Theatre Review: Awful Auntie

Words: Faye Stacey
Friday 21 June 2024
reading time: min, words

David Walliam's perilous home escape caper for children

5. Alberta And Stella In Awful Auntie. Photo By Mark Douet

The bestselling children’s author David Walliams and the award-winning Birmingham Stage Company have teamed up for a brand-new production of the family adventure Awful Auntie.  This is their latest collaboration in a series of shows which includes the Oliver Award-nominated Gangsta Granny and Billionaire Boy. The production will visit the Theatre Royal Nottingham from Tuesday 20 to Sunday 23 June as part of a UK tour. 

This production has it all, a ghost, a car chase, and a killer owl, not to mention very talented actors and puppets!  When asked what inspired Awful Auntie, David Walliams expressed his love for The Shining and explained that he liked the idea of creating a story where a child was trapped in a house cut off from the outside world. Not the answer you would expect.  The only clue to this during the play was when Alberta stuck her head through a hole in the door shouting ‘here's aunty’.

2A. Wagner And Alberta In Awful Auntie. Photo By Mark Douet

The use of puppets was fantastic, to show the more perilous aspects of the story, and was very charming and captivating.  The smaller members of the audience eyes lit up watching them hanging from the roof.  The dark nature of the show is lightened with the humour, a lot of which comes from Gibbons, a wonderful butler that is so dizzy he provides laughs every time he is on stage, usually doing something to entertain as the moving set is changed to the next position. Sensitive children may find parts of it frightening, but there are plenty of laughs throughout. But be prepared for jokes about farting, weeing and being fed regurgitated owl food. Everything you would expect from David Walliams. 

I don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t read the book and you will definitely enjoy it if you have or haven’t. But as a quick taste of the plot I can tell you that Stella sets off to London with her parents, only to wakes 3 months later with her Aunt Alberta looking after her. Nothing is as it seems and Stella has to become Sherlock Holmes to discover what happened and she ends up in a fight for her life against her own Awful Auntie. This reviewer had a wonderful evening. 

Awful Aunty is showing at the Theatre Royal until Sunday 23rd June.

We have a favour to ask

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion

Please note, we migrated all recently used accounts to the new site, but you will need to request a password reset

Sign in using

Or using your

Forgot password?

Register an account

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.

Forgotten your password?

Reset your password?

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.