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Mr Stink (Tour - Salford)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Let's hear it for Stinkmania! David Walliams' children's novel Mr Stink has been adapted for the stage and directed by Matthew White. Musical numbers have been composed by Matt Brind and slide into the story very neatly. You don't need to have read the book either, as the story explains itself beautifully as it goes along.

The star of the show is Peter Edbrook as the title character. He has a wonderfully modulated voice and a cuddly appearance which makes him instantly appealing to both children and adults despite his scruffy demeanour.

Lotte Gilmore is an engaging Chloe, the young girl who befriends Mr Stink while feeling very much the outsider at school. Her diminutive size allows her to convincingly portray a twelve-year-old.

The rest of the roles are played by Irvine Iqbal, Julia J Nagle and Mark Peachey, all of whom swap from character to character with speed and style: Iqbal, especially, is excellent, with great timing and a range of over-the-top accents. Iqbal and Peachey also act as puppeteers for the dog, the cat and Chloe's little sister Annabelle.

The puppets by Toby Olie are stunningly crafted to evoke the original Quentin Blake drawings while at the same time being easy to operate. All are complemented by the simple yet clever set design and brilliant costumes of Charlie Cridlan.

Mr Stink is is a well written story to begin with, and White has done a masterly job of bringing it to the stage in a show that is well crafted and hugely enjoyable both for adults and children. Being the world's first scratch and sniff stage show means this is something that shouldn't be missed.

- Helen Jones


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