Jamie Wood: I Am a Tree

Comedian/guru Jamie Wood returns with his new show I Am A Tree in Assembly’s enchantingly draped gypsy-chic Omnitorium theatre space. The audience are welcomed in warmly with hugs and soothing words into this tribal sanctuary by a druid-like Jamie Wood in his ancient black robes. Inspired by the death of his grandfather, Jamie Wood guides us through his hermetic journey - or “pilgrimage” - to South Wales to visit the birthplace of his grandparents. He attempts to encompass his whole audience in his spiritual quest to bring himself back into his wild-self, to “rewild”.

Beautiful, poetic and sublime imagery, assisted by silly music and soundscapes prerecorded by Jamie Wood himself, transported us unknown places in the wilderness.

The Scottish winds blow violently through the fabric lined walls of the theatre, aptly adding effect to Wood’s most ritualistic moments on stage. He is so playful and gentle with his audience that it is difficult for anyone to resist the active audience participation required. The charm and vulnerability Jamie Wood presents is so intoxicating that is impossible not to be transfixed by his performance, and his comedic imagination is infectious. However, his meanderings could have evoked more significance and grounding had there been more moments of discovery in the quest. The moment where he had members of the audience onstage as sleeping babies was fun and felt like it was supposed to have some greater meaning within the piece, but it was not tangible, nor was it as funny as the audience hoped it to be. The rest of the show continued this way.

Beautiful, poetic and sublime imagery, assisted by silly music and soundscapes prerecorded by Jamie Wood himself, transported us unknown places in the wilderness. Around the fire, which was previously Jamie Wood’s fabulous wings costume piece, members of the audience hilariously personated spirit animals. I Am A Tree asks its audience “where are you on your pilgrimage?” and Jamie Wood effortlessly bewitches his listeners, but does not create the frolicsome, magical and spiritual experience as effectively as in his previous shows.

Reviews by Isabella Javor

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The Blurb

When Jamie is still for any length of time, someone finds him and tells him about their life. His girlfriend says he is like a tree that dogs like to piss on. He gets this from his grandfather. Last year, Jamie walked 150 miles back to his grandparents's birthplace to look for what he'd lost. From the creator of O No! (***** Stage) comes something else entirely. A dance party with ghosts, in a forest, in a theatre. An invitation to drink deep, face the shadows that growl inside you and laugh big.

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