lace underpants…

The Sleeping Trees have been earning rave reviews in Britain and it is easy to see why – their brand of comedy strikes the right blend between slapstick physicality and cerebral surrealism, with just the right amount of pop-culture allusion thrown in to make them really cool!

This is a show that will repay you for any financial and temporal sacrifice you may have made in attending the performance. It is wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommended!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars.

 

The Sleeping Trees: World Tour plays at Campanile, in the Garden of Unearthly Delights until March 17, nightly at 7:00pm.

The trio are also scheduled to perform at the Sterling Fringe for two performances – 23 February & 1 March.

Tickets for all performances are available HERE.

 

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