10-13 November 2016
Reviewed by Amanda Hayes
Nanna, myself and my 3 year old son excitedly set off for The Hawth in Crawley yesterday to watch the stage adaptation of the David Walliams book Gangsta Granny.
It is brought to the life by the Birmingham Stage Company and tells the tale of 11 year old Ben’s relationship with his cabbage loving granny. Ben loves his Granny but finds her very boring and hates his weekly trip to stay with her.
Ben’s parents are massive Strictly Come Dancing fans and spend every Friday night practicing their ballroom dancing sending Ben off to his Gran’s while they go out dancing. Ben begins to hate Friday’s and like everything you dread it seems to come around very quickly. Ben is obsessed with being a plumber and avidly reads Plumbing Weekly magazine which is his saviour at Granny’s giving him a break from meals made from cabbage and long games of Scrabble.
Ben’s parents aren’t interested in Ben learning a trade and becoming a plumber, they just want him to be a dancer even going as far as entering him into a local dancing competition with hilarious consequences.
The story follows the book and tells how Ben realises his Granny isn’t boring after all when he finds a big stash of jewels in a biscuit tin. Ben begs Granny to tell him where they come from and she enthrals him with tales of how she used to be the “Black Cat”, a renowned jewel thief. Ben is obviously very excited at this news and convinces her to steal the Crown Jewels! The plan is nearly scuppered when Granny gets ill and ends up in hospital but Ben uses his knowledge of London sewer pipes, picked up from Plumbers Weekly, to think up a brilliant plan.
The show is laugh out loud all the way through but with a very sad ending, which has a little twist, it did leave the audience with a lump in their throats.
We loved the way the stage’s set was changed throughout the performance. Instead of the lights diming and it being moved in the background it was incorporated into the show by dancers in various relevant costumes moving the scenes around. It really was entertaining.
We all really thoroughly enjoyed Gangsta Granny and whilst probably a little long for my 3 year old at two hours long, he cried when it finished, showing just how good it was.
We saw this production at The Hawth in Crawley which is easy to get to and has plenty of free parking. The bar area is comfortable and relaxing and well stocked with both drinks, snacks and high quality ice creams. We had both vanilla and strawberry and they were delicious.
Gangsta Granny comes highly recommended for any child, it’s very funny, truly entertaining, brilliantly acted and just like the book.
Tickets cost from £11.50 to £21.50 (booking fees may apply).
Gangsta Granny is at The Hawth in Crawley until 13 November 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 01293 553636.
The Hawth, Hawth Avenue, Crawley, Sussex, RH10 6YZ | 01293 553636