PLAY CREATES A STINK BUT THE KIDS WILL LOVE IT
Mr Stink brings scratch and sniff theatre to UAE
Anew theatre production is going to create a real stink, but the children should love it. Mr Stink Live on Stage is coming to Abu Dhabi this Saturday and Sunday at Al Jaheli Theatre, and Dubai next week at the Madinat Theatre.
The CDP Theatre Producers musical, by Maryam Master and directed by Jonathan Biggins, is based on the award-winning children’s book by comedian David Walliams. Perhaps best known for cocreating and starring in sketch show Little Britain with Matt Lucas, Walliams is also a judge in Britain’s Got Talent. He’s well known for his writing too - he’s even been compared to the great Roald Dahl.
Mr Stink tells the story 12-year-old Chloe Crumb and her unlikely friendship with the smelly, homeless gentleman from the street.
The idea came from a friend’s experience, Walliams tells 7DAYS: “A friend told me about how he would always see a dirty old lady on the side of the road when his mother drove him to school. One morning they stopped to offer her a lift and she stank the car out. They never stopped again. It made me think how much could you love someone who smelled really bad.”
Little Britain’s brand of comedy isn’t aimed at a young audience. But Walliams decided to write something “especially for them, which was not quite so rude,” because so many found the show funny.
He appreciates the honesty of children: “If they don’t like your book they tell you, which is refreshing. But writing children’s books is harder as long narratives are very hard to get right.”
His funny fictions touch on real issues too, like cross-dressing (The Boy in the Dress), bullying (Ratburger) and respecting elders (Gangsta Granny).
“I feel like the books I write should all have a point to them. So I think it's important to deal with some serious and thoughtprovoking issues so children can take something away with them, which may change the way, they think or feel,” he explains. The success of the books still comes as a surprise to Walliams.
“As I started writing for TV, I felt confident that the characters and dialogue were successful elements in my books,” he explains.
“I always hoped that they would adapted but I never thought I would have so many TV and stage versions.”
On being dubbed as the ‘new Roald Dahl’, Walliams says he’s honoured. Sir Quentin Blake, who drew the classic Roald Dahl stories, also illustrated his first two books. “I love Roald Dahl, he is my literary hero for creating so many iconic characters and entertaining stories. So to be compared to him is heavenly. I don't feel one per cent as talented as him though. There is always pressure for each book to be better than the last. But that is good pressure. It makes you try harder.” Walliams, whose latest book The Midnight Gang is about hospitalbound children, finds no shortage of inspiration and joy from Dahl’s wonderful world. He says: “The villains are always the most entertaining characters. The Twits, Miss Trunchbull and Augustus Gloop are favourites of mine.”
AUTHOR: David Walliams