Gong to see a DAVID WALLIAMS story performed on stage is an experience every parent should share with their children. To see the most enthusiastic audience of fans waiting for their favourite characters to take to the stage is just brilliant. When the show happens to be David’s most successful book GANGSTA GRANNY, it really is next level excitement.

The show arrived at the New Theatre in Cardiff where it’ll play till Sunday, all the ticket details are at the bottom of this page. Let’s be honest, when Granny comes to visit you want her to stay for a few days.

W stood outside the theatre waiting to meet the ‘Childs’ family – seven year old WINNIE, five year old NANCY and, we don’t reveal a Mums age JESS, who we’d recruited to watch the show and give us their review. The smiles and excitement was a joy to see, especially after so long without these shared experiences.

Winnie, Jess (Mum) and Nancy – South Wales Life guest reviewers

Jess told us…..

“It was actually very good, very funny, quirky, creative, musical and with a bit of audience participation thrown in at the end with some dancing. The kids were really engaged the whole way through, especially the 7 year old.

Cleverly written script and visually very creative and engaging too. We really did love it.

We put a Zoom call in to Jess and the girls to find out more about the show and what they enjoyed about this production.


This is the absolute smash of a West End production by the award-winning Birmingham Stage Company, who just happen to be one of the world’s top theatre companies for families, so they certainly know how to tell a story on stage. In fact you may well have seen some of their shows over the years – as well as producing all the Horrible Histories shows for the last 16 years, the BSC has staged Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine and David Walliams’ Awful Auntie and Billionaire Boy.

This show has it all, of course it is really funny, just ask the audience who were loving the slapstick antics of our Granny. There’s a lot of that, and a fair bit of farting – but come on, who doesn’t enjoy the occasional bottom burp from your favourite relative? But what makes this so special, and indeed any of David’s fantastical tales, is the incredible storytelling.

Gangsta Granny centres around young Ben, played brilliantly by JUSTIN DAVIES from Abertillery, so this is a bit of a homecoming for him. He is non-stop on stage, his timing is impeccable and we’ve got to say, he can certainly move across the dance floor, albeit by himself. He had the entire audience, young and old laughing out loud.

In fact you may recognise Justin as he’s been in Stella with RUTH JONES, where he also played a Ben.

Gangsta Granny (Photo: Mark Douet)

It’s fair to say that Ben doesn’t really like his Granny and is a bit pre-occupied with his own life, especially plumbing. He also has to contend with his parents obsessive love of ‘Strictly‘ and their weekly night of dancing.

This means Ben isn’t allowed to stay home alone, so he reluctantly gets to spend his Friday night with Granny (ISABEL FORD). She is as perfect a Gran as you’ll see anywhere on stage. The voice, the unsteadiness and even the ‘trumping’ are all perfectly played. What makes this so special however, is the bond between her and Ben. It’s a proper real-life, heartfelt side to the story, which David Walliams captures so brilliantly.

For Granny, this is the highlight of the week as Ben is her only visitor. With no working TV, Ben ends up playing endless games of Scrabble as he tries to escape the smell of cabbage which permeates through her house – cue the flatulence gags.

Of course, the story is called GANGSTA GRANNY, not Scrabble playing Granny, so you know something is about to unfold which shines a new light on Ben’s weekly visits. He finds a stash of jewels hidden in her biscuit tin (as you do) and then the Granny stories really begins.

Granny (and Ben) on her mobility scooter is a sight to behold and I can just imagine kids right across the country begging Granny for a ride on hers!

The rest of the cast are equally impressive and slip into their dual roles with ease. JESS NESLING is Ben’s Mum and also the Queen. His Dad is played by JASON FURNIVAL who is also the nosey neighbour Mr Parker. They bring a bit of panto like entertainment to proceedings with a bit of audience booing and Queen dancing, all of which the kids loved.

PAUL DUCKWORTH is both the Doctor and Policeman. JEMMA GEANAUS is the Matron and WPC and IRFAN DAMAI is Flavio and shopkeeper Raj. There’s a nice touch in the interval involving said shopkeeper, we won’t spoil it for you but do keep an eye out in the auditorium. It also features ISKANDAR EATON and MARED LEWIS who is also Dance Captain on this production.

The cast are first rate but the set too is a real highlight seamlessly transforming from Ben’s home, to the Tower of London, the corner shop and of course Granny’s cabbage smelling house. The way it unfolds from one setting to another, with very little human help, other than the cast, is a joy to watch and a credit to designer JACKIE TROUSDALE.

NEAL FOSTER has adapted and directed a show which we think couldn’t have come at a better time, or indeed be more relevant. After two years, when many of us have missed out on time with our grandparents, there’s a special love and affinity with the oldies in our family, and I think the kids really appreciate that, now more than ever.

Gangsta Granny is David Walliams’ bestselling book and it’s easy to see why. The story has found a place in the hearts of millions of kids around the country and this live show only reinforces that.

It is funny and silly and had everyone enthralled for the two hours it was on stage (including the interval). But while everyone is booing, laughing and dancing, it’s the heart of the message which will stay with you long after you leave the New Theatre. Our oldies are a vibrant and vital part of our lives and we should love and cherish every moment we get to spend with them.

GANGSTA GRANNY will be live on stage through till Sunday 24th July. Performances are at 7pm tonight. With a 2:30pm show today too. Shows on Sunday are at 11am and 3pm.

Tickets range from £17 to £26 with a variety of concessions along the way. For more details and to get you tickets, go HERE. We can tell you that a lot of the performances are selling fast, particularly in the stalls.

And a reminder you can watch our interview with Gangsta Granny herself, right HERE.