Photo Credit: Heidrun Lohr

If you are a David Walliams fan and in particular love his book Billionaire Boy, you would be very interested to see how the book and the BBC One TV special has been adapted for stage by CDP Theatre Producers.

We were recently invited to review CDP Kids Billionaire Boy which is playing at the Sydney Opera House these holidays until the 29th April.

The shows opens with an opening number from the cast of five actors which introduces the storyline to the audience. Joe Spud is the Billionaire Boy, son of the toilet paper King Len Spud who gained his wealth from the Bumfresh product that is wet on one side and dry on the other. Joe has everything he could possibly want when it comes to materialistic things, but all Joe wants is a friend.

We follow Joe on his journey for friendship and acceptance amongst his school peers only to come across some obstacles including the school bully ‘Grub’. Joe pays Grub to leave him and his new friend Bob alone but the more he pays him the more he wants.

Another spanner is thrown into the works when Joe’s dad announces his quick engagement after a very short relationship to ‘gold digger’ Sapphire. The more people that find out about the Spud’s billions, the more superficial friendships magnetise towards the family. Everyone wants something…everyone except his friend Bob who proves friendship is deeper than material things. When the Joe’s dad loses everything after the minty fresh toilet paper caused ‘purple bums’, Bob is on hand to lend support.

The storyline follows the theory that money can’t buy you happiness which plays out in the end when everything is lost including possessions and relationships….but Joe’s friendship with Bob stays strong.

The wonderful cast of five deliver on catchy songs and humorous lines creating a wonderful hour of entertainment the whole family will love. CDP Theatre Producers have once again created a highly entertaining production for children these school holidays. Billionaire Boy will play at the Sydney Opera House until the 29th April. Purchase your tickets HERE.

THINGS TO KNOW

  • Billionaire Boy is based on the book by David Walliams. It has been adapted for stage which means it isn’t exactly like the book. If you are a David Walliams fan you need to know a few things about the play. The play starts halfway into the book cutting out a lot of the background information so you will miss out on Joe and Len’s life story before they became billionaires. There are also quite a few characters left out of the play.
  • The play touches on the character Mrs Trafe who is the dinner lady at Joe’s school but doesn’t paint her as the superficial, greedy character that she is in the book. She is portrayed more as a supportive character that Joe confides in.
  • With a small cast, they need to jump into different roles limiting the amount of characters they can include from the book. There is only one grub in the play, but two in the book.
  • If you have seen the Billionaire Boy BBC One Television special, you might find it hard not to compare the David Walliams screen version of his book. With a stellar cast of Jon Thompson, Catherine Tate and David Walliams himself,  it was always going to be a hard story to replicate.

Overall CDP Theatre Producers and Maryam Master’s adaptation of the book was well executed for the short time they had to fill in every detail. It’s a great abridged version for those who are familiar with the story and especially for those who are being introduced to David Walliam’s Billionaire Boy for the first time.