Venue: King Street Theatre (Newtown NSW), Sep 24 – 29, 2013
Playwright: N. Gregory Finger
Director: N. Gregory Finger
Actors: Nicholas Richard, Sydney Abba, Logan McArthur, Ryan Knight, Daniel Hunter, Brendan Paul
Narrow As The Line is a clever and entertaining work set against the backdrop of war and destruction. N. Gregory Finger’s script is witty, thoughtful and intelligent. Its structure is simple and efficient, which allows for creative space on stage. Characters are interesting, although speech patterns could have been written more differentiated for greater distinction between personality types.
The actors are youthful and committed, with some displaying good skill and potential. Nicholas Richard shines in the role of Lieutenant Parsons, delivering a strong performance that anchors the production, giving it a sense of sure-footed solidness. Sydney Abba takes on the comic role of Colonel McGrath, delighting at every entrance. She connects well with the audience, and creates the most memorable character in the play. In general however, the cast plays the show too naturalistic. There is a good dose of absurdity in the script but the actors tend to underplay their scenes, attempting instead for believability and misses an opportunity for more heightened satire.
This is an impressive production that showcases young talent and a very smart script. The prominence of the writing does however, encourage the desire for a team of more experienced actors, and more adventurous direction. It is evident that a more dynamic show can be created from Finger’s words but as far as baby steps go, this is a monumental one.