The Adventures Of Sleepyhead is an online production which is fun for all the family. The crux of the production is the lead character of Sleepyhead, performed by Emma Soldati, is attempting to come to terms with reaching the age of adulthood and a fear that once an individual reaches adulthood, they lose their dreams.
The show is part of the online and on-demand programmes offered at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. With a run time of just over 45 minutes, this is some lighthearted entertainment, a perfect activity for the school summer holidays.
From the outset of this dynamic children’s production, the set, music, costume and use of props within this one-woman production is admirable. Soldati’s performance is deeply expressive. The Adventures Of Sleepyhead is a fast-paced performance. Whilst this makes the show highly attention-grabbing and occasionally commercial for the viewer, the production would benefit from spending a few extra moments situating both the performer and the performance before diving straight in. At points, it came across as a tad jumpy, and somewhat hard to follow as there was so much jumping around different skits, parts of the set and also interactions with the original audience members when this production was recorded.
Saying this, the overall message of the production is clear and sustained. That message being how, regardless of age, we all have our dreams and they are not things that can be lost or taken away from us. The show reminds us of the power of our dreams and also the very necessary medium of imagination.
Through the characterization of Sleepyhead, who is in fact celebrating their coming-of-age birthday, viewers of all ages can find common ground with the lead character. The show propels important conversations about what you can do once you grow up and also what growing up can be like. We learn that like our childhoods, adulthood can be whatever you want it to be.
However, due to Sleepyheads anxiety in regards to growing older, this pillow character struggles to sleep and therefore struggles to dream. Concerned about losing this ability, Sleepyhead fears their dreams are gone for good. This causes us as viewers to accompany Sleepyhead as they rediscover their dreams and learn the important lesson that ageing does not mean you lose your dreams, rather our dreams change or we simply forget them. The show provides an important conversation to have with young viewers and attempts to instil the fact that everyone has a dream and that dream is a profoundly personal thing.
The Adventures Of Sleepyhead will leave you with a refreshed view of the power of dreams and a great sense of optimism, regardless of age.
The Adventures of Sleepyhead is playing online at the Edinburgh Fringe until 30 August 2021. For more information and tickets, see Edinburgh Fringe online.