Theatre review: Monkey Bars, Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street

Monkey business at the Traverse Theatre. Picture: Jon Savage
Monkey business at the Traverse Theatre. Picture: Jon Savage
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DIRECTOR Chris Goode brings a new show straight from the mouth of babes. ***

Monkey Bars

Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street

Star rating: * * *

Every word in Monkey Bars was said by a young child in a recorded interview, but here they are delivered by adult actors in adult situations. The effect is less jarring than you would think.

The cast heighten emotions the children may have struggled to express. At the same time Monkey Bars pokes fun at the adult world. Spoken by a grown man in a sharp suit, childish boastfulness becomes reminiscent of a contestant on The Apprentice, while pub small talk has barely progressed beyond the playground.

These reflections of the adult are a double-edged sword. Many of the most delightful moments come from the children misusing phrases overheard from their parents. Yet there is also the hint of prejudices being handed down through the generations, and the deeper miseries adults can inflict on children.

Distilled from 11 hours of recorded interviews, almost every line is golden. That said it is slightly over long and some sequences with music lay it on a bit thick.

Nevertheless, Monkey Bars is a charming show, reminding us that children are intelligent, sensitive people in themselves. The kids may not be seen, but they are heard loud and clear.

• Until Saturday