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Edinburgh Fringe 2021

The Adventures of Sleepyhead

Gemma Soldati

Genre: Children's Theatre, Comedy, Puppetry

Venue: Assembly Online


Low Down

Sleepyhead is in her bed, a night before her transition to being a grown up. She keeps falling asleep before waking up to check that she has not missed that moment. Having dreamt of being a grown up so she could be a hairdresser, have a moustache and then a pillow fight amongst other dreams, she finds that when it is that time, when she has grown up, well, it is not what she expected. There seems to be no change. She is now worried that there shall be no dreams now. She worries that she has lost that power. So, she goes in search of an answer with chats with the moon and the sand man before finally getting to realise that time cannot be put back, but she can now look forward to a future, as a grown up.



This has charm and loveliness from beginning to end. As a performer Soldati, takes us on a lovely journey. She knows her way with an audience and keeps talking over to them but never down to them. It means that the outlandish nature of her story never feels like that. We are taken on the journey that Sleepyhead wants to take us, with her childlike innocence and the pillow on her head distancing us from the realisation we are in a theatrical and not a real event.

The story is really gentile and nice. There is no doubt it is targeting an audience who are more concerned with the engagement than the challenge and this is lovely to behold. We are not ina  radical interpretation of the nightmares of human experience but the tender need for comfort and the food for our mind that keeps us safe. It works really well.

it is well directed with the targeted audience very much in mind. The way in which this live performance has been filmed allows us to both hear the audience, experience what they see and experience the journey in an engaging manner. it is well filmed, sweeps you away and is technically well judged.

The set is fantastic. It has all the cartoon elements of a children’s playground and mind map.

Overall, this uses puppetry to enhance the piece in a supportive manner. the moon in particular is moved with one eye to making the story part of the needs to use such effects. Perhaps we could do with a little more by way of that – the hairdressing sequence was a highlight and Soldati’s interaction with her props, to create new worlds is worth exploring far more.

This has anergy, spark and a regard for the people watching it.


Show Website

Gemma Soldati