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Q&A with Neal Foster director of Gangsta Granny

Today's #WhenIWas18 Q&A is with Neal Foster who is the director and adapter of David Walliams' Gangsta Granny.

Tell us a little bit about yourself at 18. Were you studying, working? What were your hobbies and interests?
At eighteen I started a Drama degree at Warwick University and left after seven weeks to apply to drama school. While I was waiting to get in, I set up a theatre company which became the Birmingham Stage Company and which is celebrating its 25 anniversary this year, so it was quite an important year.

So, we’re turning 18 this year and we’re planning a full month of competitions, giveaways and topping it all off with a huge party. How did you celebrate your 18th birthday?
I didn’t celebrate birthdays when I was younger but as I’ve got older I realise it’s quite fun to continue living so I now celebrate every year!

Tell us something wild or crazy you did as a young adult...
I used to dress up as a policeman and pretend to arrest people I knew – or sometimes people I didn’t know. I was caught by the police five times and eventually someone stole my police hat.

What did you most look forward to/dread about turning 18?
I most looked forward to leaving school.

Is there anything you miss about being 18? Would you go back to age 18 if you could?
I am very happy to be old – running a theatre company is such a risky adventure that I wouldn’t want to try it all again as I can’t imagine I would ever be as lucky a second time.

If you could deliver a 30 second message to your 18 year old self, what would it be?
Don’t dress up as policemen...

Gangsta Granny is booking from 26 July 2017 to 03 September 2017 - get your tickets here.


Sarah's love of theater was sparked by an enthusiastic drama teacher who wouldn't take no for an answer. These days she's much more comfortable in the audience than on the stage. She's an English teacher and enjoys reading and writing when she's not teaching or at the theater.


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