If you’ve never read a David Walliams book, well why not? They’re hilarious! Either way, if you’re already a fan of his work or new to the words of Walliams then come meet Joe and the brilliant cast of Billionaire Boy now playing at The Concourse in Chatswood (12-14 March).
Joe Spud is a 12 year old boy for whom money really does grow on trees ‘cause his Dad hit the big time with his Bum Fresh loo roll invention and now they live in a mansion with 89 bathrooms. However, he may have cash by the gasquillions, his own cinema, a golden underwater ferrari and pretty much everything he could ever ask for but all Joe really wants is a friend, and maybe a little more time with his Dad. (Not the gold plated kind, but actual time!)
Fed up of his billionaire reputation isolating him from the normal life he craves, Joe moves to a new school, while his Dad is getting loved up to the new squeeze in his life, Sapphire (whose favourite colour is weirdly, orange).
Walliams’ best-selling tale is brought to life on stage by playwright Maryam Master and a talented cast of five who fluidly move from character to character, injecting unique personality into every scene. There is a Roald Dahl flavour that inspires Walliams’ work and this is clear both in the pages and on the stage. School bully The Grub, who’s main thrill in life is making others’ miserable, makes for many comical moments, while Mrs Trafe the canteen lady makes us laugh and gag simultaneously with her revolting concoctions.
My 7yo and 4yo watched in wonder as Joe navigated his first day at his new school, trying to keep schtum about his bank account in the hopes of attracting a real friend. Bob seems to be the opportune candidate and he and Joe bond over their mutual ‘loser’ status and subsequent dislike for Grub.
What is so brilliant about this production is how simple the moral is to understand, that money doesn’t buy you everything. Especially friends. Joe’s attempts to buy Grub’s favour in the hopes that he’ll stop bullying Bob costs him the one thing he wanted, not to mention turning him into Grub’s personal piggy bank.
Meanwhile in the land of Bum Fresh, all is not as fresh as Mr Spud would like, as dissatisfied customers are mounting in the face of his newest release. The minty addition to his bog roll may just cost him a mint and then some.
With a musical number to illustrate every scene, so many laugh out loud moments and an important message underlying it all, Billionaire Boy is a delight of theatrical proportions. What will come of Mr Spud’s billions? Will Joe win back Bob? And what really is in Mrs Trafe’s spag bol? Book your tickets and come and find out.
What you need to know:
What: Billionaire Boy
Who: For kids aged 6+ and their adults
Where: The Concourse, Chatswood and Seymour Centre, Chippendale
When: 12-14 March in Chatswood; 15-17 March at the Seymour Centre
Show Times: 10am in Chatswood; 6pm (Fri), 2pm and 4pm (Sat), 10am and 12pm (Sun) at Seymour
Duration: 60 minutes (no interval)
Tickets: $44 (Chatswood); $38 (Seymour Centre)
Photography: Filming and photography are not permitted
Getting to The Concourse: The venue is located about 5 minutes-walk from Chatswood train station, which is also serviced by plenty of buses. Or you can use the Concourse carpark on Ferguson Lane, approach via Archer Street. Two hours is $5 when entering between 6am and 6pm.
Getting to the Seymour Centre: I would recommend driving to the Seymour Centre. The carpark is located on Shepherd Street. Take your theatre ticket to the box office to get an $8 parking voucher which you must display in your windscreen, so leave plenty of time to get to the venue before the show starts.
Facilities: Toilets are located on the ground floors of both venues.
Food and Drink: Popcorn and other nibbles are permitted into the venues but no hot food or drinks can be taken in.