Billionaire Boy (UK Tour), New Theatre Oxford | Review

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Billionaire Boy (UK Tour)
New Theatre Oxford
Reviewed on Wednesday 4th December 2019 by Emma Gradwell

David Walliams' children’s books translate perfectly from page to stage, with Billionaire Boy being the Birmingham Stage Company’s third adaptation. The stories are naughty, gross and capture British school life to a tee.

Billionaire Boy tells us the tale of Joe Spud. The heir to the Bum Fresh fortune. He has crocodiles, a racing car and a two million pound cheque, but what he doesn’t have is something that money cannot buy.

Matthew Gordon as Joe, confidently leads a fantastic cast through this pleasing story that packs a kind message. The actors move seamlessly between characters who are all fully realised and charming. Highlights of the evening were Aosaf Afzal as the fabulous Raj, a recurring character in Walliams' books. He is the shop keeper that we all knew growing up, with hilarious sayings and antics. Also, Emma Matthews as Ms. Trafe gives a wonderful comedic performance, from her deep fried blue tac to her hip replacement that looks suspiciously like a boob job.

Jaqueline Taylor’s clever set design is made almost entirely out of toilet rolls. The different pieces open and move to reveal all sorts of scenes hidden away. Watch out for the helicopter reveal - it is impressive and an audience favourite!

Music by Jack Poore is simple and catchy. We were singing the Bum Fresh song all the way home on the train!

The Birmingham Theatre Company have taken a children’s story and made it into a sophisticated production. The audience reaction is testament to a good job done.

photo credit: Mark Douet