The bestselling children’s author David Walliams came face-to-face today for the first time with one of his most monstrous creations, Aunt Alberta. The world premiere of Awful Auntie, the UK’s bestselling children’s paperback in 2016, embarks on a national tour on 21 September from Horsham. It has been adapted for the stage by The Birmingham Stage Company, the award-winning producers of David Walliams’Gangsta Granny which recently finished its sell-out run at the Garrick in the West End.
Taking the title role of Aunt Alberta is Timothy Speyer. Tim has appeared in productions by the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company and returns to the Birmingham Stage Company for this world premiere tour. Alberta’s niece Stella, who must fight for her life against her murderous aunt, is played by film and TV star Georgina Leonidas. Georgina played Katie Bell, Harry’s fellow Gryffindor Quidditch player, inHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2. Before then Georgina was Molly in CBBC’s The Basil Brush Show for five seasons. Hot on the heels of their West End run of Gangsta Granny comes Ashley Cousins who plays Soot, the ghost of Saxby Hall, and Richard James, who plays Gibbon, the extremely elderly butler.
When Stella sets off to visit London with her parents, Lord and Lady Saxby, she has no idea her life is in danger. Waking up three months later, only her Aunt Alberta can tell Stella what has happened. But not everything Aunt Alberta tells her turns out to be true and Stella quickly discovers she’s in for the fight of her life against her very own awful Auntie! The tour will run until December 2018, visiting over fifty UK venues.
David Walliams said “The Birmingham Stage Company’s Gangsta Granny is truly brilliant, so I’m hugely excited that they’re now bringing Awful Auntie to the stage. It promises to be a thrilling show and a total hoot – Wagner and I can’t wait to see it!”
David Walliams is a global phenomenon in the world of children’s literature with worldwide sales of over 19.5 million books in more than 53 languages. He is the first children’s author to spend 100 weeks in the number one position in the UK children’s book charts, beating his nearest rivals by over 20 weeks. Three of his books have been awarded Children’s Book of the Year at the National Book Awards. Additionally, The Boy in the Dress, Ratburger, Mr Stink and Gangsta Granny have all been adapted for TV. As well as being a bestselling children’s author, David is one of Britain’s most popular writers and comic actors. Along with Matt Lucas, he created the BAFTA award-winning Little Britain which also played to over 1 million people on tour across the UK, Ireland and Australia. He starred in the Agatha Christie TV series Partners in Crime and as Frankie Howerd in the biopic Rather You Than Me. He is also a judge on one of the biggest shows on TV, Britain’s Got Talent.
Neal Foster is the adapter and director of the show. He is the Actor/Manager of The Birmingham Stage Company which since its foundation in 1992 has staged over eighty productions. The company has become one of the world’s leading producers of theatre for children and their families, including Horrible Histories Live on Stage for twelve years in the UK, Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. Neal has written and directed all of the most recent Horrible Histories shows including Barmy Britain – Parts One, Two and Three(Garrick Theatre, Apollo Theatre and Sydney Opera House); Groovy Greeks and Incredible Invaders for a national tour and Wicked Warwick at Warwick Castle. His first fictional adaptation was Gangsta Granny.
Awful Auntie is adapted and directed by Neal Foster, designed by Jackie Trousdale, lighting by Jason Taylor, sound by Nick Sagar, special effects by Scott Penrose and music by Jak Poore.