Josh Earl’s Awesome children’s comedy show sends Oliver Up a Tree


Josh Earl.
Josh Earl.

COMEDIAN Josh Earl’s eldest son Oliver is a savvy five-year-old.

When his father asked permission to turn the bedtime story he had made up for him into his next children’s comedy show, Oliver granted it on the proviso the show was named after him.

Oliver Up a Tree is part of this year’s Awesome International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things and marks Earl’s return after his debut in the festival’s program last year with My Family is Weirder Than Your Family.

He will also run song writing workshop La La La to Ha Ha Ha – How to Write Funny Songs on October 4 and 7, plus free Storytime with Josh Earl at State Library of WA on Wednesday, October 5 at 10.30am.

Known for his work on the comedy circuit, and as former host of the revived Spicks and Specks, the Melbourne-based comedian started performing for children in 2007 when Melbourne Comedy Festival asked him to do a Kids Comedy Club spot.

“I just did my act that I was doing in the Melbourne Comedy Festival that year without the swearing and it wasn’t very good because the kids weren’t interested in what I was saying,” Earl said.

“The next year I wrote a proper 10 minute chunk of material for kids and it went really well.

“I’d been doing that for awhile and now my eldest is at an age where he’d like to see what I do, so I decided to start writing a whole show for kids.

“I worked for seven years as a school librarian and reading to kids was a good training ground because you could see what they liked, what they found funny and what they found interesting; it was a nice melding of the two professions.”

More: New Owner world premiere season at Awesome International Arts Festival for Bright Young Things

Oliver Up a Tree is a comedy show for ages five years and older about a small town where everyone keeps to themselves until one day young boy Oliver, who wants to learn more about everyone, decides to climb a tree.

“Everyone in the town comes along to try and get him out of the tree,” Earl said.

“The way they do that is by showing off their special skill or sharing something about themselves with everyone else in the town.

“It’s a really nice show in terms of community and how everyone has their own story. I think that’s something really important these days when people can be scared of difference.

“And now my wife (who is from Perth) says Henry, my youngest, needs a show too.”

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Oliver Up a Tree

Where: The Channel Seven Circus Tent, Perth Cultural Centre

When: October 2 to 9

Tickets: www.awesomearts.com