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Review: Billionaire Boy at the Arts Centre Melbourne

By Toni Soukoulis and her daughter Demi

The Billionaire Boy is the latest offering from the Arts Centre Melbourne’s wonderful family program, a series of shows designed to ensure that the next generation of theatre goers are being well introduced to the Arts and certainly well entertained.

And well entertained they are by Maryam Master’s hilarious play, based off the best selling book by the same title by David Walliams. Perhaps what is best about a show such as the Billionaire Boy is that it can be enjoyed equally by the two seven year olds leading this review, and their accompanying adults – a review from two generations.

There is soooo much excitement well before the show even begins…especially when you’re a kid! Already, the Arts Centre Melbourne is a great and elaborate venue to take children to and provides an opportunity to explain to them how so many shows can happen under one roof. The 10 minute till show time call welcomed a flurry of entertainment for our young reviewers who excitedly headed for the correct door, overly eager to take their seats! Billionaire Boy also offers a free interactive installation by Polyglot Theatre to stay and play in either before or after seeing the show. Everything has been perfectly thought out for our young theatre goers!

And then the show begins! The show itself was captivating from the word go and the actors had the entire audience in the palm of their hands! The dazzling gold costumes added a certain allure to the performance that kept the kids mesmerized.

The scenes kept a pace that was perfect in order to maintain the consistent engagement of the kids but to simultaneously allow enough time for the important lessons of the show to be thoughtfully discussed. The show, which focuses on the idea that whilst money may be able to buy you ‘things,’ it will never buy you true happiness, delivers each of its messages clearly and poignantly, reminding kids to really consider what is most important to them. There is great use of humour (although some is a little crude but did have the kids laughing out loud!) and a perfect balance of both sound and music to keep us as an audience engaged and committed to the story. I really appreciated the focus on multiculturalism that was alluded to through the performance – I hope more family orientated theatre takes this approach and continues to reflect the real world on stage for our kids accordingly.

The show provided lots of very funny bits for the kids and got them bopping along. Probably one of the highlights was the purple bum dance which was really a lot of fun. If you ask the tiny reviewers here they would say the funniest parts were the trash can scene and the bully peeing his pants.

Sitting at 60 minutes with no intermission, this was a perfect duration for this show and even the younger siblings in the audience seemed comfortable based on how entertained they were.

This is exactly what kids’ entertainment should be – high quality, funny but with an important moral and most of all, exciting for kids to attend so that they want to go back to the theatre again and again!

This really was great entertainment for kids and I definitely would recommend every kid to see it!!!!!

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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