Having seen Gangsta Granny not long ago at Preston Guild Hall, we were very excited when they invited us to see Awful Auntie.
My son is a huge David Walliams fan and has read all of his books. In fact, we went to see him recently in Manchester where he talked about his career, books and inspiration.
My daughter and I hadn’t read the book so weren’t sure what to expect and my son was keen not to spoil it for us.
Awful Auntie marks the Birmingham Stage Company’s 25th anniversary and as with Gangsta Granny they’ve ensured that Walliams’ work is brought to life.
The story is about 12 year old Stella who wakes from a three month coma, only to find that she’s now an orphan.
She starts to quickly suspect that both her parents were murdered and didn’t die in an accident as she was led to believe. But why did her only living relative Aunt Alberta lie to her? Could it be that her awful auntie was responsible for her mother and father’s death?
When asked What or who inspired Awful Auntie? Walliams’ replied:
It may not be the answer you were expecting but I am obsessed with the film ‘The Shining’. I wanted to create a horror story where a child was trapped in a house with a dangerous relative, cut off from the outside world. As for the character herself I had a lot of fun creating Aunt Alberta. Villains are always so much more fun than heroes. I wanted her to be funny as much as scary, which is something my literary hero Roald Dahl always did so brilliantly.
None of the children in the audience would have recognised the infamous scene from The Shining (at least I hope they didn’t!) but some of the scenes from the show pay tribute perfectly!
The parallels to Roald Dahl are also very much apparent, in fact I thought of the villains in his books many times while watching Awful Auntie.
Although the show is recommended for five year olds and older, I did find a lot of the scenes intense and a little dark!
I checked on my seven year old a few times because but she wasn’t affected and really enjoyed herself.
Wonderful moving sets, a great cast and moving story ensured that we had a fantastic night. Awful Auntie is on at the Preston Guild Hall from Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st January