Review: Gangsta Granny

PUBLISHED: 16:02 20 October 2016

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

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

Photo by Mark Douet

If you are looking for a marvellous romp of a family play which tickles the ribs of all age groups then look no further than Gangsta Granny, which arrived at Weston’s Playhouse Theatre with a flourish yesterday (Wednesday).

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 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

Comedian David Walliams, who has become one of the country’s best-selling children’s authors after shooting to fame as co-creator and star of the ground-breaking comedy series Little Britain, has seen one of his most successful books transformed to a dazzling stage show which will wind its way to the West End after its current UK tour.

The plot follows 11-year-old would-be plumber Ben who is not looking forward to spending the evening with his boring granny while his parents indulge their passion for ballroom dancing every Friday night.

But little does he know she has a secret which could change his view of her forever.

Cabbage soup, cabbage pie and cabbage cake may still be on the menu for him but the hidden talents of his granny are not exactly what he ordered.

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 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

The production has been created by Birmingham Stage Company and the show made its debut in the city a year ago, much to the delight of its author, who proclaimed it to be ‘so much better than the book’.

It’s easy to see why the company chose this of all Walliams’ stories as transferring it to the stage must have been a dream, with its outrageous almost pantomime-like humour, which easily encourages audience participation in parts such as the dance competition.

There were plenty of laughs to be had here, even if some of it was at the expense of people living on the Bournville estate but mainly at people who love the flamboyance of popular TV shows like Strictly Come Dancing.

The main stars, Gilly Tompkins as Granny, Ashley Cousins as Ben, Louise Bailey as Mum who doubled-up as the Queen and Ben Martin as Dad gave fabulous and completely over-the-top performances as the larger-than-life characters, as was Alison Fitzjohn who was brilliant as a variety of suitably-hilarious background characters.

The clever scene changes, created by turning three central blocks around to make each room and carried out by dancing cast members who pulled various bits out or moved them around as required, provided an added element of fun, instead of detracting from it, which is great for kids like my eight-year-old who is easily bored.

But as well as laugh-out-loud comedy at its best there’s also an underlying message about the importance of family, chasing your dreams and how older people can often be forgotten and ignored as their nearest and dearest get caught up in their own busy lives.

Every review I have read of the show, friends who have seen it and my son have all said it was hilarious, touching and brilliant and does full justice to the book.

In fact my son said it’s the best thing he’s ever seen which is high-praise indeed – especially as he felt he had to pipe up this information during a quiet moment during the performance!

Gangsta Granny will be at The Playhouse, in High Street, until Saturday.

There will be performances at 7pm tonight, 10.30am and 7pm tomorrow and shows on Saturday at 11am and 3pm.

Tickets, priced £18 for adults, £15.50 for children and £60 for a family ticket, are available by contacting 01934 645544 or online via www.theplayhouse.co.uk

Other Entertainment Stories

Yesterday, 12:00

Brighton quintet The RPMs will perform in Bristol this summer.

Yesterday, 09:00

The biggest robbery New York City has ever seen is the plan which an all-woman crime squad hope to pull off – and Mercury readers can win a front row seat to the action.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A wide variety of food and drink events will take place at Weston’s iconic seafront landmark in 2018.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The Playhouse Theatre in Weston will host a George Michael act in mid-July and the Mercury is giving readers a chance to be there to watch the show for free.

Friday, June 22, 2018

One of Aesop’s fables will be retold in hilarious fashion by a North Somerset comedy duo in Weston next month.

Friday, June 22, 2018

A Somerset village will play host to a weekend music festival this summer.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The remarkable talent of Nat King Cole will be celebrated in a show in Weston next month.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A music concert will be held at a secondary school next week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Villagers and visitors flocked to enjoy Axbridge Day in the town’s square on Saturday.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Hutton Drama Club will perform a relaxed comedy play this week.

Most Read Entertainment

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 15°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder