comments and feedback
It's always a delight to come across a children's theatre piece that ticks all the boxes. Miranda Hampton's McNirt Hates Dirt is an utterly enchanting, gentle and thoroughly engaging story of a man who hates dirt and his neighbour who loves plants and the organic thrill of getting her hands into the soil. It is a recipe for conflict, but Hampton handles the story with such delicacy and appreciation of the child's world, that McNIrt Hates Dirt is a template for all that is wonderful in children's theatre.
From small things big things grow, and this production deserves to blossom into full flower.
Peter Wilkins Canberra Critics Circle
There is no "dumbing down" for the kids, no bottom jokes; nor loud slapstick antics. Show writer, designer and producer Miranda Hampton respects her little audience members and the result is a room full of engaged children. The characters interact with the kids, and the kids are welcome to involve themselves in the show, with no pressure to stay quiet and still - although this happens naturally thanks to a performance that captures their intelligence and imaginations.
My four year old laughed his way through the entire performance and rejoiced in the quirky songs and interactions with the characters. My five year old cherished the story, embraced the chance to help and delighted in digging in the mud to plant a tree at the end.
It's wonderful to see such a beautiful show created locally, and McNirt Hates Dirt is a definite recommendation on the Fringe children's theatre calendar.
Ali Moylan InDaily
Two actors, a musician and a technical operator deliver subtle and nuanced performances in a beautifully designed, intimate space that invokes wonder immediately when you enter it. A mix of rhyming couplets and song, this is world-class theatre for the very young, produced with meticulous care.
McNirt Hates Dirt, is an original, thoughtful story, that effortlessly develops its themes of sustainability, connectedness and friendship in a theatrically inventive way. Indeed the work connects with its audience beautifully. I have seen a lot of work for children all over the world over a 25 year period and this production sits comfortably with the best I’ve seen for this age range.
Dave Brown(former artistic director of Patch Theatre Company)
"If you only see one children's show this Fringe then make it this one. Miranda Hampton's beautifully constructed story, is superbly acted by Tim Overton and Ashton Malcolm. Every child under 100 will love it."
Matt Byrne Sunday Mail
"This beautiful story must be made into a book!"
Bridget, Teacher, Aldgate Kindergarten
"a beautifully intimate environment that truly embraced the concept of the performance and the engagement of the children. Being so close, the children really got the humor".
Cathy, Teacher Aldgate Kindergarten
"It is charming, positively charming"
Nicky, Science Teacher, Seymour College
"Charming, completely charming"
Ann Peters, SA Casting
"This show was a perfect introduction to my science lesson today, thank you!"
Science Teacher, St Josephs School
Just wanted to say that the performance today was outstanding. We all enjoyed the story, and loved being in that cosy, quirky tent! The actors, guitarist and sound effects were fabulous. I'm so glad we managed to book into their final show I can't say enough good things about it!
Lisa, Teacher Angle Vale PS
We absolutely loved the show. The cast and crew have done a marvelous job of bringing your script to life. Sorry I was teary after the show talking to you! Ridiculous! But something touched me and made me very emotional. It was happy tears!
ps The kids planted their seeds as soon as we got home.
email from Georgia Richards parent
Sunflowers growing from McNIrt Hates Dirt seeds - photos sent through to our facebook page.
Hi there, I came to the show with my son and the Cambelltown Preschool. Gerty was nice enough to give my son Marcus a packet of sunflower seeds because she could see how upset he got when he was told that the preschool would get one to take home.
We came home and planted those seeds that afternoon. I've never planted anything in my life so I was so glad that they have actually grown. Marcus looks after them each day. I'm sending a picture of what they look like today.
Thanks for a wonderful show. You lit a spark in one little four year old boy xxxx
Email to the McNirt Collective
....The children really enjoyed the experience of being a part of live theatre.
Below are a couple of statements by the children
“I thought that the main lesson I learned from the play was to always use natural dirt and being nice to your friends” – Ben
“Today we went to the Holden Street Theatre to see an interactive play called McNirt hates Dirt. The play is about McNirt hating dirt. He then likes it after planting some plants. My favourite parts were when Mc Nirt made the clean dirt and when he dropped his tools while he was cleaning the dirt” – Christian
“The funny part that I liked was when McNirt built a new plant. Also when the girl knocked on the door and McNirt said hello to the girl. I liked when she walked in and made a mess in McNirt’s house and he had to clean the floors, sweep the bad, gross and disgusting, big, fat muddy dirt in HIS HOUSE! After that, McNirt had to clean a big pile of mud! It was so funny.” – Adrian
“My favourite part was when McNirt liked dirt because I love dirt and because it’s most healthy to stay dirty.” – Portia
“ I really liked it. It was very interesting. I thought it was interesting because it teaches us that it’s ok to be dirty. It was also quite funny. My favourite part was when McNirt was trying to make clean dirt.” – Vasili
“At the start McNirt liked everything clean. At the end McNirt realises that a little dirt cannot hurt. Then he planted lots of plants” - Georgina
Year 4/5 Class Teacher
Key Literacy Teacher
"I would encourage all parents of children aged 4-11 to get along and enjoy it. My kids are aged between 8 & 14 and even though the older two, who tried to pretend they were too cool for it, still laughed a lot"
Sophie Thomson, Gardening Australia