Gangsta Granny at the Bristol Hippodrome

On Wednesday 31st May I took my 7 year old daughter to the Bristol Hippodrome to see the stage production of David Walliams’ most popular book Gangta Granny. Having seen it several times already she promised me an evening of great fun and (most importantly) no spoilers!

It’s Friday night and Ben knows that he has to spend the night at his Granny’s house so his parents can go ballroom dancing. He hates going to Granny’s house, but he hates ballroom dancing more. Granny is the most boring person in the world and her food, consisting mostly of cabbage based recipes, is just about the worst thing he can imagine. But Ben soon discovers that Granny has a secret. A secret that will lead them both on an unforgettable journey and will remind everyone that although old people may look slow and boring, they all have a history and a tale to tell.

The staging makes great use of a revolving centrepiece which means the scene changes are swift and clean. They are also punctuated with music and on stage dancers who position the props so there’s always something to look at for the younger ones. There’s plenty of humour to appeal to the target audience too as Granny’s cabbage diet has the inevitable effect on her rear end. All the characters were unique and identifiable and very comic book which was perfect for this type of production. My personal favourite character was Mr Parker, the nosey neighbour whose apology at the end of the show drew some genuine laughter.

The 2 hour and 10 minute running time (including a 20 minute interval) passes quickly and my daughter particularly enjoyed the audience participation section during the dance competition in the second half. The interval was also attended by one of the cast in character amongst the crowd which made for a fun distraction as we ate our ice cream.

I really enjoyed this show and it was clear to see that the packed Hippodrome audience felt the same. It’s a perfect half term treat, although you might want to steer clear of cabbage for a few days after! Gangsta Granny is on at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 3rd June.

David Blake

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