REVIEW: Gangsta Granny (Garrick Theatre) ★★★★

The Birmingham Stage Company production of David Walliams‘ well loved children’s book Gangsta Granny has made it’s way on to London’s West End stage after touring the UK, for a summer season as the Garrick Theatre.

Ben is eleven years old and dreads the weekends coming around because he has to stay with his Granny who is soooo boring. All she does is eat cabbage soup and play scrabble. But one night, Ben discovers Granny’s secret. She is really a gangsta jewel thief with millions of pounds worth of jewels stashed away in a biscuit tin. She swears him to secrecy and tell him stories of all the robbery’s she has committed over the years. Ben thinks she is the coolest Granny in the world and decides they should work together to steal the crown jewels from the Tower Of London. But will this be Granny’s biggest job ever, or will she put her grandson’s life in jeopardy?

Gilly Tompkins and Ashely Cousins are both brilliant in the roles of Granny and Ben. Their chemistry is believable as grandson and grandmother and there are more than one or two moments that would hit home with anyone who has ever had (or been) a grandparent. It is a story of family that makes you think about how you treat your own and I imagine many people left the theatre, making a phone-call to that certain someone, just to say hello and let them know they were thinking about them.

Gangsta Granny is a heartwarming story that kept the young audience on the edge of their seats for over two hours without so much as a whimper. They booed and cheered and danced along, lapping up every moment of the story that they seemed to know so well already. As an adult I could mention the few technical issues that occurred during the show, or the way the direction could have been improved in places but for the audience this show is aimed at, none of that would matter.

Gangsta Granny is great fun for all the family. So why not invite your granny and granddad for a night out to see the show at the theatre? I’m sure they would be delighted to be asked.

Reviewed by West End Wilma 
Photo: Mark Douet

Gangsta Granny plays at the Garrick Theatre until 3 September 2017. Buy tickets