Sleeping Trees: Mafia?/Western? (4 stars)

This article is from 2015

Sleeping Trees: Mafia? Western?

Credit: Mark Dawson Photography

Swift, high-energy, versatile physical comedy at its Fringey finest

Sleeping Trees is a trio of physical comedians and, in a stroke of bums-on-seats genius, they're performing two similarly appealing but different shows on alternate days. One afternoon they'll parody a western, the next a mafia flick. Both involve the considerable musical talents of the Physics House Band, better known for playing jazzy math rock, but here providing a highly versatile and atmospheric backdrop to the action.

On this review date, their adventures occurred in the Wild West, where we meet talking gallows, terrifically dastardly outlaws and countless others over a high-energy hour of 100% committed clowning. Not a cue was missed in a show where they come roughly once every five seconds, and the swift choreography of myriad scenes and characters had that special quality of seeming effortless even when you know it must be far from it.

Fans of Fringe hit BLAM! will certainly enjoy this, though the difference here is that there's plenty of quick-fire dialogue to boot, and no props or set. The three use just their bodies to play not just a host of human and animal characters, but everything from a clump of tumbleweed to a runaway railroad train, all of which are instantly, hilariously, recognisable.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 22 Aug, 5pm, £7–£10 (£6–£9).

Sleeping Trees: Mafia?/Western?

  • 4 stars

The Sleeping Trees present surreal parodies of gangster and western films.