Mr. Stink, Chickenshed Theatre

When it comes to David Walliams’ books and plays I find it best to take along a young person to get their perspective:

This amazing play brought humour to the stage. It was as if I pulled the characters out of the book, and put them on a stage. The actors were hilarious. Mr Stink was his jolly self and always happy. His dog (The Duchess), and The Crumb’s (Chloe’s family’s) cat (Elizabeth) were always fighting and it made me laugh.

In my opinion, the best scene was the one with Raj. That scene is my favourite because there were a lot of lifts and tricks. I think Raj is really funny. He’s not a parent or a teacher, but when you speak to him it really comforts you. (Raj owns a news agent store and makes a lot of weird and wacky offers, e.g. 74 rolos for the price of 73!!)

It was like reading the book, but the book was alive. Out of 10, I would rate this play a solid 9.5. Every scene was outstanding.

I would definitely see this again and recommend it to people who like a laugh. To enjoy it the most, I think you would have to be in an age group of 6-600.

All in all it was an awesome play!

Lou Stein’s adaptation of Walliams’ Mr. Stink is a triumph. He brings Chloe Crumb’s world vividly to life, overlaid on top of Dave Carey’s brilliant score. Standout songs are the Sausage Song and Bathtime where Lydia Stables’ (Chloe Crumb) voice really shines. Bradley Davis’s Mr Stink, is an affable gentlemen who wanders into Chloe’s and by extension the rest of the Crumb family’s lives and creates his own brand of chaos and love of sausages.

Also special mentions must go out to Michael Bossisse’s Prime Minister, Ashley Driver’s Father Crumb and a neat cameo from Jeremy Vine. That was completely unexpected. Philip Constantinou’s near silent The Duchess, is a visual treat, and the interplay between the Crumbs’ cat, Elizabeth, brings some real moments of silent comedy that harks back to old films.

Mr Stink straddles the grounds of both children and adult entertainment deftly. Those of us over a certain age will have flashbacks of Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet), and while that may fly over the heads of the kids, the moral at the heart of it all will not. Walliams tackles some very serious topics sensitively and in a way that is not saccharine or preachy. It strikes a delicate balance between comic and serious, touching and hilarity. Walliams’ book is powerful, and Lou Stein’s has brought it beautifully to life augmenting it with music, choreography and a great cast; most of whom have studied with Chickenshed over the years.

This is a great show for all the family at the theatre which is doing wonderful work around inclusivity to an incredible standard. The show is on until the 5th August, get down there, take your little ones, you will not be disappointed.

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