#EdFringe17 Comedy Q&A: James Dunnell-Smith of Sleeping Trees

Sleeping Trees at the Movies features three separate comedy blockbusters, being performed in rep at this year's Fringe. We fired over a Q&A to get more info.

The power to our venue cut out, so we lost all light on stage. The entire audience then put their phones on to light us up and we did the next five minutes lit by them, until the power came back! Our audiences are the BEST.

Hi James, tell me about your show,Sleeping Trees at the Movies

Each show parodies a different a genre, Mafia, Western and Sci-Fi, and we are given the challenge of bringing each one to life without the assistance of any set or props. All we have on stage with us is a one man band who provides a unique live score for each show, which really adds to the live movie experience we were aiming for with this trilogy.

What does Edinburgh mean to you?

It means an awful lot! This Fringe coming up will be our eighth consecutive year, so it's difficult to imagine a summer without it. Equally it is difficult to imagine a summer, as we are always in Scotland every August.

Who inspires you and why?

We all hold our own individual inspirations, comedians and actors we have grown up watching. I was always particularly inspired by the likes of Rik Mayall and Rowan Atkinson. Collectively we are all big fans of groups like The League of Gentlemen and The Mighty Boosh, we've always found the darker, more left field style of humour most appealing.

Describe your best or worst experiences on stage.

One of the best AND worst experiences we had on stage was last year where the power to our venue cut out, so we lost all light on stage. The entire audience then put their phones on to light us up and we did the next five minutes lit by them, until the power came back! Our audiences are the BEST.

Describe your best or worst review.

We got a one star review for our first show back in 2011. The guy just absolutely hated it. Think his name was Andrew Gervin, not that we're still bitter or anything...

If you weren’t a performer, what would you be?

A billionaire

What was the last book you read?

It was actually John Cleese's autobiography! I highly recommend it, particularly to anyone getting into comedy.

Would you rather live among pandas or sea lions?

Pandas for sure, not about that sea lion life.

Imagine that the BBC have asked you to produce a primetime show. What would it be and who else would be involved?

It would be a demolition derby style show with the cars being driven by ageing celebrity chefs. I reckon Gary Rhodes would be a nightmare behind the wheel.

Twitter: @wesleepingtrees

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wesleepingtrees

Website: www.thesleepingtrees.co.uk

© 2017 On the Mic.

Related Listings

Sleeping Trees at the Movies

Sleeping Trees at the Movies

The Sleeping Trees feel like the love child of Police Cops and Max and Ivan: high-paced, energetic character comedy with inventive visual effects and impressive teamwork. If you enjoyed those, you'll love this proficient and silly trilogy... 

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this article has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now