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David Walliams' Billionaire Boy to roll into Bromley

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 October 2019

Matthew Gordon as Joe, Emma Matthews as Mrs Trafe and Davy Bell as Bob in Billionaire Boy. Picture: Mark Douet

Matthew Gordon as Joe, Emma Matthews as Mrs Trafe and Davy Bell as Bob in Billionaire Boy. Picture: Mark Douet

© Mark Douet

Who wouldn't want to reinvent toilet paper and rapidly become a Billionaire Boy.

Matthew Gordon as Joe and Aosaf Afzal as Raj in David Walliams' hit stage show. Picture: Mark DouetMatthew Gordon as Joe and Aosaf Afzal as Raj in David Walliams' hit stage show. Picture: Mark Douet

That is what was imagined by television comedian and writer David Walliams in his book of the same name which has become a hit stage play.

The celebrated comic, talent show judge and writer closed last year as the country's biggest-selling author for the second year running, which is not surprising given global sales of his books have reached 32 million copies.

His story Billionaire Boy, which was adapted for television, is now touring the UK in a new adaptation from the acclaimed producers Birmingham Stage Company.

This will be the third of his books to be staged by the BSC, following the success of Gangsta Granny and Awful Auntie.

Matthew Gordon as Joe, Emma Matthews as Mrs Trafe and Davy Bell as Bob in Billionaire Boy. Picture: Mark DouetMatthew Gordon as Joe, Emma Matthews as Mrs Trafe and Davy Bell as Bob in Billionaire Boy. Picture: Mark Douet

David is enjoying the success, and said: "It's the most brilliant thing, seeing a book that you've written come to life on stage.

"You feel like a magician because what was in your head is somehow now all real, right in front of you, so it is a very exciting thing."

Billionaire Boy was David's third book and tells the story of Joe Spud, a boy who is wealthy beyond anyone's wildest dreams. But it's not a typical rags to riches story.

He said: "The reason Joe is a billionaire is because his father, Len Spud, who was just a humble factory worker, came up with this brilliant idea of a creating a special toilet roll which is moist on one side and dry on the other.

Matthew Gordon as Joe and Aosaf Afzal as Raj in David Walliams' hit stage show. Picture: Mark DouetMatthew Gordon as Joe and Aosaf Afzal as Raj in David Walliams' hit stage show. Picture: Mark Douet

"I think this is a fantastic invention and I cannot believe someone hasn't come to me and given me a billion pounds for the idea because, if it was produced, I think it would really catch on. But I liked it being something like this from which they made their money.

"When you sometimes meet people who have lots and lots of money you find it's really bizarre things that they do. I met someone who was really rich and it was because their father provides toilet roles to lots of pubs in the north of England and I thought, I could do that, but I didn't have the idea."

He went on: "There's one thing that Joe Spud has in the book which is a water slide going down from his bedroom to a swimming pool. He just gets out of bed and goes straight down a water slide. That is something I don't have and it really pains me. So if I had a billion pounds to spend today I'd get that water slide because water slides are so much fun. I love them."

Joe meets some unusual characters, and David said: "My favourite character in the story of Billionaire Boy is Mrs Trafe, the dinner lady and I actually played her in the television adaption.

"In the story she asks Joe for money which she says she needs for a hip operation but instead she spends it on plastic surgery. It was a lot of fun creating her horrible school dinners, giving her the surgery in the book and seeing what she does with the money.

"It highlights the fact that Joe's in a pretty difficult predicament because everyone is asking him for money and they all have good reasons why they need it. But at the same time money is quite a corrupting thing and it makes people do bad things and lie to him. Mrs Trafe is really a side character but she does something pretty important in the story."

This is David's third partnership with the Birmingham Stage Company, who also produced all the Horrible Histories shows live on stage.

It was their West End production of Barmy Britain where David first saw their work and decided they were the ones.

Billionaire Boy will be at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley, between January 29 and February 2.

Tickets from churchilltheatre.co.uk or box office on 020 3285 6000 and tickets@churchilltheatre.co.uk

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