Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Review: Mr Stink

The world premiere of Mr Stink was a sensory treat for all the family at its opening show at Curve, Leicester last night.

The ‘stinkiest show in town’ came with its own scratch ‘n’ sniff book to truly let the audience become absorbed in the story.
Its creator, Little Britain star David Walliams, and his supermodel wife, Lara Stone, were seen enjoying the production from their mid row seats.
The co-production between KW & NB Ltd and Curve Theatre, Leicester with Hackney Empire and Nottingham Playhouse had its first public dress rehearsal last night (Weds, May 25).
The show has been adapted and directed by Matthew White (Director of the recent West End productions of Sweet Charity and Little Shop of Horrors and the forthcoming production of Top Hat) with music composed by Matt Brind (Musical Director for Legally Blonde and Conductor and Orchestrator for John Barrowman’s latest album).
Chloe doesn’t like school very much. She isn’t as cool as the other kids, no iPhone, no DS and no friends. Then she meets Mr Stink – the local tramp. Yes, he smells a bit but he’s the only person who’s ever been nice to her, including her mother who wants to be the local MP and is trying to rid the streets of its homeless. About to lose her only friend, Chloe finds Mr Stink a secret hiding place…but is there more to him than meets the nose?
The simplistic yet easily moulded set was a great use of Curve’s studio space and allowed the audience to follow the story by establishing each scene with its props.
Three of the characters were played by puppets; Amber, The Duchess the dog and Elizabeth the cat.

Speaking to Mark Peachey, who works The Duchess, during rehearsals he said Toby Olié had taught them how to move with the puppets and bring them to life.

This was a fantastic element to the show which helped bring the original books characters to the stage.

Mr Stink’s (Pete Edbrook) larger-than-life personality lit up the stage throughout both acts. His loveable nature and charming quirks had the audience laughing with delight.
The on-set relationship between Mr Stink and Chloe (Lotte Gilmore) was heart-warming and in the final scenes you’ll see how much Mr Stink really cares for the 12-year-old girl.

The stereotypical corner shop owner, Raj (Irvine Iqbal) and Chloe’s mum, Mrs Crumb (Julia J Nagle), had some of the funniest scenes in the show.

Mrs Crumb’s ambitions to become a politician leads to some hilarious consequences on Question Time and whilst out campaigning.

When summarising the best bits from the show its hard to single just one thing because it was all outstanding.

But whilst typing up my review all I can seem to do is hum some of the wonderful songs which I heard last night including Mrs Crumb’s campaign song ‘Wake up and Smell the Coffee’ and The Duchess’ song which was a cue for the audience to use their scratch ‘n’ sniff books.

This is set to be a huge theatre hit across the country as it continues its tour until December 2011.
For a guaranteed giggle and a good night out, make sure you see Mr Stink live on stage.

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