Sleeping Trees: SCI-FI?

'Where are we going Admiral Ox?' asks the starry eyed, young space farmer who is really the secret son of an evil galactic overlord with special powers. 'PLUTOPIA' replies the self styled space explorer Admiral Ox. So off it is to Plutopia to battle the evil Galactatron and stop his plans for Project Galaxy Boom Boom.

His karaoke turn with Nothing Compares to You is one of those perfect moments of Fringe Theatre nonsense

This silly piece of escapism is ridiculously good fun. It's also sneakily well plotted and develops into a story that you want to see the end of rather than it just being a mere comedy piece. There are the good guys, the bad guys, the random side project guys and a pig. They are all played by the same trio; John Woodbury, Joshua George-Smith and James Dunnell - Smith, decked out in Tron-style leggings.They keep their multiple characters expertly distinct in this fast paced adventure, swiftly shifting from being a beautifully synchronised high galactic council, to the bombastic space guard in the blink of an eye.

The android side kick, Guns for Hands, is an absolute treat who despite sounding a lot like Stephen Hawking, quickly became the audience favourite. His karaoke turn with Nothing Compares to You is one of those perfect moments of Fringe Theatre nonsense. The Sleeping Trees all have excellent voices, singing or projecting the differences in their roles and the onstage one man band of Ben Hale gives brilliant support to the story with a soundtrack reminiscent of A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The look and feel of the show, sound and lighting included, is of a quality above what you would expect of a parody genre.

The physical skill of the cast is evident and goes a long way to giving this production that quality feel. Their simple embodiment of the space ships, aliens and cannons required for the narrative is nothing short of impressive and the scenes changes are seamless. At times it feels like they are just having so much fun that they don't need the audience there at all to carry on. That being said, their attempts at female characters are weaker and a right shame, as they just don’t quite manage to realise them very memorably.

If you go to this expecting to enjoy some jokes and Sci-Fi references, you will, but you will also probably be surprised by just how complete a play this excellent little show is. 

Reviews by Julia French

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The Blurb

The Sleeping Trees complete their live movie trilogy in true intergalactic fashion: 'SCI-FI'? Follow the intergalactic journey of the unlikeliest of heroes, happy-go-lucky farmer Charlie Sprog and his one very simple mission: Save the universe from total destruction. "A blockbuster hour of cleverly scripted fast laughs and energetic comedy" **** (The List).