Following the huge success of David Walliams’ Gansta Granny his brilliant novel Awful Auntie has also now been adapted for the stage by director Neal Foster. Brought to life by the Birmingham Stage Company, Awful Auntie Live on Stage is now touring major UK venues through to summer 2018.
At the start of the show we meet 12 year old Stella who is wrapped up in bandages and has just woken up from a coma. We learn that after a horrible accident resulting in the death of her parents young Stella has now been left in the care of her Aunt Alberta. Auntie wants the deeds to Saxby Hall, the stately home that Stella and her parents lived in but Stella is determined not to give them up. Aunt Alberta turns to her wicked ways in order to try to obtain the deeds and mayhem, of course, ensues.
Neal Foster’s direction is inventive and fun. He has created a wonderfully imaginative stage show full of humour, danger and mystery. Timothy Speyer as Aunt Alberta is wickedly funny and grotesque. He has an incredible command of the stage and is a brilliant villain. Stella is played by Georgina Leonidas who has a feisty, spirited nature and a warm heart.
Soot the chimney sweep ghost who haunts the house and becomes Stella’s trusty accomplice is played brilliantly by Ashley Cousins who was recently seen in the west end cast of Walliams’ Gansta Granny. He is full of charisma and charm and adds a lot of fun to the show. A stroke of genius in the story is that Soot the ghost can only be ‘seen’ by children adding that extra little bit of magic to the young audience’s enjoyment. Richard James as the wacky butler Gibbon is hilarious & eccentric. His delivery and comic timing are spot on.
The set design by Jacqueline Trousdale is exquisite. It is impressively large and full of intricate staircases and passages which make up the vast Saxby Hall. The play is enhanced by a fantastically grand and at times haunting score by Jak Poore.
This stage show is witty and bursting with jokes. The younger members of the audience will be captivated by all the silliness and there is just the right amount of adult humour to keep the parents entertained! Awful Auntie Live on Stage is a huge amount of fun and the perfect treat for all the family.