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Monkey Bars (Tour - Salford)

Julia Taylor sees Monkey Bars as more than child's play.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The Lowry

Monkey Bars
© The Lowry

Monkey Bars, a play that reproduces by adults, the sayings of seven to 10-year-olds, proves the truth of the biblical expression, "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings."

A lot of what these kids have to say is wise and completely honest. The six actors speak their words in adult situations – pubs, offices and business settings conveyed by the movement of illuminated cubes.

When the actors aren't speaking they look a little awkward and, sometimes the positioning doesn't seem relaxed but these are minor points.

Using the children's exact words, Philip Bosworth, Angela Clerkin, Cathy Tyson, Christian Roe, Gwyneth Strong and Gordon Warnecke address serious subjects such as the redistribution of wealth, the monarchy and religion. The question ‘What is your favourite sweetie?' comes as light relief especially when the reply is given by an adult

Yes, this production contains lots of laughs as well as thought-provoking moments. In the original recording, the questions are asked by Karl James and the answers moulded by writer, director and sound designer, Chris Goode.

Although it is presented warts and all with the inclusion of that irritating interjection, ‘like' used so often by the younger generation, the ideas expressed are sometimes quite profound.

This production is unique and based on an imaginative idea. Not only does it make you think, it makes you realise that we should take what children have to say seriously - for it comes from the heart.

That goes for the final words, too: "How does it feel, like, being an adult, just in general?"

- Julia Taylor