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BrumHour saw Billionaire Boy at the invite of Belgrade Theatre.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Review: Billionaire Boy at Belgrade Theatre
A bright and fun retelling.
Adapted and directed by Neal Foster from David Walliams book
It’s Joe Spud’s (Matthew Gordon) birthday, he’s got no mates and his self-made billionaire Dad (Matthew Mellalieu) doesn’t understand him. His dad patented toilet paper with a wet side and a dry side called Bum Fresh! Then Dad sent Joe off to a very expensive school. All Joe wants is to fit in and be “normal”. He’s granted his birthday wish of going to a local comprehensive school.
This is a bright, fun and energetic retelling of David Walliams’ third novel, with a set made from boxes, toilet rolls and delivery pallets it really plays into the self made ideas of the story.
The humour, outfits and songs peppered throughout are filled with gentle humour and as well as some slightly grim poo and insect jokes that kids will love. Matthew Gordon is on stage throughout the majority of the two hours (including interval) of this production and he makes a great lead. Even getting a thoughtful song to himself. Emma Matthews is brilliant as she tells us all the stomach-churning things I used to think were in school canteen food. Cockroach cakes and sock cheese flavoured baked potatoes.
Jake Lomas is a vulnerable and bullied best friend Bob, Tuhin Chisti is full of daft humour as Raj and particularly entertaining in his role.
I really enjoyed my visit though at least one of the adults near me couldn’t stop checking his phone as he attempted to pace his larger drinking. He was probably wondering what on earth he’d come to see and when it would all be over. (Turn off your phone!)
Each of Birmingham Stage Company’s David Walliams’ productions have a unique stamp on them and Billionaire Boy with its tale of being genuine and listening to others is no exception.
Billionaire Boy is at Belgrade Theatre until Saturday 19th February 2022. See forthcoming tour dates and productions by Birmingham Stage Company here: birminghamstage.com