There is no doubt David Walliams is the modern day Roald Dahl and his novel Billionaire Boy is transformed for the stage as a musical extravaganza.
Telling the story of young Joe Spud whose father becomes a multi-billionaire through his toilet roll business. Joe struggles to fit in and find friends that like him for the right reasons. Neglected by his father who is more interested in spending money than spending time with his son, Joe decided to go to the local comprehensive school and start all over again. Making new friends and inventing a new life for himself, Joe just wants to be an ordinary boy.
Billionaire Boy isn’t your average children’s show, this musical has fascinating characters, a witty book and some seriously fantastic tunes. I was incredibly impressed with how visually vibrant and packed with excitement Billionaire Boy the Musical is. It wasn’t until I opened the program to see it was the same creative team as the Hope Mill Theatre’s Spring Awakening, did I realise why it felt so ingenious. Director Luke Sheppard alongside choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves, the show feels electric.
The pop-style music gives the production a modern edge, and the witty lyrics and silly rhymes make each number incredibly catchy. Steering away from traditional musical theatre style, it’s a soundtrack that feels completely fresh and exciting.
The small cast multi-role to bring David Walliams’ huge imagination of characters to life. Sophia Nomvette opens the show as the narrator and slips into different characters such as Bob’s Mum, teachers and more. She brings heaps of energy to the show with her exaggerated characterisation as she has such a naturally comedic stage presence. Similarly, Avita Jay is excellent as both the humble corner shop owner Raj and the TOWIE-style gold-digger girlfriend Sapphire.
Ryan Heenan plays the role of Joe Spud superbly as he captures the struggles we all go through when we are navigating life as a twelve-year-old. Heenan is excellently expressive, plus he gives a sensational vocal performance as he oozes boy band flair with his slick vocals. He befriends young Bob (Lem Knights) and watching their friendship grow is beautifully heart-warming, particularly the scenes where Bob invites Joe back to his family home for Shepherds Pie.
Billionaire Boy is a marvellous story brought to life on stage in the most theatrically creative way. With cracking songs, a stellar cast and a striking design it’s a tremendously fun evening of high-quality theatre for the whole family.
On at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry until Saturday 23rd of February, tickets can be found on their website.