Gangsta Granny, Spa Centre, Leamington, Sept 7 only
When the show opened I had to check our tickets to see if we’d got the right production. Five lively actors dancing around in sequins in a Strictly Come Dancing set wasn't what I was expecting. My son reassured me that this was in David Walliams’ book, and we were indeed in the right place.
Slowly the story is revealed. Eleven-year-old Ben is sent off to granny’s house every Friday night so his dance-mad parents can indulge their Strictly watching passions without him.
Time at granny’s house goes slowly, filled as it is with cabbage soup, Scrabble and fragrant farts. Even her TV hasn’t worked for decades.
Just as Ben thinks life at granny’s will never get as exciting as his plumbing magazine, he opens the biscuit tin and reveals a secret - his granny is a master jewel thief!
There is a lot of audience participation on the Strictly theme, the minimal set makes playful use of Ben’s plumbing dreams, and there are a few stand-out songs.
Feeling a little drawn-out in the first half, once the action of the second half gets going the play really starts to entertain. Clever use of a mobility scooter brings smiles to the audience’s faces.
The end is heartwarming. I was surprised to find my bottom lip quivering and the grown man next to me sniffed into a tissue.
The Heartbreak Productions actors gave their all and my two young sons and I came out singing. And the view from the kids? "Good, good and good."!