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Review Gangster Granny Stage Show Manchester Opera House

elephant and bears with Ben and Granny from Gangster Granny
25 Nov 2021

Watch your jewels, Gangster Granny has opened at the Manchester Opera House. We were invited along to check it out and you can discover what we thought here. 

We are big fans of David Walliams books and Gangster Granny is definetly one of our favourites. We were therefore very excited to be invited along to the press of Gangster Granny the stage show at Manchester Opera House last night. 

Walliams fans will be glad to hear that the stage show follows the book. For those unfamilar with the story, it follows eleven year old Ben who hates Friday night as he has to stay with Granny. There is nothing to do there, the TV doesn’t work, he has to play scrabble and she and everything else smells like cabbage.

Unfortunatley, his Strictly obsessed parents are unwilling to give up there night of dancing so that he can stay home. For Granny, however, Ben is her only visitor and Fridays are the highlight of week. 

Gangsta Granny 2021 by Birmingham Stage Company. Photo by Mark Douet 650A4267

After another boring Friday night, Ben sees a different side of Granny after finding a biscuit tin full of jewels and can’t wait to hear the stories behind them. 

Gangsta Granny 2021 by Birmingham Stage Company. Photo by Mark Douet 650A4897

Justin Davies plays the plumbing loving 11-year-old Ben and brings lots of energy and amazing comic timing to the role. His dance moves in the solo ballroom dance competition particulary stands out and had both the adults and children in the audience laughing out loud. 

Isabel Ford is perfectly cast as Granny. From her slow walking to her shaky voice and her little pauses as she lets out her cabbage farts ( to the delight of the younger members of the audience) she has the character down to a tee.  Ford and Davies make a great on stage team and bring Walliams well love characters to life.

Gangsta Granny 2021 by Birmingham Stage Company. Photo by Mark Douet 650A4654

Jason Furnival as both Dad and Mr Parker the nosey neighbour and Jess Nesling as Mum and the Queen did a brilliant job in both roles. Whilst Furnival’s Mr Parker had the audience booing at his antics Neslings Queen had everyone dancing in their seats.

One of the main highlight’s of the show had to be the set. Comprising of three rotation stations, which were seemlessly opened, pulled and turnes to reveal rooms, and props such as beds, sinks and even the Crown Jewels – we were excited to see what would appear next.

My twelve year old son and his friend were both entralled througout and even declaring it even better than the film.  Amongst the humour, underlies the theme that we need to make sure the older generation don’t get forgotten, which is hard not to ignore. A great message especially this time of year. 

Gangster Granny makes a great family night out for all ages and we highly reccomend for a lovely pre Christmas night out. 

Gangster Granny is running at Manchester Opera House until Sunday 28th November and tickets are available here. 

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