A parents guide to Merrigong Theatre Company children's show Mr Stink

Findlay and Archie Hull attending Mr Stink at Merrigong Theatre Company
Findlay and Archie Hull attending Mr Stink at Merrigong Theatre Company

You’ve almost made it. The school holidays are nearly over but you’ve just got this weekend to get through. If you’re looking for something to do my seven-year-old, Findlay, can absolutely recommend Mr Stink at the Merrigong Theatre Company. 

There are still tickets available for Saturday’s (July 15th) show, but before you make your mind up, have a read of my honest guide on our experience earlier today. 

Lets get the important questions out of the way – How much does it cost? 

It’s not cheap. All tickets are $29. Children over 12 months must have a paid seat.  It quickly adds up for a family of four and you’ll end up forking out $116 plus extras. If you’re children are like mine they’ll be looking for ice cream the moment you get in the door and probably expecting a burger afterwards. You might need to talk to the bank.

Will they be able to sit through the whole show? 

I brought my seven-year-old Findlay and our youngest Archie, four. Archie has recently discovered that he doesn’t need to do what he’s told ALL the time. So it was a risk, particularly as I hadn’t come prepared with snacks.  

Romy Watson as Chloe and John O'Hare as Mr Stink in Mr Stink

Romy Watson as Chloe and John O'Hare as Mr Stink in Mr Stink

The performance moved along quickly between scenes and there were enough set changes to keep him enthralled and plenty of ‘naughty’ words to keep them both laughing. The show is 60 minutes without a break and Findlay was getting bouncy by the last 10 minutes, but who wouldn’t after that amount of time being forced to sit still? 

Will I have to sell my soul to pay for the merchandise?

No. Because there wasn’t any. I expected to at least see a few copies of Mr Stink around to buy but there was a distinct lack of tat – thankfully. 

Can I take my own snacks?

I have two boys. They are always hungry and snacks are usually the only thing that gets them to sit still. I asked behind the bar if you were allowed to bring your own snacks as I couldn’t find any details about this online. The barman said ‘no’, which wasn’t a surprise and a policy most venues have. In any case we bought a packet of crisps each (healthy, I know!) setting me back $9. An expensive packet of crisps but it did keep us occupied while waiting for the show to begin. 

Is it scary? 

Not at all. Findlay gets scared watching Rescue Bots so he was very nervous when we first arrived and he saw a dark and gloomy set. However when the show began he quickly relaxed and was too busy giggling at Darren Sabadina, who played three roles as Chloe’s dad, shop keeper Raj and the Prime Minister. His Bollywood dancing and crazy antics kept the play moving along at pace and with hilarity. 

Is it suitable for preschoolers? 

Guidance on the show is for six plus and there were a few younger children in the audience. Most were using booster cushions, provided by the Merrigong to help them see. 

I was fortunate enough to have review tickets and as a result I’m glad I took Archie and it was a great experience for him. However, had I been paying $29 for him to attend I perhaps might have thought it a touch pricey. He wasn’t really following along with the plot and has probably learnt more naughty words in that hour than he has ever heard in his short lifetime. 

John O'Hare and Romy Watson as Mr Stink and Chloe in the production Mr Stink.

John O'Hare and Romy Watson as Mr Stink and Chloe in the production Mr Stink.

My kids will love it, but will I? 

In my opinion David Walliams is an excellent writer that makes his books fun to read for both children and adults. This production of Mr Stink really did the book justice. There were plenty of in jokes and laughs for the adults and the theme around bullying and being kind to people in need really made up for the fact I was feeding my boys crisps at 10am. 

What phrases will my kids be repeating for the next four weeks?

As I said my four year old learnt a LOT of naughty phrases. I can hear them now in the living room repeating them while I write this. 

Be warned it’s a big list: 

  • “Shut the front gate”
  • “Old stinker”
  • “Ohhhhh, cooommme ooonnnn!”
  • “Stick your job offer up your big fat bum”
  • “Did you just fart in my general direction”

And the one you are going to hear for the rest of the year: “poo poo bum brain”. Yes. That. 

Our rating

The boys loved the show and Findlay didn’t stop giggling. He gave Mr Stink a four out of five.

Archie also gave the show four out of five. When I asked him why he said: “Because we have four people in our family.” hmmm.  

Mr Stink is on at the Merrigong Theatre Company in Wollongong on Saturday, June 15 at 10am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm. Tickets are $29 each and can be booked online.