The first show for families and children to open under Arts Centre Melbourne’s iconic Spire this year is Alan Brough’s Charlie and the War Against the Grannies – based on his side-splitting book. The acclaimed comedian, writer, actor and TV host presents his world-premiere musical comedy just in time for the Easter school holidays.

Set to make its world premiere in March last year, the show was cancelled when Arts Centre Melbourne made the gut-wrenching decision to temporarily close its venues. One year later, Brough and his creative team are beyond excited to be bringing Charlie and the War Against the Grannies to life from 14 – 24 April at Arts Centre Melbourne’s Playhouse as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It will also tour to Sydney Opera House from 6 – 9 April.

Charlie and the War Against the Grannies is the first large-scale work by local artists to be commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne – creating new Australian theatre for young audiences. Arts Centre Melbourne has been working with Brough and his team of local artists since 2017 to ensure this well-loved book became the stage adaptation it deserved to be.

Writer and star Alan Brough (Spicks and Specks) has teamed up with musician/composer Kit Warhurst (Rocket Science) and director/co-writer Sarah Kriegler (Lemony S Puppet Theatre) to create a rampaging musical comedy for children featuring shadow puppetry, live music and some really stinky farts.

Charlie and the War Against the Grannies is the story of a constantly anxious 12-year-old boy named Charlie Duncan who only ever wanted a simple paper round. Instead, he uncovers a league of evil grannies plotting to set up a ‘Granny State’ where everyone will be forced to wear brown cardigans, go to bed early and where children would not exist! The stakes are high and it’s up to Charlie and his adventurous best friend Hils to go to war with the fiendish grannies to stop them from taking over the world.

This production will be presented as part of Arts Centre Melbourne’s year-round Families and Children Program. Launched in August 2009, it has grown in reputation to become a highly respected program nationally and internationally. Featuring intimate and large-scale theatre from some of the world’s most esteemed companies and a diverse range of interactive workshops, the program is robust and growing in size, scale and scope.