Preview: Gangsta Granny
David Walliams talks about his adventurous tale of a rebellious grandma, now a hit stage show
This article is from 2016.
Underneath all the wild, sensational happenings in David Walliams' 2011 book, Gangsta Granny, lies a gentle message. A suggestion that older people may not be quite as tedious as the younger generation thinks – something Walliams himself found to be true as a child.
'I would spend lots of time with both my grandmas,' he recalls. 'Sometimes I would think it would be boring, but when I got them onto a subject like living in London during World War II, when bombs were raining down, they would become very animated and I would be enthralled.'
In Walliams' book, a young boy is forced to spend Friday night with his gran, a woman whose love of cabbage knows no bounds and is sure to be unbearably boring. Except, of course, she isn't and he ends up having the adventure of a lifetime.
'So the moral of the story is don't assume old people are boring just because they are old,' says Walliams. 'In fact, they're likely to have had a much more interesting life than yours, so talk to them and listen to their stories.'
Birmingham Stage Company, the people behind the hugely popular Horrible Histories theatre productions, have transferred Walliams' story from page to stage, and everyone – author included – thinks they've done a fine job of it.
'People seem to really like Gangsta Granny, it's my best-selling book by far, and it's a huge thrill seeing it have this whole new life on the stage,' says Walliams. 'There's a lot of action in it, especially when they try to steal the Crown Jewels, so it was quite a challenge for Birmingham Stage Company to bring those scenes to life. But they do it so well, I think it's a brilliant show – better than the book!'
King's Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 7–Sun 11 Sep; King's Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 5–Sun 9 Oct