Our editor, Naomi MacKay, enjoyed a World Book Day performance of the comedy musical Billionaire Boy, based on David Walliams’ book.
It’s not often you go to the theatre and are greeted by a tower of toilet rolls on the stage. But this touring production of the musical adaptation of one of David Walliams’ best-loved books brings plenty of unexpected surprises to the audience.
For anyone who doesn’t know, the tale follows 12-year-old Joe Spud, the son of a billionaire who made his money by inventing a new kind of toilet roll. But despite living in Bumfresh Towers with all the gadgets and toys a pre-teen could dream of – including a racing car and pet crocodiles – all Joe really wants is a friend.
So he leaves his posh, very expensive school to go to the local comprehensive, where he meets new chum Bob. But when Joe tries to throw money at Bob’s problem, they fall out and he makes friends with a new super-cool boy called JJ – but is he really too good to be true? And what about Dad’s new girlfriend Sapphire. Does she really love him or is she just after his money?
Walliams’ characters are larger-than-life and this super-talented cast bring them to the stage with gusto. There’s plenty of laughs as dinner lady Mrs Trafe offers the unfortunate Joe Spud and his friend Bob a rundown of her dubious menu of tasty treats – roast bat anyone?
Raj the corner shop owner delights as he tempts them with special offers and out-of-date chocolate bars – but ultimately comes through to help Bob when his dad gets into trouble.
And the Grubb twins and money-grabbing Sapphire are just as vile as you might imagine…
The songs will have your toes tapping and your hands clapping – and of course with plenty of opportunities for a bit of ‘bum’ humour, the kids will love it.
A word must go to the set design. That tower of loo rolls is pushed and pulled about the stage to cleverly create different locations, including the school, corner shop and Bumfresh Towers itself – and it also hides one impressive piece of kit, which delighted the audience. But I won’t spoil the surprise. Go and see for yourself.
Half term may be over, but there’s still time to treat the family this weekend – get your bums on those seats!