Gangsta Granny: Birmingham Stage Company
Review: Gangsta Granny, Birmingham Stage Company, on tour throughout the UK until 31 July 2022. Book here.
[Disclosure: Our young reviewer received free tickets for the purposes of this review, as well as a free programme.]
Children’s theatre company, the Birmingham Stage Company, has brought back its stage production of David Walliams’ very successful novel, Gangsta Granny – which will be touring throughout the UK until 22 July.
Gangsta Granny is the story of a little boy called Ben who visits his lonely Granny every Friday night. Ben hates his visits to Granny because she is so boring and only cooks cabbage. One day in his Granny’s house, in search of something to eat other than cabbage, he finds a stash of jewels. Ben’s Granny is an international jewel thief! Ben and his Granny soon hatch a plot to steal the crown jewels from the Tower of London.
I saw the show on a Wednesday night – so there was hardly anybody there. But as soon as the show started, the atmosphere became very jolly and it was quite nice to have a small audience.
The sets were very clever – changing completely with just a few turns or the pulling out of ingenious drawers. This was often done by other actors, in costume, who were not related to the bit of the story that had just happened. Occasionally, that felt a bit strange and disjointed.
The story has lots of eccentric and hilarious characters – Raj the shopkeeper (who appears in so many of Walliams’ books), played by Irfan Damani, made the audience laugh with his ridiculous offers on very out of date products.
The funniest moment was when Justin Davies, who plays Ben, danced a solo in the dance competition his parents forced him to enter into. His stiff uncoordinated dance was hilarious and had everyone laughing.
While there were many funny moments in the play, there are some more serious messages that came through including that you shouldn’t assume that people are boring just because they are old.
This show is an excellent adaptation, it recreates the atmosphere of the novel very well. So if you liked the novel, I think you will like the show.
Gangsta Granny is a lot of fun and young children in particular, will love it.
Young reviewer, Charlotte Trichard, has been going to the theatre regularly since she was a baby. Charlotte loves fencing and she plays the piano.
Safe guarding procedures were in place throughout the review process including a chaperone during the show.