On Wednesday 30th October, I went to see The Birmingham Stage Company’s production of “Billionaire Boy”, based on the 2010 novel by David Walliams. The show was brilliant; it contained levels of humour to suit all ages, and catchy songs for the children to enjoy. This adaptation of Billionaire Boy is now touring the UK.

The story follows a young boy called Joe Spud. He is the richest boy in the country as his dad famously invented a revolutionary brand of toilet roll, “BumFresh”. Joe’s dad has bought him every toy and game he could ever need, but all Joe wants is a friend. The character of Joe was played by actor Matthew Gordon, who acted flawlessly as he conveys the desperate emotions of the twelve year old boy, and acts with such powerful expression. In the play, Joe enrols at the local comprehensive school, so he can have a fresh start, and pretend not to be the rich boy he truly is. In this school, he meets his best friend Bob; they are a perfect pair as they bond over being the fattest boys in their year. Bob’s character was played by Davy Bell. Both Gordon and Bell perfectly executed the roles of young boys, as they were energetic and made their voices more high-pitched and excited to make their characters more realistic.

Other than the protagonists, another key character in the play was Joe’s dad, played by Jason Furnival, who conveyed one of the funniest personalities in the story, and made all of the children laugh throughout. Another key comedic role was Raj, who owns the local newsagents in all of David Walliams’ novels. Raj’s character is known for offering ridiculous deals in his shop, and often makes stupid remarks which appeal to the children. One particular example of this during the play is when Raj suggests that he and Joe can get to Bob’s house quickly if they go on scooters.

Overall, the show was hilarious because all of the characters were funny in their own ways. The set and costume designer, Jacqueline Trousdale, produced a very creative set, as everything was made out of toilet rolls and cardboard, to represent the dad’s billion-dollar-idea. This set was also comical for the children, as I heard frequent comments and laughter about how the toilet cubicles were ironically fashioned out of toilet rolls. Another simple, yet effective, element was the use of the toilet roll factory employees as the people who changed the set in between scenes. They were dressed like old-fashioned workers, in long coats and flat-caps.

The production was outstanding, and all of the performers seemed rightfully proud at the finale. To top it all off, David Walliams made a surprise appearance to congratulate the actors and directors, and thank the audience. This made my evening even more exciting, as I am a huge fan of Walliams and all his work; therefore, I was extremely grateful to have the opportunity to see one of his novels adapted into a play so locally to me, and I was even more fulfilled to see him on stage at the end. In an interview with Richmond Theatre, Walliams said it's "a brilliant thing to see a book you've written come to life... you feel like a magician because what was in your head has somehow become real." I feel like The Birmingham Stage Company have perfectly captured Walliams' humour and his comedic intentions through this adaptation of his novel. The play is running until the 2nd November and I highly recommend Billionaire Boy.

Leah Terry