DAVID Walliams’ children’s books have sold more than 25 million copies -and it seems there’s now no escaping him on the stage either.
Billionaire Boy follows the hilarious and heartwarming story of schoolboy Joe Spud, who becomes an overnight billionaire after his dad invents a new kind of loo roll. It’s Bum Fresh – wet on one side, dry on the other!
Suddenly flush, Joe seems to have everything he wants, but can money really buy happiness? While his toilet roll tycoon dad spends, spends, spends on fast cars, 100-inch TVs and lavish gifts for his new girlfriend, Sapphire Diamond, Joe is left to fend for himself in the unforgiving world of the school playground.
Luckily, Joe’s new best friend Bob is on hand to help him navigate the assault course of school bullies and dangerously inedible canteen food. But when the impossibly pretty new girl Lauren seems to take a shine to Joe, things look set to get a whole lot more complicated.
Happily, Jon Brittain’s stage adaptation works well and adding in a musical score only seems to ‘enrich’ the tale even more thanks to Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler who have penned a slew of smash hit tracks for the likes of Sugababes, Girls Aloud, Alesha Dixon, Kylie Minogue and Gabriella Cilmi, many played by guitar-toting pupils.
Ryan Heenan ably leads the way as Joe Spud. All the characters are true to the original Walliams creations, with particularly hilarious versions of the gross dinner lady Mrs Trafe played by Dean Nolan (who also plays Joe’s dad Len) and money-grabbing Sapphire played by Avita Jay who also plays the book series’ staple character, Raj the shopkeeper.
The script and score contain plenty of side-splitting one-liners, most memorable including Mrs Trafe’s introduction to school dinners and the house party at Joe’s million dollar mansion.
Plus, there’s a splattering of zesty topical gags about Elon Musk and Jacob Rees-Mogg.
The set and on-stage musicians, help round off a slick and pacey show, engaging all the family from curtain up to curtain down.
But the moral of this particular story is money can’t buy you happiness. I would venture to suggest that for the small price of a ticket for this show, actually it can.
Billionaire Boy: The Musical plays at The Belgrade Theatre until Saturday (February 23rd).
Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055, or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk
Review by Jo and Brian Johnson on behalf of ChalmersNewsPR
For news of Walliams’ next book adapted to musical theatre visit. . . http://chalmersnewspr.co.uk/arts-news/rsc-winter-season-announced/