Billionaire Boy (UK Tour), Richmond Theatre | Review


Billionaire Boy (UK Tour)
Richmond Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 30th October 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

David Walliams' quirky children's shows (adapted from his best selling books) are quickly becoming regular features in the UK theatre scene and Billionaire Boy certainly shows why. His excellently gleeful stories, filled with important messages are brought to life wonderfully on stage and provide a laugh-out-loud night for adults and kids a like.

Billionaire Boy is about the life of Joe Spud and his dad Len- a man who's made unfathomable amounts of money from inventing a special kind of double sided loo-roll: Bumfresh! Joe transfers to his local comp school and learns about the importance of friendship, money and loyalty.

The cast, made up of many recent graduates, are fantastic at bringing a variety of characters to life with spades of energy and childish delight. Matthew Gordon as Joe is thrilling to watch as he highlights Joe's moral struggles and gives a lovely performance throughout. As his best friend Bob, Davy Bell is earnest and instantly likeable. The pair have a wonderful on stage chemistry and really bounce off one another to create realistic school-time dramas that we can all relate to.... (well other than the part where one of them's a billionaire!)

Amongst the rest of the cast, Jason Furnival brings a realism to the story, especially towards the end; Emma Matthews gives it everything as Mrs Trafe and is certainly a highlight and Aosaf Afzal garners some of the biggest laughs of the night with his witty one liners and great comedic timing. The show is dotted with some very catchy songs by Jak Poore which keep the whole thing buoyant and are extremely well performed. Mared Lewis and Rosie Coles give vocal performances which really shine and Coles brings Sapphire to life excellently... I think we have a future Mrs Wormwood in our midst!

Jacqueline Trousdale's set is extremely well put together, with simple pieces weaving together to create something eye catching throughout. Bumfresh Towers is created by huge piles of loo roll which are twisted and changed to create the school, Raj's shop and other locations. There's also the helicopter scene which had children ahhing and ohhing- a real wow moment. Despite being a production aimed at children, nothing feels cheap or amateurish and Billionaire Boy really seems as if it'll stand the test of time and continue to entertain. 

There are a few jokes which run dry a little fast, and it would be nice to see the bad guys get their just desserts but this is a wonderful production which is sure to bring joy to young audiences.

Billionaire Boy runs at Richmond Theatre until November 2nd before continuing its tour

photo credit: Mark Douet

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