Touring – reviewed at Bloomsbury Theatre, London
Guest reviewer: Sabrina Fancy
Billionaire Boy is the theatre adaptation of the popular David Walliams children’s book of the same name. Billionaire Boy follows 12-year-old Joe Spud who is one of the richest boys in the UK due to his father’s profitable invention of “Bum Fresh” Toilet Rolls.
Joe (Matthew Gordon) has everything money can buy but is still very unhappy. His father (Jason Furnival) prefers spending money and showering Joe with gifts as opposed to spending time with him and with no siblings and an impending stepmother only a few years older than him, Joe is very lonely.
In his pursuit to assuage his loneliness and find some friends, he leaves his posh public school and joins the local comprehensive school where his identity (and financial background) is concealed in the pursuit of making some friends who won’t judge him on superficial things, but on his character.
What ensues is two-plus hours of sheer entertainment for adults and children alike. The performers are absolutely brilliant, many cast members plays numerous roles and deliver high octane performances throughout. Shopkeeper Raj (played by Aosaf Afzal) is very amusing and was a standout for me along with the dinner lady Mrs Trafe played by Emma Matthews. Rosie Coles plays gold digger Sapphire (along with other parts) intent of marrying Joe’s father for his money and Joe’s father was ever entertaining. Exceptional performances by Joe and his best friend as well.
All of the actors bring the quirky characters to life and keep with the spirit of the book, down to the costumes of the characters.
There is never a dull moment and my otherwise distracted children were very entertained. The set is made out of loo rolls and the show is peppered with a number of enjoyable musical numbers which add to the humour and upbeat nature of the show. There are a lot of ‘ bum’ jokes throughout which cause ripples of laughter among the audience.
This is a very amusing and touching production. My children have read the book and had high expectations for the show that were met, and it was great seeing the characters come to life on stage.
If you are looking for a great family show over the Christmas break- you have found it. Billionaire Boy teaches a valuable lesson of what is really important and shows the importance of relationships over money.
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