HOT: Billionaire Boy, Arts Centre Melbourne

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]David Walliams is a British actor, comedian and rock star children’s book author.  Billionaire Boy is the stage adaption of one of his most popular books and it’s now showing at the Arts Centre Melbourne for the Autumn school holidays. We are invited to see the show and I take a coterie of mini-critics/David Walliams book fans with me.

The show is an original Australian adaptation by playwright Maryam Master. So despite the British origins of the book, there are many references that Australian kids will understand.

AlfieGledhill BethDaly FelixJozeps ShameerBirges KyleKaczmarczyk in Billionaire Boy 2018 Australian Cast Photo Credit Heidrun Lohr

The story goes like this: twelve-year-old Joe Spud has everything a boy could ever want because his dad owns a billion dollar toilet paper business! But what Joe really wants is a friend.

Some of the minor or duplicate characters from the book have been removed for the adaptation, and some of the plotlines have been simplified, but the message is the same; money can’t buy happiness or friends.

The kids laugh at the right moments and are joyfully squeamish about some of the gross aspects. There are no scary parts and even the bully is not particularly threatening. I particularly enjoy the characterisation of Raj and his rendition of Purple Rain (or Purple Pain, in this case).

Alfie Gledhill Beth Daly Shameer Birges Kyle Kazmarczyk and Felix Jozeps in Billionaire Boy 2018 Australian Cast Photo Credit Heidrun Lohr

The show is from the team behind Mr Stink (another David Walliams book) and The 13-, 26-, 52- and 78-Storey Treehouses, so you can be assured that the production is high quality and entertaining. All the actors play several roles and the relatively simple set design works well to transform the stage from Joe’s mansion to his school to Raj’s shop.

Billionaire Boy runs for sixty minutes with no interval. So while the age recommendation is for 6+ years (I think mainly because the book is geared towards primary school-aged kids) I see plenty of younger kids in the audience and I think younger kids can still enjoy the show.

Get there a bit earlier or schedule free time for after the show so that you can join in the free Feast drop-in creative workshop with Polyglot Theatre in the Smorgon Plaza.

Feast Polyglot Theatre

Also for creative kids there’s the Billionaire Inventors Drama Workshop from 6 – 13 April in The Channel. Kids are required to develop a billion-dollar idea for a brand new invention, then jump in front of the green screen to produce their own infomercial. The workshop is guided by professional actor and drama specialist Lyall Brooks.

Click here for more Autumn school holiday events in Melbourne CBD

Buy your copy of Billionaire Boy here

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About Joyce Watts

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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