Friday 9 June 2017

David Walliams' Gangsta Granny Live On Stage Review - Manchester Opera House

David Walliams' bestselling children's book Gangsta Granny has been brought to the stage by Birmingham Theatre Company and we were among the very lucky people to be attending the opening night at Manchester Opera House.

The story features Ben, who always has to stay with his Granny when his dance-obsessed parents are busy. Ben finds this incredibly boring, until one day when he finds some clues that make him realise his Granny is far more interesting than he could ever have guessed...

Ben follows his Granny and discovers she is actually a master criminal. Together they plan the cat-burglary to beat all others...

Manchester Opera House is a gorgeous theatre. We hadn't visited before and I hadn't realised just how grand it is inside. I have a particular love for old buildings for the arts. It immediately brings it's own atmosphere and you can begin to imagine all of the thousands of people who have sat in the seat next to you over the years...

The set was amazing! I loved it, I want one. 3 rotating cubes which portray each room and backdrop, but also carried the props and scenery. It was brilliant, pure genius.

The cast of 9 managed to create a brilliantly chaotic crowd scene, entertain and distract us during set changes, portray unobtrusively characters of a completely different age and of course, dance just like the couples on Strictly - well, it certainly got a 10/10 from me.

Neal Foster, who adapted and directed, dedicated the stage show to his friend, Rose Zierer, who he met through a good neighbours scheme. He did her proud.

It was sad, but the sadness was expected, respected and not drawn out or sensationalised. It was genuinely funny, my boys laughed and squealed (almost as much as the Grandma behind us!) and we had to whisper "sit back down" several times. It was believable. The set changes, props and acting were all spot on and the timing was fast-paced with a natural flow and barely a step missed. It was a great show, we all had a thoroughly enjoyable night.

David Walliams book is great material to start with and it transfers really well to stage. I particularly liked how lighting and noise were used to recreate those 'scream' moments when a reader would naturally pause. David Walliams writing is good and his stories are different and interesting. Gangsta Granny is cool and smart, and she says some very clever things...

“All you can do in this life is follow your dreams. Otherwise you’re just wasting your time”.

At 2 hours 10 minutes (with 20 minute interval) and with a slightly complicated storyline, Gangsta Granny is best suited to school-aged children, but younger children can enjoy it too. There really is no maximum age, your Granny will love it.

David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny to the Opera House, Manchester, from Wednesday 7 June to Sunday 11 June 2017 - times vary. Tickets cost from £19+booking/transaction fee, book now at ATGTickets, Opera House, Manchester or by calling the box office on 0844 871 3018.

We were given our tickets in order to review.


  1. I've never taken the kids to theatre before, I think they'd love this. Looks like your boys did xx

    1. They really did. It was perfectly pitched and they both laughed loads :D It was a great night out.


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