Children are Stinky

Thu 4th – Mon 29th August 2016

reviews

Ben Ray

at 00:50 on 21st Aug 2016

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It is an odd experience to feel oneself unexpectedly catapulted back to one’s childhood, especially when one is trying to retain the dispassionate mind frame of a reviewer- still, watching ‘Children are Stinky’ takes me back instantly to my six year old self, placed in front of CBeebies before school. But this show is different from your average children’s TV entertainment- souped up, noisy, funny and always entertaining, ‘Children are Stinky’ is the perfect performance for young children and families.

It is no mean feat to keep kids entertained, their eyes glued to the stage, for an entire hour. But ‘Children are Stinky’ holds the whole tent spellbound, with a mixture of lively humour and truly amazing acrobatics. The two hosts, Jason and Kylie, have the perfect mix of exaggerated movements, huge smiles and slapstick activity to keep the children laughing throughout, and the show’s mission (to prove if kids really are as stinky as everyone says they are) allows for enough base toilet humour to make even the most prudish seven year old squeal with laughter. Throughout the show the children are engaged, with call and responses mixed with audience participation as certain lucky children picked from a sea of waving hands help the protagonists solve tasks. It is clear from the squeals of delight and laughter echoing throughout the tent that the show was a roaring success.

However, the highlight of the show, and the component that makes it entertaining for adults and children alike, is the incredible acrobatic skills of the two performers on stage. Clearly highly trained as circus performers, the two amaze and confound the audience with stunt after jaw-dropping stunt. From performing a handstand on top of five chairs balanced atop one another, to keeping eight hulahoops going around their bodies, the pair spark and ricochet off each other as the audience watch on, utterly captivated.

This incredible performance is skilfully interlaced with the show’s other aspects, creating a seamless performance that keeps all the family entertained. In fact, not only families- I have to admit that even this serious, stone-faced reviewer couldn’t help but laugh and gasp with the rest of the tent. If only ‘Children are Stinky’ had been on CBeebies when I was seven years old.

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Eloise Heath

at 01:09 on 21st Aug 2016

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Don’t let my fascination with shiny things or the dark circles under my eyes fool you; I am neither a small child, nor a parent to one. Therefore, I do not really fall into the intended audience for ‘Children Are Stinky’. And yet, I quite enjoyed it. The acrobatics are universally entertaining, and the soundtrack is amazing. A thrilling hour for children, and a very bearable one for grown ups.

The show has a positive, confidence fostering message. The pair have a list of things that "Kids R"; scared, lazy, uncoordinated and unimaginative. With a few incredibly willing volunteers from the audience, chosen from a forest of eager hands, they demonstrate that children are in fact brave, coordinated and creative. They exclaim, "Kids are awesome!". Last, but by no means least, the list declares that children are stinky. The final assertion that we are, in fact, all stinky is weirdly body positive.

Partly because Jason (Chris Carlos) and Kylie (Malia Walsh) are so likeable, the show is undeniably engaging. At one point a boy drops an egg he is supposed to catch, not something I ever thought I would would even remotely care about, and I join in a genuine gasp of alarm from the entire crowd. Of course the situation is salvaged, and there are no tears. This is because Carlos and Walsh are consummate professionals. The audience is at ease, because these two quite clearly know what they are doing.

That doesn’t stop the tricks being pretty tense, though. Whether you’re seven or seventy, watching a person spin around on someone else’s head is good scary fun. The acrobatics are very accomplished; both performers are obviously very talented circus artistes, and the stunts really deliver.

Sometimes small children are very easy to entertain. The toddler next to me, for example, often ignores the onstage antics, fascinated by the sight of my clapping hands. However, ‘Children Are Stinky’ is children’s entertainment done very well- the subject matter is odorous that but not odious. Kids will love it, and parents will love it for that. Plus, as I always say, give me a hula hoop routine to a Run-DMC/‘Whoomp There It Is’ mashup and I am happy.

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