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Birmingham Stage Company presents Gangsta Granny by David Walliams. CAST Gilly Tompkins - Granny Ashley Cousins - Ben Laura Girling - Mum Ben Martin - Dad Umar Malik - Raj Alison Fitzjohn - Matron Richard James - Doctor Louise Bailey - Queen & Female Undestudy Aaron Thiara - Male Understudy CREATIVE TEAM Adapter and Director - Neal Foster Designer - Jackie Trousdale Lighting Designer - Jason Taylor Composer - Jak Poore Sound Designer - Nick Sagar Choreographers - Paul Chantry & Rae Piper of Chantry Dance Company Production Manager - Adrian Littlejohns

Gangsta Granny – David Walliams
Theatre Royal Bath

There is little doubt that David Walliams has created stories for children that are equally enjoyable for adults. He is able to shift from comedy, to social observations and deal with issues of life such as the elderly, loneliness and illness.

Gangsta Granny is the tale of Ben who every Friday night has to stay with Granny. She only serves cabbage related food and plays “boring” games. However, Granny has a secret which transforms their lives and they set off on an adventure that brings them closer than he ever imagined.

Louise Bailey as Granny creates a wonderful central role. The popular characters from the book spring to life. Aosaf Afzal is the corner shop owner Raj, Jason Furnival as Mr. Parker is a fabulous neighbourhood watch busy body. Jenny Gayner and Jason Furnival appear as the brilliantly self obsessed ballroom dancing parents to Ben (Tom Cawte.)

 

The direction by Neal Foster is excellent, the choreographed transition between scenes ensures the pace is swift and action is seamless. The production is most successful due to its ingenious design by Jacqueline Trousdale. The mobile units allow each scene to be created almost like a popup book.

There is so much to like in this production. The multi role playing is great fun and the toilet humour is perfectly placed for the younger members of the audience.

It is most definitely a show for the entire family. Those who love the books will not be disappointed and if there is anyone left who has not read them, then it is a brilliant introduction into the crazy but ultimately sensitive and thought provoking world of David Walliams.

 

Petra Schofield