Review: 'Bum's the word' - Billionaire Boy at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley

Birmingham Stage Company’s production of Billionaire Boy, based on the David Walliams’ book, impresses from the start with a gigantic castle built out of toilet rolls taking centre stage.

Billionaire Boy Live on Stage 2022 by David Walliams by Birmingham Stage Company
Billionaire Boy Live on Stage 2022 by David Walliams by Birmingham Stage Company

The castle is taken apart and spun around throughout the show by the slick, professional cast to create the world of Joe Spud, the eponymous Billionaire Boy, whose Dad has made his billions by revolutionising toilet paper (wet on one side, dry on the other).

The boxes and pile of toilet rolls cleverly fit together to create a corner shop. a park, a living room, a classroom and a dinner party ,with the highlight being a helicopter landing in the middle of it. Joe Spud is played with great enthusiasm and warmth by Matthew Gordon.

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He brings a real vulnerability to the role and delivers a touching performance as the boy who learns that although money might be able to buy you the best games consoles, as much chocolate as you could ever eat and even two pet crocodiles, it can’t buy you friends.

Jake Lomas’ performance as the likeable Bob is fun and engaging and Matthew Mellalieu and Rosie Coles bring fantastic humour with their grotesque depictions of the twin school bullies, Dave and Sue Grubb.

The production is very much an ensemble piece, with just nine actors taking on number of different roles and the slickness of scenes and speedy costume changes were impressive.

A standout performance came from Emma Matthews as Mrs Trafe, the dinner lady serving up badger pie and stewed BluTac to the hungry students, and Tuhin Chisti as Raj, the loveable corner shop owner always eager to make a sale.

The whole show leaves you with a warm feeling of the true meaning of friendship - a real heart-warmer for all the family!

Billionaire Boy is on until Saturday May 14, for tickets click here with daytime shows on Thursday May 12 and Friday May 13.

For more information on what is coming up at The Hawth, visit