Chickenshed Theatre, London – until 5 August 2018
Lou Stein’s adaptation of David 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’ Mr Stink, is an affable gentleman 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 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.