REVIEW: Gangsta Granny, Sunderland Empire until Sunday, May 14

Gangsta Granny (Gilly Tompkins) and Ben (Ashley Cousins).
Gangsta Granny (Gilly Tompkins) and Ben (Ashley Cousins).
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Meet Gangsta Granny - the coolest Black Cat in Sunderland!

The story of one of David Walliams' most popular children's characters has come to Sunderland and audiences will love it.

Gangsta Granny runs at the Sunderland Empire until Sunday, May 14

Gangsta Granny runs at the Sunderland Empire until Sunday, May 14

Bored of staying at his granny's house every Friday night while his Strictly-obsessed parents go off dancing, Ben has no idea what his elderly relative really gets up to.

But when he opens up a biscuit tin and discovers a host of precious jewels, Ben suddenly learns there is a lot more to his granny than her less-than-appetising cabbage soup.

From that point, their relationship is transformed. Granny is now more bling than boring in Ben's eyes and so begins a journey that takes the pair to the Tower of London and an unexpected encounter with the Queen as part of an audacious robbery plan.

Full of laughs and stink-related jokes, Gangsta Granny the play is every bit as funny as the book and it's no surprise that Walliams' stories have been enjoyed by millions.

The action is fast moving, the dance sequences entertaining and the stage sets neatly designed. From beginning to end, the audience is kept thoroughly entertained.

If you haven't read the books, then you've got plenty time to go and buy them.

But if you want to find out what happens to the most canny and cunning Black Cat in Sunderland, then you'd better be quick and get along to the Empire without delay!

ISOBEL OLIVER