Friday, 3 December 2021

REVIEW: Puss in Moon Boots by Sleeping Trees

After the success of last year’s, The Legend of Moby Dick Whittington, Sleeping Trees has returned this Christmas with another home viewing suitable for all ages in what they call an “annual Christmas living room adventure”. As with last years show they seek to create a fun interactive story aimed at under tens with plenty of parody to amuse their adult carers. It is like watching three grown-up men behaving how they imagine their ten-year-old selves might have occupied themselves in creating a home movie. It works because the three wholeheartedly embrace their format, include some silly play along at home moments and is neatly captured and edited into a 50-minute show that does not overstay its welcome.

This year’s tale is a parody of The Star Wars Franchise with a touch of 2001, a Space Odyssey mixed up with Children’s characters and Santa Claus. The Puss in question must stop Dorth Clauz from stealing all the presents and kidnapping all the naughty children to the Moon and is littered with silly puns and jokes. To involve the young audience at home we are encouraged to get saucepans as space helmets, Kitchen utensils as control sticks and toilet roll holders as Light sabres. The more adventurous children might be persuaded to build their own moon rocket out of cardboard to join the adventure. As with last year, we are encouraged to post pictures of the home creativity!

Written again by the three performers with Ben Hales there are good gags about copyright-free content, the Star Wars credits, Global Naughtiness and David Meowie to appeal to the older viewers and plenty of slapstick humour for the younger ones. Traditional Pantomime call outs get included too. They also remember to include a disclaimer that they are not encouraging naughty behaviour with a message for the children to have determination and self-belief to succeed.

Joshua George Smith plays Santa Paws as well as Tweedledum and Tweedle-dee. James Dunnell- Smith plays Puss as well as Jack and Jill. John Woodburn plays Robocow, Hansel and Gretel and Clauz. The doubling up of parts is a source of some of the fun as they are edited together well by the director of Photography Shaun Reynolds in split screens. Director Kerry Frampton keeps the show bouncing along with surprises and effects although it does take seven minutes for the Puss in Moon Boots show to actually start and I did not get the running inhaler joke which seemed out of place.

You can’t help but like the three lads in their madcap adventure around a borrowed house, admire their creativity in the filming and wonder how many of their viewers are actually joining in. It is silly and fun and ultimately, I hope will encourage those carers to take the children to the real thing, a live pantomime this Christmas in a local Theatre. Sleeping Trees themselves are at Battersea Arts Centre in Sleeping Beauty and the Beast until 30 December.

Review by Nick Wayne

Rating: ★★★

Seat: Stream online until 10th January 2022 | Price of ticket: £5

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