Having been up to Alnwick Garden earlier in the summer to see a wonderful production of The Secret Garden, my daughter and I were very keen to check out more of these events. As we were leaving The Garden, we spotted a huge banner advertising Mr Stink, a play based on the novel by David Walliams.
Immediately we decided we must see it and we booked our tickets. Now, we don't know anything about Mr Stink having not read the book, but to be honest this was really nice as we could watch the tale unfold without knowing what happens.
Mr Stink was performed by Heartbreak Productions which is a national touring theatre company and they have been up in the North East a few times this summer with various productions including Emma and Love's Labour's Lost. Mr Stink is actually at Guisborough Forest on the 26th August if you get the chance to go along. This is an absolutely beautiful venue, we spent a great day there with the Gruffalo last summer.
There was quite a large crowd gathered but we managed to weedle our way through the picnic blankets and bagged a spot right at the front. I was impressed to see various games set up as part of the setting for the show and some of the characters were helping the kids join in.
The show was set at Annabelle's Birthday party, and we follow the story by listening to Chloe read her diary that she kept after a suggestion by Mr Stink. That is all I will say on the plot as I don't want to spoil it for those yet to see or read it.
We absolutely loved it. The cast were wonderful, I particularly loved Mrs Crooomb, she was fantastic and really funny, there was also a lot of interaction with the crowd and it was all kept in character and full of fun. Eva loved Mr Stink and Annabelle (and Mr Stink's dog Duchess!).
I think what I loved most was the message that the story was trying to convey. Bullying and nastiness are terrible traits to have, be kind and true to yourself and you will be happy.
I think we have found our new favourite pastime. Picnic Outdoor Theatre shows are the way forward, although it was very windy last night, the sun shone on and we wrapped up and had a blast.
I will be keeping an eye out on Heartbreak Productions show announcements for next year as we will definitely be going to see them again.
We have ordered the Mr Stink book to read and will be getting more of David Walliams novels. I love him as a comedian and it seems I am going to feel the same about him as an author.
Thanks Mr Stink, we think you are awesome!