The Young Ones' Nigel Planer to star in Grandpa's Great Escape in Birmingham

By Rebecca Stanley | Birmingham | Theatre & Comedy | Published:

Actor and comedian Nigel Planer will star as Grandpa in the first ever stage adaptation of David Walliams novel Grandpa’s Great Escape coming to Birmingham.

David Walliams and Nigel Planer. Picture by: David J Hogan

Best known for playing Neil in the much loved BBC2 cult comedy The Young Ones, Nigel has worked extensively in TV, film and radio throughout his 40-year career.

His theatre credits including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Hairspray, Chicago, Wicked and We Will Rock You.

Speaking ahead of the show, the 66-year-old star 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.

Nigel Planer. Picture by: David J Hogan

"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 stage show follows the acclaimed television film which aired on BBC One last year, and will be directed by Tony Award nominee Sean Foley.

Grandpa’s Great Escape is the eighth book by Walliams and was published in 2015 by Harper Collins Children’s Books.

It tells the story of Grandpa, a former World War II pilot, who plots a daring escape from his old folk's home with his grandson. But unbeknownst to them the wicked Matron Swine in dead set of foiling their plans.


Nigel Planer. Picture by: David J Hogan

The set for this multi-million pound production has been created by entertainment architects Stufish Productions, behind shows for Cirque du Soleil, Beyonce and Jay Z, Madonna, The Rolling Stones and more.

The script adaptation of the book has been written by Kevin Cecil. Further casting will be announced soon.

The live version of the kids’ favourite, which has sold over two million copies around the world, will be at Arena Birmingham from December 23 to 26.

For more information and to buy tickets, click here.

Rebecca Stanley

By Rebecca Stanley

Entertainment journalist for Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Contact me:


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