By Esmee Stimson
David Walliams has been called by many the Roald Dahl for a new generation and it’s easy to see why.
My children and I are big fans of David Walliams books. We all appreciate his charming tales and anarchic sense of humour. We adore his quirky characters like, Gangsta Granny, Aunt Alberta, Burt Burgers and Joe Spud. So when we found out that a production of Mr Stink was coming to The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft we couldn’t wait to see the stage production.
Mr Stink tells the tale of lonely 12 year old school girl Chloe who befriends Mr Stink, a lonely smelly old man who sits on a bench in town with his dog. Chloe invites Mr Stink to live with her in the shed in her garden.
As Chole and Mr Stink’s friendship blossoms she uncovers the story behind Mr Stink's sad past. We also learn of Chloe’s troubles with her own family, Chloe feels unloved and unwanted by her mother who favours her sister Annabelle. There is also much tension between her parents created by their own ambitions and careers.
Chloe and Mr Stink end up on a journey that takes them to Number 10 Downing Street and eventually brings her dysfunctional family back together again.
The book has a strong moral message running through it that focuses on inclusivity, as Mr Stink shouldn’t be judged on the way that he looks or smells. But that Mr Stink is a valuable member of society with important beliefs and values. The production did a fantastic job of portraying this message throughout the play.
The Play like the book is firmly aimed at a young audience, the audience was full of children aged 6 and older. Whilst the children in the audience seemed to be fully engrossed and responded with great enthusiasm their parents and grandparents looked equally charmed.
There was plenty of humour much to the delight of the audience.
We particularly enjoyed Raj the insistent shop keeper who was keen on selling a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stationary set to whoever walks in his shop and the scene when Mr Stink was being interviewed by Sir David.
The music in the production is both funny and surprisingly poignant too. My 8 year old son particularly enjoyed the ‘We want Mr Stink’ and ‘The Sausage song’ which featured one of the chorus keenly singing about the "sausage sizzling in the succulent fat".
The set and costumes were cleverly designed and really stood out in pastel colours. Most of the story took place in a two story house which took centre stage showing Chloe 's bedroom upstairs and the kitchen diner downstairs.
The Chickenshed Theatre Company did a brilliant job of transforming the tale from book to theatre without losing any of the humour or the important message that we should treat everyone in society equally. They also managed to pull at the heart strings too.
Overall the performance was very enjoyable with plenty of humour and a gripping story that kept children and adults thoroughly entertained.
So despite the title this production defiantly didn’t stink!!
Time of show 2 hours plus a 15 minute interval
Mr Stnk is playing at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft until 7th August
- 6th August 2019: 7pm
- 7th August 2019: 2.30pm
- 7th August 2019: 7pm
Full Price: £15-£18.50
Family Ticket (admits 4) £60
Recommended for children 6+
Outside in the foyer there are a number of David Walliam’s books for sale as well as a Programme which is £3 .
At the end of the performance the audience have a chance to meet the cast members who were having pictures taken and signing programmes and books.