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Arts & Culture Events - Richmond Upon Thames Film, Theatre & TV

David Walliams brings Awful Auntie to the Richmond Theatre

  • May 20, 2024
  • 2 min read
David Walliams brings Awful Auntie to the Richmond Theatre

Awful Auntie lived up to its name from the moment the curtain rose at the magical and cosy historic theatre in Richmond. In a packed auditorium of well-dressed and excited children of all ages clutching popcorn and ice creams, the lights came up, and the Awful Auntie exploded onto the stage as an over-the-top pantomime dame, expressing fart and poo jokes, which left the open-mouthed children shrieking with tears and laughter. Meanwhile, the parents looked on, laughing nervously as this dark tale of double murder, torture, fraud, and kidnapping, unfolded in front of them. It is due to David Walliams’ wit and humour that this was all jolly good British fun and highly entertaining, with a nod to the great Roald Dahl.

David Walliams with Lily Springer and Kaidee Moss at the Richmond Theatre for Awful Auntie

The story is about a young girl whose parents have been killed in a tragic accident. She suspects that this was not accidental and, with the help of the ghost of Saxby Hall and an owl, sets off to find the truth. The Awful Auntie is more awful than you can imagine and gives the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang a run for his money.

The sets are wonderful and recreate the book’s illustrated pages. The whole feel of the set is one of magic. The use of puppets for the dramatic long shots, such as car chases or life-and-death struggles on snow-covered rooftops, made for real cinematic action.

This is a dark story that, on the surface, we would want to protect children from. However, in the hands of David Walliams, it is a rollercoaster of a ride that children relish and enjoy as only they can, with sparkling eyes of joy and a little mischief. If only we, as adults, could see the world, dark as it can be, through their eyes again, then the world would be a less frightening place.

About Author

Philip Ashby Rudd

Philip Ashby Rudd, a Dorset-based writer, artist, and hotelier, boasts a colorful past. After rubbing shoulders with Damien Hirst at Goldsmiths College, he took a brief detour as an army officer—albeit a short-lived one, thanks to a memorable encounter involving a taser and one too many drinks. Under the tutelage of Raymond Blanc, he honed his culinary skills before acquiring Bishops Cottage, a hotel in Lulworth Cove, once home to Bishop Wordsworth, the poet's great-nephew. Where he once spent his days channeling the spirit of Jeffrey Barnard, he now critiques restaurants for EyeOnLondon, a venture he co-founded.

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