Perfect comic timing, razor sharp writing and the most dynamic and talented performers I have seen in a long time. What’s not to like? Well the answer is nothing – my critical juices have been halted. This exciting young company call themselves The Sleeping Trees - a name that appears rather ironic when faced with these insanely innovative and energetic performers. They make it their mission to reconstruct childhood tales with the kind of silliness which is hilarious, absurd and downright clever.
What’s not to like? Well the answer is nothing – my critical juices have been halted.
Three stories, three men, three nights. I had the pleasure of seeing the first of these at the Marlborough. The tale recounted was The Magic Faraway Tree – so we follow Dick, Saucepan Man and Moonface in a delightful children’s tale filled with ginger ale, magic and Blyton’s brand of wholesome fun. Wait no, that’s the original. ‘Lovingly misrepresented’ is how they describe their reinterpretation and they’ve certainly had the audacity to cut the characters out of the well known tale - a move which could go horrendously wrong in less skilled hands – and paste them into their own witty and often bizarre landscape.
Our three protagonists climb the tree in search of medicine to cure Dick’s mother and to find themselves savagely hunted by General S and his band of brainless minions. General S thinks he will employ the fearsome Sargent Stampalot the track down the human in his land – that is until he realises the name denotes a partiality to stamp collecting. The actors play host to a range of different characters, their bodies, voices and impossibly mobile faces adapting seamlessly to each role. With this level of skill props are redundant – they are trees, doors and even at one point some particularly hilarious sardines – playing eye-spy within the confines of their tin. The three actors are also the only source of sound effects in the show, bringing the events of the tale to life and death full comic integrity.
Already compared to Monty Python, this company is one to keep your eyes locked onto – who knows what they’ll be doing next. The writing is brilliant - filled with puns and double entendres reminiscent of Blackadder and their performance is frightening assured, with the energy and creativity to match.