After the success of last years Mafia? and Western? comes Sci Fi?, another knowing and adroit parody from comedy trio Sleeping Trees. Sci Fi? is an hour long comedic play set in a faraway galaxy, following a ragtag crew trying to stop an evil tyrant from destroying the universe. The plot is pretty thin (happily nicking bits from the likes of Star Wars, Flash Gordon and Dune) but that’s fine; plot isn’t Sleeping Tree’s chief concern. The whole thing is an excuse to muck about with familiar genre tropes, creating a show that’s almost too silly to function. It’s all held together by sheer force of will by the Sleeping Trees team, displaying impressive theatrical and physical chops.
The humour leans on puns and clowning, and you’ll probably see a lot of the gags coming. It could be a great play for kids, if you take out all of the swearing. The jokes and references might be too juvenile for hardliners, but the show is saved by the impressive performances of the Sleeping Trees team. Using an inventive mix of mime and gymnastic dexterity to propel the plot along, the show is energetic and action packed. Having a live band providing a soundtrack that is at turns eerie and exciting helps too. Sci Fi? is lightweight at times, but it’s a big daft crowd pleaser that’s still worth a punt.
★★★ (and a half)