24-28 February 2016
Reviewed by Lee-Anne McCarthy
We’re massive fans of all the books of David Walliams in the McCarthy household.
The first most striking thing was the stage set. It was absolutely amazing. With just three pieces, that my children described as tardis’, they transformed in almost every scene in one way or another; from a bedroom to a bathroom, the Tower of London to a living room. The Tardis was most definitely the best description for these fantastic bags of stage tricks. The scene changes weren’t a hidden mystery as they often are in theatrical production but it was magical watching the changes and alterations and the scenes coming to life.
The play tells the story of the 11 year old Ben who has to, every Friday night, visit and stay with his oh so boring Grandma. Every Friday night she bores him with scrabble and feeds him up on all things cabbage. With such a penchant for cabbage Granny is a rather windy character. A part of the character that had a lot of giggles for many members of the audience. Ben is given the wise instruction from Raj the friendly corner shop owner to really get to know his Granny. Ben goes on to discover Granny’s whole other life, a life of crime. From here on in the tale follows the great adventures of Ben and Granny. With high speed mobility scooter chases this is a story of fun, dreams, adventure and changing relationships. It’s a heart warming tale but be ready with the tissues for the ending.
All the actors and actresses who were a part of the show were amazing. Ashley Cousins played Ben and he played the stroppy pre-teen well. His dance scene in the under 12 solo ballroom competition had us all in fits of laughter. It was really cringe worthy, everything you imagine an unrehearsed amateur dance performance would look like. Gilly Tompkins played Granny and she was my Nan from the slightly hunched shoulders to the little gas escaping at every step. Tompkins plays the character beautifully and she helps create a character that really reminds kids everywhere that however old our grandparents are they were people before grandparents and each have a fabulous story to share if only given the chance. Benedict Martin and Laura Girling played a number of characters each including Ben’s mum and dad and in every role they embraced their characters completely. The dance crazy duo were heart-warmingly funny. The entire team of actresses and actors worked like a well oiled machine and produced a fantastically funny piece of entertainment.
This was a show that appealed to children but entertained every member of the audience both young and old. Gangsta Granny really brought to life this fantastic book. We can’t wait for the next stage production of David Walliams. We give Gangsta Granny a fantastic 5/5!
Tickets cost from £11 to £23.50 (booking fees may apply).
Gangsta Granny is at the New Theatre in Cardiff until 28 February 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 029 2087 8889.
New Theatre, Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3LN | 029 2087 8889