David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy book on stage

Billionaire Boy cast: Alfie Gledhill, Adele Parkinson, Nicholas Starte, Shameer Birges  and Christopher Vernon.  Photo Heidrun Lohr.
Billionaire Boy cast: Alfie Gledhill, Adele Parkinson, Nicholas Starte, Shameer Birges and Christopher Vernon. Photo Heidrun Lohr.

WAAPA graduate Nicholas Starte was unaware English comedian and actor David Walliams had added best-selling children’s author to his resume until he heard about CDP Theatre Producers production of Walliams’ Billionaire Boy.

Starte has more than made up for the error of his ways since landing the lead role, in a cast of five, as 12-year-old billionaire boy Joe.

“When I got the brief I was really excited because David Walliams is amazing and his stuff is so funny,” Starte, of Sydney, said.

“I started reading it and straight away it sounded like David Walliams on a PG rating.”

Starte said the high-energy show centred around Joe whose dad had made billions for his invention of special bottom wipes that were moist on one side and dry on the other.

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Billionaire Boy cast: Nicholas Starte and Alfie Gledhill. Photo Heidrun Lohr.

“Joe has spent a lot of his life with a lot of money and been given everything under the sun, but is starting to realise that doesn’t bring him a lot of happiness,” Starte said.

“The play starts with him asking his dad if he can please go to a normal school because he doesn’t have any friends.

“It’s about his trials and tribulations with dealing with friendships, relationships and normal people.

“He’s dealing with his new friend, the school bully, the teachers and he has to learn how to actually deal with problems without just throwing money at them like he is used to.

“It’s a nice coming of age story for Joe with some really great lessons and lots of bum jokes, which is always fun.”

Starte, who was in Black Swan State Theatre Company 2016 production Dust, said the show was entertaining for all audience members, regardless of whether they had read the book first.

“A lot of the parents have really enjoyed it,” he said.

“So I really encourage parents to bring along their kids because they’ll get a kick out of it as well.

“It’s so fast-paced that frankly you don’t really have time to not enjoy it.”

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THE ESSENTIALS

What: Billionaire Boy

Where: Heath Ledger Theatre

When: April 24 to 27

Tickets: www.ptt.wa.gov.au