Matthew Gordon on Billionaire Boy: 'At its heart it's a really lovely story about friendship and family and the important things in life'
- David Pollock
- 21 December 2019
Stage adaptation of David Walliams' third novel makes its way around the UK
One of the creative industry's most spectacular reinventions of recent times has been that of David Walliams. The Little Britain actor, Britain's Got Talent judge, and English Channel swimmer's new career as a children's author has brought him worldwide recognition. It isn't just his mischievously grisly writing style that has earned comparisons with Roald Dahl, but the ease with which his work is adapted for the stage. His third novel, Billionaire Boy, is the latest in an increasingly long line.
'Joe Spud is a boy who has just turned 12,' says Matthew Gordon, who plays the lead character. 'He's the son of a wealthy father who made his fortune inventing a new type of toilet roll, but what he finds himself missing is a friend. So he places himself in the local comprehensive school, and disguises his fortune so he can find one.' While Walliams' books are often built around a sense of cheek and gross humour, there are the beginnings of a moral to Billionaire Boy, which is performed on a large, moving set themed around loo rolls.
Joe is a kid with a robot butler, a massive television and lots of toys and games, but no one to share them with, especially not his money-obsessed dad. 'He's a really kind young boy, who's just a bit lonely and wants to change that,' adds Gordon. 'Anyone who's read the book will know it's about being rich, but at its heart it's a really lovely story about friendship and family and the important things in life.'
King's Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 15–Sun 19 Jan, and touring