An Awful Auntie comes to the stage

An Awful Auntie comes to the stage

Mature Times reviews Awful Auntie at the Bristol Hippodrome

Following on from the successful stage adaptation of David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny, Horrible Histories’ writer Neal Foster has turned Awful Auntie – the biggest selling children’s book of 2014 – into a madcap stage adventure. Mature Times caught up with this touring production at the Bristol Hippodrome.

Telling the story of 12-year-old Stella Saxby (Georgina Leonidas), Awful Auntie is an amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very large owl, a very small ghost and one truly very awful Auntie!

Timothy Speyer and Georgina Leonidas in Awful Auntie - Credit Mark Douet

Timothy Speyer and Georgina Leonidas in Awful Auntie

When Stella sets off to visit London with her parents, Lord and Lady Saxby, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. Three months later, Stella wakes from a coma to find that her Aunt Alberta (Timothy Speyer) is the only one who can tell her what’s happened. Casually, during a game of tiddlywinks, Aunt Alberta drops the bombshell; Stella’s parents are dead – killed in what turns out to be a not-so-accidental car crash.

Stella soon realises that her Aunt definitely does not have her best interests at heart and that she is cunning, scheming and conniving; a real nasty piece of work who will stop at nothing to con Stella out of her inheritance. Stella needs all her wits about her as she battles her Awful Auntie, with the assistance of Soot the ghost (Ashley Cousins) and Wagner the owl (Roberta Bellekom).

There are moments of cracking humour, old-fashioned slapstick, scary tension and thrilling action. All the cast were great but worthy of special mention was the bumbling butler, Gibbon (Richard James). He was just hilarious, wandering about with seemingly no clue as to what was going on around him!

The Birmingham Stage Company production follows on from their critically acclaimed production of Gangsta Granny and will not disappoint fans of Walliams’ work. This is a rollicking good yarn, staying true to the book. The story gallops along accompanied by the laughter and shrieks of a very appreciative audience – not all of them children! Having said that, this is predominantly a show for the kids, and so perhaps one to take the younger family members to see.

2018 Tour Dates:

Bristol Hippodrome
02 May 18 to 06 May 18
New Theatre, Cardiff
09 May 18 to 13 May 18
Hull New Theatre
17 May 18 to 20 May 18
The Churchill Theatre, Bromley
24 May 18 to 27 May 18
Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
30 May 18 to 03 Jun 18
Theatre Royal Brighton
06 June 18 – 09 June 18
Sheffield Lyceum
12 Jun 18 to 16 Jun 18
Opera House Manchester
20 Jun 18 to 23 Jun 18
Sunderland Empire
21 Jun 18 to 01 July 18
De Montfort Hall, Leicester
05 Jul 18 to 08 Jul 18
The Hexagon, Reading
11 Jul 18 to 15 Jul 18
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
18 Jul 18 to 22 Jul 18
Bournemouth Pavilion
25 Jul 18 to 28 Jul 18
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
31 Jul 18 to 04 Aug 18
Cliff’s Pavilion, Southend
08 Aug 18 to 11 Aug 18
Grand Opera House, Belfast
15 Aug 18 to 18 Aug 18
Lyceum Theatre, Crewe
22 Aug 18 to 26 Aug 18
Liverpool Empire
29 Aug 18 to 2 Sep 18
Kings Theatre Southsea
12 Sep 18 to 16 Sep 18
Ipswich Regent Theatre
19 Sep 18 to 23 Sep 18
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
26 Sep 18 to 30 Sep 18
The Playhouse, Weston-super-Mare
03 Oct 18 to 06 Oct 18
Venue Cymru, Llandudno
10 Oct 18 to 13 Oct 18
G Live, Guildford
17 Oct 18 to 20 Oct 18
Buxton Opera House
01 Nov 18 to 04 Nov 18
Theatre Royal, Norwich
08 Nov 18 to 10 Nov 18
Wyvern Theatre, Swindon
21 Nov 18 to 24 Nov 18
New Alexadra Theatre, Birmingham
27 Nov 18 to Sun 01 Dec 18
Theatre Royal Plymouth
04 Dec 18 to 08 Dec 18