We were delighted to be invited to watch David Williams’ Billionaire Boy at the Liverpool Empire
My daughters are firm fans of all of David Williams’ hilarious books. There is great excitement in our house when a new book is released, hurriedly read, and passed between my three daughters. We have been lucky to be able to see several of his books brought to life so we had high expectations of Billionaire Boy this evening, and it did not disappoint.
We took our seats in the theatre and admired the set with anticipation. The opening scene, featuring a mansion mainly constructed from toilet rolls and a gaming station centre stage, hinted of the fun that was to come.
This much-loved story is based around Joe Spud and his father Len, who worked tirelessly in a toilet roll factory before making billions from inventing novel toilet rolls branded ‘Bumfresh’. Despite his new found wealth, Joe is lonely and finding life at his very expensive public school hard. The musical numbers start in the old loo roll factory as dour, hard working, employees make loo roll after loo roll. Once Len launches his new venture the audience get to enjoy the Bumfresh jingle.
Life gets harder for poor Joe when his Dad meets his 27 year younger girlfriend and Joe takes a stand and moves to Ruffington High School, where he tried to hide his wealth from the other pupils. Through an encounter with the school bullies, The Grubs, Joe meets his first true friend Bob, with whom he shares a mutual love of chocolate. Joe tried to stand up to the bullies, but his Dad continues to fail to understand his struggles. This culminates in an exciting scene when Joe’s dad arrives at school in his helicopter and Joe’s cover is blown.
As the story continues, Joe continues to be let down by those around him, including a very amusing dinner lady. Joe tries to hold onto his friendships, but makes mistakes himself along the way, and quickly learns that money can’t buy love or happiness. Finally, following a purple-bum disaster, his Dad also learns some valuable lessons of his own and the pair are reunited in a more simple happiness.
This is certainly a tale with a message, but also a lot of fun and humour as you would expect from David Walliams. The three girls I took aged 11 absolutely loved the show.
Billionaire Boy is at the Liverpool Empire Theatre from Wed 15 Jun – Sat 18 Jun 2022
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
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