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Edinburgh Preview: an interview with The Sleeping Trees

Updated: Jul 19, 2019

'The Birthchild of Monty Python and The League of Gentleman' is a hell of a quote and one I couldn't agree more with. I first met The Sleeping Trees (Josh, John and James) at university where they took a module teaching their zany ways to our group of fledgling freshers. Having seen a whole host of their shows since (Scrooge and The Seven Dwarves at Theatre503 a particular highlight) they continue to go from strength to strength and their new show Silly Funny Boys looks to be a culmination of all their gut-bustlingly funny shows rolled into one and I cannot wait. Above being a must-see at every Fringe they are absolutely lovely blokes. They kindly answered some questions for us in the run up to Edinburgh, please do have a read below!

1. Whats special about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival? The Edinburgh Fringe has been the centre of my life for a decade. It is what all my years as a performer have been centred around and it is the reason I have experienced so many things that a lot of people don’t get to experience in a lifetime. As a result of the Fringe I have travelled to the other side of world, met countless amounts of my comedy heroes and been able to get up at 10am on a Monday morning. The Fringe is a very special place indeed.

2. If you could go back to your first ever Fringe would you do anything different? Slightly different answer to the question but if I could go back to my first fringe I would talk to my 19 year old self and ask him how he did it. How he went out every night until 5am and got up to flyer 10am for 4 hours before the show every single day. I would tell him he is a hero and that he has gone forever.

3. What was the best advice you got as an emerging company/performer/comedian? We were once told by a director to go on a specific diet. No carbs, no sugars and no booze. After going stir crazy for a month we thought fuck this and haven’t listened to advice since. In all seriousness we have learnt that networking is key in when it comes to this industry. Make as many budding comedian friends as you can and almost certainly one of them will make it down the line so if you’re close enough they can bring you up with them.

4. What's the worst gig you’ve ever done? Sleeping Trees have had our fair share of terrible gigs. The top of the pile has to be in Enfield (even typing the word makes me shudder). We were on the ‘At The Movies’ tour and it was our last date. No one had the energy and it was a double bill which meant we were doing Mafia? directly followed by Western? When we arrived we were told we had sold 4 tickets for both shows and had sold no more moments before were given clearance to go on we asked to cancel but because we were on a guarantee we had to perform in order to get paid. After an hour show of pretty much silence who finished the first show hoping to cancel, thinking the audience wouldn’t want to endure that for another hour. It was then we were told it was a brand new four people who were eager for the performance. Longest. Night. Ever.

5. If you weren’t in this business, what job would you be doing? Ever since we toured in Australia I have been addicted to Ramen. So I would enrol in cooking school, move to Japan, cook for 10 years then go to the States to work under the wing of Ivan Ramen and once I have overtaken his as the number one Ramen chef in the world, open my own place in London.

6. What's your best memory of the fringe? My best Fringe memory is the first time we sold out Pleasance Two in the courtyard. We were young and doing our first ever run in the pleasance doing

The Treelogy. We had a one off performance of Mafia? on our day off. At the time filling a 170 something sized room at the fringe was unimaginable and when we found out the last tickets sold we had a joyful cry/hug just before we went on stage and the standing ovation at the end just made it that the moment I will never forget.

7. Any special food recommendations up in Edinburgh? There are too many to list but a few MUST EATS are Wings, Kismot, Curry in a Hurry (Cuzza in a Huzza), Red Box and David Bann. So many BANGERS! I’m on the Hunt for some Ramen this year.

8. Is there anyone performing this year you’re desperate to see? Who is it... ? John Robertson is always a treat. He is a phenomenal comedian and the mastermind behind the Dark Room. Tom Parry is back with a new solo show which is sure to be brilliant. Gabby Best blew me away at our last comedy night in London so I will be sure to catch her if she’s there.

9. How did this current show come about? Over the years we have always felt so pressured about what our show is going to be. Last Christmas we threw together a Christmas show that turned out to be one of our collective favourites. So we decided to take that into account when conceiving our current show. It should be rough and playful and a lot of fun for both us and the audience (but mainly us) and that is what we are really looking forward to. Funnily enough we are doing a one off of the aforementioned Christmas show on the 24th of August. We are going to pretend it is Christmas Eve and it will be the biggest Fringe venue we’ve ever done so it’s all VERY exciting.

10. Why should someone come see your show? Sleeping Trees: Silly Funny boys is a variety show where the Sleeping Trees play the hosts, all the acts, the front of house and even some of the audience. It should be a laugh and probably the most ridiculous thing we have ever written. Yes we say that every single year and yes every single year we mean it. It is our 10th year. That’s a lot of ridiculousness. ALSO next year will be our first fringe off since we began making shows so see us while you can. Who knows we may never even come back because I would have sacked it all off for the Ramen fantasy.

You can catch their new show -Sleeping Trees: Silly Funny Boys at Assembly Studio Two - George Square Gardens from the 31st of July - 25th of August (not the 14th) at 20:30

Tickets -

Follow them on social-y things.

Twitter/Instagram/Facebook - @WeSleepingTrees

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