There must be days David Walliams and the rest of the Britain’s Got Talent judges dread going into the theatre.
What will await? A dancing tea lady on stilts? Yet another performing pooch? An off key singer?
Fortunately, as a writer, Mr W has something rather special up his sleeve for Grand Theatre audiences next week (April 27 to May 1).
His children’s book Gangsta Granny is born of the special bond he had with his own grannies – regardless of the smell of cabbage (and worse) whenever he visited.
Add a dollop of Roald Dahl-esque scariness and the play’s a winner with all ages – particularly grandmas and kids.
Walliams adds: “Children love to be scared, but it can’t be too horrifying. They love to laugh but it can’t be too rude. You always have to be the right side of the line.
Children love to be scared, but it can’t be too horrifying. They love to laugh but it can’t be too rude. You always have to be the right side of the lineDavid Walliams
“Roald Dahl managed to balance the humour and scary elements in his stories perfectly.”
But what does he make of Birmingham Stage Company’s treatment of his characters?
“I especially like the characters of Ben’s mum and dad. They have an obsession with ballroom dancing which is very funny live on stage. I can’t dance at all, as you might have seen in the TV adaptation of Gangsta Granny when I tried to dance with Miranda Hart.”
David is hoping BSC’s Gangsta Granny will be the perfect outing for families – and that a cabbage crunching criminal mastermind of a gran may happen to be in the audience. At the heart of the madness and mayhem is a very special relationship.
“The moral of the story is ‘don’t assume old people are boring just because they are old’,” he says.
“In fact they are likely to have had a much more interesting life than yours. Talk to old folk, listen to their stories. They are full of magic and wonder.
“People seem to really like the story. In fact Gangsta Granny is my best-selling book by far. I think it’s a brilliant show – better than the book.
“The great thing about seeing Gangsta Granny in the theatre is the audience gets to share the fun together. Laughing and crying along with everyone else. That’s what makes theatre so special.
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