Billionaire Boy, Charterhouse Priory (open air), Saturday, August 19
Money can’t buy love, according to The Beatles – but it takes the sting out of being poor, according to Groucho Marx.
Who’s right is the subject of Billionaire Boy, the latest show from outdoor theatre wizards Heartbreak Productions.
The action focuses on schoolboy Joe Spud, who rises from poverty to grandeur after his father creates the ultimate double-sided toilet paper Bumfresh. But all is not well, as Joe discovers instant wealth does not necessarily equate to instant happiness.
The five-strong Heartbreak cast were energetic and versatile, switching effortlessly between characters at breakneck speed. Particularly noteworthy was Oliver Hume as the hubristic Mr Spud and talentless dinner lady Mrs Trafe, who peppered the script with ad-libs as liberally as Mrs Trafe peppered her semolina with woodlice.
Meanwhile Faye Lord was impressive in her roles as terrifying teacher Mrs Spite and Joe’s pretend girlfriend Lauren, but stole the show as empty-headed gold-digger model Sapphire, who disappears faster than a roll of Bumfresh after a vindaloo when Mr Spud’s money runs out.
The venue must also come in for a mention – set in the beautiful grounds of the Charterhouse, the historic location provided the perfect foil for pondering the philosophical questions on the true meaning of life posed by the show.
The show was fast-paced and action-packed and the Roald Dahl-tastic jokes came thick and fast, but the heart-warming conclusion, which saw the Spuds plunged back into poverty but with a renewed appreciated of family and friends, had us all reaching for the Bumfresh.
Heartbreak Productions is currently touring Billionaire Boy, along with Northanger Abbey, The Secret Garden, Murder on the Terrace and The Taming of the Shrew. Shows are all open air. For more details look at www.heartbreakproductions.co.uk