Si Bensley and his family enjoy a night of dancing, silliness and criminal activity
Cabbages, knitted jumpers and farting. Just add a dash of dancing and the heist of the century, and you have the perfect recipe for an enjoyable couple of hours at the theatre. Gangsta Granny, written by David Walliams, has come to the stage and is currently playing at the Theatre Royal, Bath.
For those of you who aren’t aware of the story (as I wasn’t), Ben is a young boy who dreams of being a plumber but every Friday night is filled with dread as his parent’s drop him off at his boring Granny’s so they can escape to their dance class.
Things start to liven up when Granny lets him into a secret about her shady past as The Black Cat and the adventure unfolds with a story that challenges how we think about the elderly.
The cast is brilliant, with Tom Cawte doing an excellent job as Ben; his dancing prowess will quite simply take your breath away, although maybe not for the right reasons… Louise Bailey plays Granny superbly and creates a beautiful on stage partnership with Tom.
Jason Furnival plays both Dad and Mr Parker the busy-body Neighbourhood Watch character, whose mission is to catch out Ben and Granny whilst being the pantomime villain of the piece.
Lady’s man Flavio, played by Aosaf Afzal, not only provided something for the mums (ahem!) but also managed to give Trowbridge a mention.
There are plenty of laughs from the start, with jokes that will appeal to young and old alike. Keep an eye out for the appearance of a mobility scooter which, on the face of it, probably shouldn’t be so amusing but raises huge laughs. Without wanting to give too much away, the story does cover a range of emotions and to the credit of Birmingham Stage Company, they really do it justice.
A lovely feature of this production is that local talent is used on the tour. In Bath, Lily Mabel Edwards of the Dorothy Coleborn School of Dance performed alongside the regular cast. It’s great to see local talent given an opportunity to perform, all credit to the production company.
Go see Gangsta Granny; be prepared for laughs, a touching story and (if you’re under 12 or an adult who doesn’t care what people think) be prepared to get up and dance.
David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Tuesday 27 March to Sunday 1 April. To purchase tickets contact the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or visit www.theatreroyal.org.uk