Interview - David Walliams brings Mr Stink musical to Hackney Empire
The last time David Walliams had a show at the Hackney Empire no-one knew who he was – but this month the Little Britain star returns to the main stage with his very own musical.
His second children’s book Mr Stink will come to life at the historic Mare Street theatre on June 22 in the world’s first scratch ‘n’ sniff production.
It tells the tale of 12-year-old schoolgirl Chloe, bullied at school and overlooked at home, who befriends a very smelly tramp - Mr Stink.
The comedian spoke about his writing career at Stoke Newington Literary Festival on Friday (June 2).
Walliams, who famously created the BBC character-based comedy Little Britain alongside Matt Lucas, told the Gazette this week: “I’m delighted it’s coming to Hackney because I love that theatre.
“Me and Matt did perform there early on when we were doing our Edinburgh shows but we didn’t perform on the main stage because no-one at the time knew who we were. We were in a little room at the back. I remember it quite well.”
Walliams watched the live show in Leicester for first time last week.
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“I was really thrilled to see a book I have written and characters I have created on stage and to see it wasn’t a book anymore, it was a musical,” he said.
“Even more than that, it’s the world’s first scratch and sniff musical.
“It was great hearing all the kids’ disgust and delight at the smells.”
Puppets from the team behind West End hit War Horse help to dramatise the story. And audience members receive illustrated booklets which they are encouraged to smell at key points in the show.
“I thought it would be good to have something like that in it – something interactive,” he said.
“I do feel when you are a kid and you go to the theatre you want to be involved somehow.”
Walliams does not perform in the new show and has taken a back seat in its adaptation, directed by Matthew White.
But he is looking forward to sitting in the front row when the show comes to the borough.
Mr Stink runs at the Hackney Empire from June 22 to 26. Tickets cost �10-�20. For more information or to book, go to www.hackneyempire.co.uk.