WhatsOnStage Logo
Home link
Theatre News

David Walliams' Grandpa's Great Escape to be adapted for arena tour

The show will feature a life-size Spitfire

David Walliams
© Trevor Leighton

David Walliams' best-selling novel Grandpa's Great Escape will be adapted for the stage and embark on a stadium tour in December.

Directed by Sean Foley (The Painkiller) and penned by Kevin Cecil (Little Britain), the arena tour will see a variety of London landmarks brought to the stage, as well as a life-size Spitfire, created by Stufish Productions.

Walliams said: "We're not just turning it into a live show, but into a spectacular live arena show for all the family this Christmas. Being in arenas means we can have a life-size Spitfire, a tank, the London landscape and a dramatic escape from the Imperial War Museum. It's great because we can really go to town with all of those elements and this story demands that scale."

Nigel Planer
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Nigel Planer (The Young Ones, We Will Rock You) will star as Grandpa in the production, and said: "It's a great honour to be asked to play Grandpa in the live version of this amazing and cockle-warming story by David Walliams. It's set to be such an amazing spectacular and I can't wait to drive a tank and fly a life-size Spitfire over audiences around the country!"

The original 2015 book, which was adapted for TV in 2018, follows a retired World War Two flying ace, who is forced to live in an old folk's home run by a wicked matron. Further casting for the production is to be announced.

Following its opening in Birmingham on 23 December the production will tour to London, Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool, where it finishes on 4 January.