31 August to 4 September 2016
Reviewed by Rosemary Knight
Yesterday afternoon, I took my six year old granddaughter, Heidi, to watch David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny live on stage at the Lowry Theatre in Salford, Manchester. We arrived just in time to be seated in the packed out theatre, full of excited young children with their equally enthusiastic parents and carers, and settled down to enjoy the performance.
The story is well-known to almost everyone, even if they haven’t read the book or seen the T.V. adaptation. The Birmingham Stage Company perform the play about young Ben and his relationship with his cabbage eating, trumping, jewel stealing granny. Right from the moment the curtain went up, we were in for a treat as Ben discovers that his granny is far from being the boring old person he had previously believed but is actually an international jewel thief. Ben’s relationship with his granny develops from one of being forced to reluctantly stay with her while his parents go out ballroom dancing, to one of being in awe of her fantastic exploits.
Gilly Tomkins is amazing as Granny, whizzing around the stage on her mobility scooter and hiding her secret from everyone except her beloved grandson. Ashley Cousins plays Ben, Granny’s partner in crime as they devise a plan to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. Benedict Martin and Laura Girling are hilarious as Ben’s selfish, ballroom dancing parents. One of the funniest moments was when Ben was embarrassingly forced to take part in a dancing competition and his ghastly parents came and sat down in the audience completely over-acting, cheering and applauding the first act and then sitting slack jawed and open mouthed at Ben’s dreadfully funny dance.
This is a great story with a lovely message about the relationship between a young boy and his not-so-boring old granny. The entire audience loved every moment, even though it was two hours long. If you get chance, even if you don’t have a child of your own, borrow one and go and watch this production.
Tickets cost from £19 to £21 (includes booking fees).
Gangsta Granny is at The Lowry in Manchester until 4 September 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000