The Fringe play that gives a voice to its inner child


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The Independent Culture

Fringe First-winning writer and director Chris Goode thinks children get a raw deal in our society. Concerned about how trivially we treat them and the degree to which we project our own nostalgia-tinted impression of childhood onto them, Goode decided to make a piece of theatre that lets children speak for themselves.

Monkey Bars is a verbatim play based on interviews with children between the ages of eight and 10. Conducted by Karl James, who co-directed Tim Crouch's The Author, one of the most hotly discussed shows of the 2010 Fringe, these interviews explored "moments of change" in the children's lives. The idea of the show, which sees adult actors playing out fictional grown-up scenarios created in rehearsal from the children's words, is to get audiences to see childhood – and by implication, adulthood – in a new light.

"Obviously there's a certain dissonance to begin with, which is just funny, but hopefully... you end up hearing the child's voice inside the adult; the child that all grown-ups carry around inside them that has never really grown-up," explains Goode.

'Monkey Bars' runs at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 14 to 26 August