Award-winning comedian Josh Earl is bringing his children’s comedy show Oliver Up A Tree as a part of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Something On Saturdays winter entertainment program. Every Saturday during the winter kids of ages 1-12 and their families can choose from a list of fun live performances from just $12.

Oliver Up The Tree is a show filled with songs, audience participation and lots of silliness making it a perfect combination to keep the kids entertained. Earl answers a few questions for us at Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles.

Is this the first time you’ve played at Something On Saturdayat the Adelaide Festival Centre?
No, I played here in 2016 with a show called My Family Is Weirder Than Your Family.

Oliver Up A Tree is a new show. How long have you been performing it and how did you come up with the concept?
The show started as a bed time story I was telling my son one night but by the end of it thought “that’s actually really good, I should write that down” that would have been in 2014. I then took about 2 years on and off writing it, giving up, and getting back into it. I opened it in the Melbourne Fringe in 2016 and from there have performed it in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Hobart.

Tell us what we can expect from the show?
It’s a sweet and funny story about a curious little boy called Oliver who lives in a town where no one really communicates so he tries to figure out a way to get everyone talking. There are songs, animations, parts for the kids to get up out of their seats and a bit at the end which is the most fun I can have on stage.

You’ve been in comedy for quite a while now. What made you get into the comedy field?Has it always been something you wanted to do, or did you just fall into it?
A bit of both. As a kid I really liked comedy but never thought it was something you could do as a job. Then at University I studied Theatre and from there got into performing Improv. I much prefer comedy as you have more of a connection to the audience as there is no fourth.

You have performed in many mediums such as television, radio, festivals as well as writing for print media just to name a few. Which medium is most challenging?
All of them have their own challenges and advantages but starting a new live show is the hardest. Just having a blank page and thinking ‘how do I start?’ is the most frustrating thing to me.

You will be performing at the Adelaide Festival Centre. What’s is like to perform there?
I loved performing at the Adelaide Festival Centre, the staff were super nice and you can tell they really care for their audiences with the variety of shows they have come through.

What is the difference performing for adults as opposed to children? Do you find it easier or harder performing for children?
I think the hardest thing about performing to children is that they are completely honest. If they’re bored they’ll let you know, mid show, that they’re not enjoying it. Whereas adults are a lot more polite with their boredom. Luckily Oliver Up A Tree has had no audience members yelling out “they’re bored” during it.

In 1986-88 you won an award for Brooklyn Primary School Fancy Dress Parade – Best Costume. Did you know this moment would lead you to perform in countless Festivals around the world and on television shows?
I think coming from a family where my Mum decided to send her 8 year old boy to school dressed as Dame Edna there wasn’t much hope for me to do anything else.

Interview by Anastasia Lambis

For more information about Oliver Up A Tree head to the Something About Saturdays website.