18th July 2015 – Exeter Bikeshed – Sleeping Trees – Western?

The night before we were treated to the best club night of comedy we have seen for some time. From hereon in it is Edinburgh previews all the way until the festival itself.

We almost didn’t make this gig at all. Cue Saturday morning and I was planning a very long lie-in having had a extremely long week at work and also having got somewhat pissed on Friday with those dreaded purveyors of  temptation, the two-pint glasses at the Plymouth Comedy Club. Carole meanwhile was planning on a morning yoga session at an outdoor class at Central Park, Plymouth. She got up and went down to check on our chickens and let them out into the garden for the day, then I heard her cry to me to get up as Cerys, our one remaining non-rescue girl, was wandering around perfectly happy and oblivious to the fact that her innards were hanging out and blood dripping from her rear, having had a prolapse.

Horror struck, as the last time this happened to our poor Amy, a trip to the vet was her last, because there was nothing that could be done to save her. A wash off of her bum in the sink (Cerys not me! – Carole) and a phone call to the vet and off Carole went, with me praying Cerys would return to us, but honestly not expecting it, and all the euphoria of the previous night swiftly evaporated. My only instruction to Carole being that whatever it cost to give Cerys a chance, I would pay it, despite being skint and having no money in the pot prior to Edinburgh.

Carole came home and my heart sank as there was no Cerys with her. The good news being she was still at the surgery and that the vet was going to (paraphrasing) “shove her bits back in and stitch her up – and we shall see”. Instructions were that vet would call back a few hours later to give us  the outcome.

Nothing more we could do but wait, so Carole went off to yoga and I went back to bed, still shaking with alcoholic withdrawal from the night before!

Vet rang back after lunch and had sorted things out, but obviously there was still the chance of it happening again. So we needed to watch her for a while. (At time of writing a week on she is seemingly fine and trilling away to herself and sunbathing in the garden – and she has been in day care all week, with our friend Marie keeping an eye on her – thanks Marie!) So relief, along with a very large vet bill!. But we both felt a bit emotionally drained and the thought of a two hour round trip to this gig almost made us stay at home. However we figured we could do with a laugh, so off we set.

I saw the Sleeping Trees last year, show 73 of the world record, Carole was on a day off, so she only had my word for how good I thought they were then. One of the funniest and most enjoyable shows of the Fringe. They were doing a rotating program of three shows then, so I only got to see their ‘Not Treasure Island’ which was a wonderful romp.

This year they are rotating two shows ‘Western?’ and ‘Mafia?’, our preview was for ‘Western?’.

A backing band are providing sound effects and a musical backtrack. The three boys provide everything else, a myriad of wonderful characters, and even props acted out by themselves. An hour of slapstick but so much more, with the decent sized preview audience howling with laughter throughout. Effortlessly switching between the host of characters at breakneck pace. They had an amazing ovation at the end. And the ‘tumbleweed moment” almost made me let out a little bit of wee.

I hate to make comparisons, but if you are a fan of Max & Ivan – and we certainly are, then you cannot fail to enjoy this. If I can find a way to fit it in, ‘Mafia?’ will also be on my Edinburgh list – and this very talented bunch should also be on yours.

Dave. 25/7/2015

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