From laughing in tears to singing along and feeling like a part of the cast, “Billionaire Boy” was a delightful play to see. Adapted from the book by David Walliams which probably every British person is familiar with.
Jared Leathwood, Ryan Heenan and Eleanor Kane in Billionaire Boy The Musical. A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production in association with Belgrade Theatre Coventry Image Credit: Manuel Harlan
The main character, Joe Spud, is a very rich 11-year old, in fact, he is not just rich, he’s a billionaire. From his dad’s success of being the inventor of well-known Bumfresh toilet rolls, Joe is living the life every kid would dream about. But being rich doesn’t mean you will be happy. And that is the main moral of that play “Money can’t buy happiness”. Joe might have a perfect life, but inside he is very unhappy because he doesn’t have any friends. Joe convinces his dad Len Spud to let him go to the Local Comprehensive, as he’s being bullied and he misses having a real friend. He makes that move and Local Comprehensive is part of his new life. From a rollercoaster of hiding the fact he is rich, dealing with bullies, conflicts with his dad and his first friend Bob and love of a new girl in his school, Joe’s life takes a totally new turn when his dad loses all his money.
Avita Jay in Billionaire Boy The Musical. A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production in association with Belgrade Theatre Coventry Image Credit: Manuel Harlan
Natalie Morgan and Jared Leathwood in Billionaire Boy The Musical. A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production in association with Belgrade Theatre Coventry Image Credit: Manuel Harlan
As not the biggest fan of musicals, I have to admit that I really did enjoy ‘Billionaire Boy’. From the very beginning of the show, the energy of the actors took the whole audience on a journey of excitement to see the rest of the show. They started out with a song, which definitely wasn’t a surprise. The over exaggerated acting is what made it clear how the show is going to be. At first, it was something to get used to as not being a 10-year old kid for whom that is something to not think about, but after a few minutes it had set up a mood of positive emotions and energy. I loved the passion that I saw gleaming out of every single actor, (that is what made the show for me.)
The show was built upon 10 actors, but there as more than 20 characters. What you might think is how is that possible, but it was an easy and a well funny way to make the play unique. The only person who stayed in one character was Joe and all other actors had either 2 or even 3 or 4 characters that they switched in to. It was so fun to see the talent of the actors as the change was made in minutes and the actor was a completely a different person which at some point I even didn’t realise after a while. Raj turning into Sapphire and Bob turning into “the cleaning lady” is a thing to give credit to, prepare yourself for tears of laughter, when going to see the play. Every actor was perfect for their role! The design of the stage and music was well suited and were what made the show. All the song were super catchy and made the mood. After every song, the audience was screaming and clapping to appreciate the talent.
After the show, everyone has filled with positive energy and that I can assure, as I was one of them. Leaving from the theatre with smile on my face and a fuzzy feeling inside.
Jared Leathwood, Lem Knights and Natalie Morgan in Billionaire Boy The Musical. A Nuffield Southampton Theatres production in association with Belgrade Theatre Coventry Image Credit: Manuel Harlan
Luckily, I had the chance to sit in front of two dads with there sons and see their reactions. A big part of the play was the connection between Joe and his dad Len, from laughing together and being well angry with each other to crying, that is the relationship that is the most important to both of them. I felt how that made both the sons and the dads value their relationship more with each other.
‘Billionaire Boy’ is a rollercoaster of different emotions and morals, which every person could relate to and find themselves in. A must for children – but suitable for everyone.
“Billionaire Boy” will play in the Nuffield Theatre from the 20 November until 6 January.
Check out their website for tickets: https://www.nstheatres.co.uk/