Belfast Telegraph

Narrow boasts a broad appeal, with something for all ages

Narrow, Belfast Children's Festival

By Andrew Johnston

The Belfast Children's Festival continued last night with the small but perfectly formed Narrow.

An aptly intimate crowd had gathered in the Lyric Theatre for this most up-close-and-personal of performances.

The setting was a tiny house containing two rooms, each measuring no more than three feet by three feet. Into the ground floor entered a man, via a hatch, gurning and grimacing as he contorted his lanky frame to fit inside the wooden construct.

Soon, he was joined by a lady friend and, as flowers were exchanged, chocolates were shared and embraces were, frankly, unavoidable, the stage seemed set for domestic bliss.

But it became more a case of familiarity breeding contempt.

He pricked his finger on her cactus; she grew tired of his tuneless singing practice.

They both needed some space.

The two actors were adept performers, mixing slapstick comedy for the kids with a bittersweet look at the challenges of moving in with a partner for the first time for the adults.

If you squinted, the play may also have been referencing the overpopulation crisis or the outrageous cost of living in big cities, but really, it was more rewarding just to focus on the laughs.

The wordless, hour-long show may have been called Narrow, but it brought wide smiles to the audience.

Four stars

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