Laughs, excitement and fun are guaranteed as a hugely popular children’s story is set to entertain all ages at Norwich Theatre Royal.
Birmingham Stage Company, who have brought Horrible Histories and some classic Roald Dahl books to life in theatres, are turning their attention to David Walliams’ best-selling novel Gangsta Granny.
Running from July 13-15, it tells the story of Ben who spends his Friday nights staying with his grandmother. He is expecting the usual cabbage soup, cabbage pie and cabbage cake to eat, and thinks it will be the usual dull evening.
But Granny has a secret and Ben’s latest Friday evening is about to get very exciting as an adventure on the way.
Audiences of all ages have been enjoying this show which is packed with comic fun and lots of twists and turns.
Taking on the title role is Gilly Tompkins who got her big break from the acclaimed director John Godber who cast her as Michelle in Blood Sweat and Tears for Hull Truck before she reprised the role for TV and appeared in seven more of Godber’s plays. Her other stage roles included the national tour of Brassed Off and On The Piste in the West End, as well as appearing on TV in the likes of Victoria Wood’s All Day Breakfast, EastEnders and Casualty.
Meanwhile Kent-born Ashley Cousins takes on the role of Ben. No stranger to the stage, one of his first roles was Tall Boy in Billy Elliot The Musical in the West End as well as appearing in BBC2’s Cradle To Grave.
There is also no shortage of cast-members with East Anglian links. Ben’s dad and Granny’s nosy neighbour Mr Parker are both played by Benedict Martin, who grew up in Halesworth where his mum and sister still live. He is no stranger to Birmingham Stage Company having appeared in several Horrible Histories shows.
Also playing multiple roles is Richard James who was born in Huntingdon. A hugely experienced actor, he has played everything from an alien police officer in Gerry Anderson’s Space Precinct to a weasel in a film version of The Wind In The Willows featuring the Monty Python team.
And experienced actress Liz Garland, who plays Matron and HRH The Queen, cannot wait to perform in Norwich. She said: “I am particularly happy to be heading there as I spent some time working in Sheringham at the Little Theatre playing the Fairy Godmother in their panto Cinderella. I thought the whole area was brilliant.”
The man who created the characters, David Walliams, said audiences are in for a real treat. He said: “It is my most popular book and it will be wonderful to see the brilliant Birmingham Stage Company’s adaptation in dazzling neon. It is a fantastic, award-winning show and so much better than the book!”
Click below for a sneak preview of the show: