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Review of Gangsta Granny at the Garrick Theatre

Gangsta Granny. Gilly Tompkins (Granny) & Ashley Cousins (Ben) Gangsta Granny.
Gangsta Granny. Gilly Tompkins (Granny) & Ashley Cousins (Ben) in Gangsta Granny. Photo by Mark Douet

When my Grandpa told me we were going to see Gangsta Granny live on stage! – I was very, very excited. I have read the book loads of times and watched the TV programme which I really enjoyed. Now it was going to be live on stage in a real theatre and I was going to see it! But then he told me that I would have to write a review of the show – something I had never done before so here goes.

When we got to the theatre, there was a red carpet outside and a lot of photographers taking photos of the people going in (although they didn’t take one of me!). This was because it was “Press Night” when celebrities and critics get a chance to see the show – I may not be a celebrity but for a night I was a critic.

There were a lot of very good things about the show (and one bad thing – more of that later). The actress playing Granny (the programme said she was Gilly Tompkins) was much younger than Granny should be but with a funny wig, glasses and make-up she looked just like Granny should. Also, the actress playing The Queen (Louise Bailey) was very young and in her photograph in the programme she had long blonde hair but on stage she looked just like the real Queen (well a little bit!). Ashley Cousins who played Ben was really good and I liked him a lot. Most of the other actors played more than one part which I thought was very clever as you didn’t always know who was playing who.

I also really loved the way the set was changed with lots of boxes and things being pulled forward and back again – it really made everything very exciting as you didn’t know what was coming next. The best bit was the way they made the water out of bits of material being shaken about so the actors didn’t get wet! Also in one part Ben’s Mum and Dad were sitting in the audience which really surprised me – and gave me a bit of a shock. The funniest bits were the fart jokes and all the farting. I didn’t know you could do that in the theatre and I’m so glad they did. Also, Granny has to do naked yoga but she wasn’t really naked!

But Grandpa (that’s my grandpa – there isn’t one in the show as it’s all about a granny) said critics have to be honest and there was something I really didn’t like and that was the weird dancing the characters did when things were changing on the stage – I don’t know why they did it. But maybe they heard me complain during the interval because they didn’t do it in the second half which was a good thing!

Then when the show finished and we had clapped lots and lots, David Walliams who wrote the book came on stage and we clapped some more. He was very nice and he even had his photo taken with a boy from the audience which made me a little jealous.

So apart from the weird dancing, I really liked Gangsta Granny Live On Stage!. They didn’t change much from the book which I think is a good thing and everything was so much fun. I also had a very good seat, a free programme and a free drink (I had a Coke), so maybe when I grow up, I’ll be a theatre critic. I might not have a Gangsta Granny but I do have a Critic Grandpa!

4 stars

By Claudee Fitter-Howland aged 10 (as dictated to her Grandpa, Alan Fitter aged lots)

It’s Friday night and Ben knows that means only one thing – staying with Granny! There will be cabbage soup, cabbage pie and cabbage cake and Ben knows one thing for sure – it’s going to be sooooooooo boring! But what Ben doesn’t know is that Granny has a secret – and Friday nights are about to get more exciting than he could ever imagine, as he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime with his very own Gangsta Granny!

From the acclaimed producers of HORRIBLE HISTORIES comes the West End premiere of this amazing story by David Walliams, the UK’s best-selling author for children.

Please Note: A £1.25 restoration levy (collected on behalf of the theatre) appears as part of the ticket cost.

GANGSTA GRANNY
Garrick Theatre
Booking Period: 26 July – 3 September 2017
Running Time: 2 hours 10 minutes with 1 interval

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