David Walliams on the stage adaptation of his novel Billionaire Boy

An accomplished actor and comedian, best known for his role on BBC’s Little Britain, David Walliams has transitioned into the fun, colourful world of children’s literature.

David Walliams

First published in 2010, his third novel Billionaire Boy follows the story of Joe and his dad becoming overnight millionaires. The book has sold countless copies worldwide, and has recently been adapted into a stage production by Australian playwright Maryam Master. Touching on contemporary themes such as wealth, poverty, friendship, and bullying, the story is one that both children and adults alike can relate to. I was thoroughly fascinated with David’s transition from comedy and acting into writing, and asked him a few questions about his process and the adaption of his novels.

“I just had an idea for a story. That is all,” David says about his inspiration for Billionaire Boy. “You have to follow your instincts with creative work, and my instincts were telling me that the story was a good one and I needed to write it down.”

The cast of Billionaire Boy | Photo by Heidrun Lohr

Walliams has written several books in the past, but said that Billionaire Boy has something special about it – “Lots of children say [Billionaire Boy] is their favourite. I think being rich and famous is, sadly, something modern children do think about a lot.”  The show will be produced by the same team that brought us Mr Stink and The 13-, 26-, 52-, and 78-Storey Treehouses, CDP Theatre Producers. CDP are renowned for their development of new children’s entertainment in Australia, and their past productions have won two Sydney Theatre Awards for Best Production for Children, a Drama Victoria award, two Drover Awards, an Edinburgh Fringe First, and a Helpmann Award. Billionaire Boy, will be no exception to their high standards. On the adaptation, David said the highlight for him was “hearing the laughter and applause of a live audience.”

The cast of Billionaire Boy | Photo by Heidrun Lohr

Part of Arts Centre Melbourne’s 2019 Summer / Autumn Families program, Billionaire Boy will delight audiences of all ages. The show will be performed at the Playhouse from April 6 – 14th. For more information and tickets, please visit the Arts Centre Melbourne website.

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator. She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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