Director of Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Sam Hodges today announces the full cast for the world première stage adaptation of David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy The Musical. Luke Shepard directs Alex “Teddy” Clements (MD / Ensemble), Ryan Heenan (Joe Spud), Avita Jay (Sapphire / Raj), Eleanor Kane (Lauren), Lem Knights (Bob), Jared Leathwood (Dave Grubb), Natalie Morgan (Sue Grubb), Daisy Noir (Drummer / Ensemble), Dean Nolan (Len Spud) and Sophia Nomvete (Bobs Mum (Gwen). The production, which marks Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler’s first musical, opens on 28 November, with previews from 20 November, and runs until 6 January in Southampton. Billionaire Boy The Musical then tours to Salford Quays, Coventry and Cardiff.
Imagine being the wealthiest child in the land!
One-day factory worker Len Spud invents a new loo roll “Bum Fresh - wet on one side, dry on the other.” The wiping-wonder is an instant hit. Len, and his son Joe, become overnight billionaires, turning their lives upside down.
Whilst Mr Spud spends, spends, spends on fast cars, 100-inch TVs, and lavish gifts for his glamorous new girlfriend, Sapphire Diamond, Joe is left to fend for himself.
In the unforgiving world of the school playground, things are about to get more complicated. With his new best friend, Bob, at his side, Joe navigates an assault course of school bullies and dangerously inedible canteen food. To make matters worse, is the impossibly pretty new girl Lauren all that she appears to be?
But can money really buy happiness? This hilarious new musical adaptation is a triumphant treat for the whole family, based on the bestselling book by David Walliams, and presented by the NST team following their award-winning “whisker – licking treat” Fantastic Mr Fox.
David Walliams is a global phenomenon in the world of children’s literature with worldwide sales of over 19.5 million books in more than 53 languages. He is the first children’s author to spend 100 weeks in the number one position in the UK children’s book charts, beating his nearest rivals by over 20 weeks. Three of his books have been awarded Children’s Book of the Year at the National Book Awards. Additionally, The Boy in the Dress, Ratburger, Mr Stink and Gangsta Granny have all been adapted for TV. As well as being a bestselling children’s author, Walliams is one of Britain’s most popular writers and comic actors. Along with Matt Lucas, he created the BAFTA award-winning Little Britain which also played to over 1 million people on tour across the UK, Ireland and Australia. He starred in the Agatha Christie TV series Partners in Crime and as Frankie Howerd in the biopic Rather You Than Me. He is also a judge on one of the biggest shows on TV, Britain’s Got Talent.
Jon Brittain is a playwright, comedy writer and director. His theatre credits include Rotterdam (Theatre503/Trafalgar Studios/59E59/Arts Theatre – winner of Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2016 and an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre in 2017.), Margaret Thatcher: Queen of Soho, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Game Shows; and A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) which won a Fringe First Award in 2017. He directed both of John Kearns's Fosters Award winning shows Sight Gags for Perverts and Shtick and Tom Allen's Both Worlds and Indeed.
Miranda Cooper is a British songwriter. Her credits alongside Nick Coler include writing for Girls Aloud and the Sugababes, Alesha Dixon, Gabriella Cilmi, and Kylie Minogue. Cooper's songs have spent more years on the UK chart than any other female songwriter in history, and she has penned four number one hits – Round Round, Sound of the Underground, Hole in the Head and The Promise.
Nick Coler is a British songwriter. His credits alongside Miranda Cooper include 35 top 10 hits for acts such as Girls Aloud, The Sugababes, Gabriella Cilmi, Alesha Dixon and numerous other artists. In addition, he co-wrote a song with Alastair Lloyd Webber for Starlight Express as well as numerous films and TV shows including Wayne’s World where he wrote Feed my Frankenstein. He has also been nominated three times for an Ivor Novello Award and has won producer of the year.
Alex “Teddy” Clements (Performance Musical Director / Ensemble). He returns to Nuffield Southampton Theatres after his work as Assistant Musical Director on The Shadow Factory. Musical Director Credits include Fortune Lane (Union Theatre), Things We’re Learning Now (Battersea Barge), Tomorrow, Maybe (Actor’s Centre, Bridge House Theatre, C Nova, Omnibus), Blueprints (Theatre Royal Winchester), Theory of Relativity (Theatre Royal Winchester) and A Christmas Carol (Luton Library Theatre). Composer Credits include Tomorrow, Maybe (Actor’s Centre, Bridge House Theatre, C Nova, Omnibus) and Blueprints (Theatre Royal Winchester).
Ryan Heenan plays Joe Spud. His theatre credits include Moonfleet (Salisbury Playhouse), Grease (UK tour/international tour), Peter Pan (Churchill Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Derby Theatre/Mercury Theatre Colchester), The Burnt Part Boys (Park Theatre), Variété (Riverside Studios), Mort the Musical (Rose Theatre Kingston) and The Sound of Music (London Palladium).
Avita Jay plays Sapphire / Raj. Her theatre credits include The Secret Garden (York Theatre Royal), The Jungle Book, Bring on the Bollywood, The Merry Wives of Windsor (UK tour), Bottled Up (Lyric Hammersmith), We’re Stuck (Shoreditch Town Hall/UK tour), Rapunzel, Warde Street (Park Theatre), Pioneer (Sheffield Theatres/UK tour), Unsung (Wilton’s Music Hall) and Sunday Morning at the Centre of the World (Southwark Playhouse). Her film credits include The Rezort, The East London Story: Slap or Die, London, Paris, New York and Twenty8K.
Eleanor Kane plays Lauren. Her theatre credits include Fun Home (Young Vic - Stage debut award nomination).
Lem Knights plays Bob. His theatre credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch), The Hundred and One Dalmatians, One Love: The Bob Marley Musical (Birmingham Rep), Boxed (The Vaults), Ragtime (Charing Cross Theatre), Below the Breadline and Different Windows (Edinburgh Festival Fringe).
Jared Leathwood plays Dave Grubb. This marks his professional stage debut.
Natalie Morgan plays Sue Grubb. Her theatre credits include Gala (Arcola), Mountains of Madness (Old Red Lion Theatre, Etcetera Theatre), A Christmas Carol: The Musical (LOST Theatre), One More Time (Tristan Bates Theatre) and The Thing On the Doorstep: Asenath’s Tale (Etcetera Theatre).
Daisy Noir (Drummer / Ensemble). This production marks her professional stage debut.
Dean Nolan plays Len Spud. His theatre credits include Brief Encounter (Birmingham Rep/Empire Cinema, Haymarket), Big Fish (The Other Palace), Fiddler on the Roof, Conquest of the South Pole, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Liverpool Everyman), The Oresteia, Measure For Measure, ‘Tis A Pity She’s A Whore, The Knight Of The Burning Pestle (Shakespeare's Globe), The Winter’s Tale (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and Steptoe and Son (UK tour). His film credits include Pan and London Road.
Sophia Nomvete plays Bobs Mum (Gwen). Her theatre credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Wizard of Oz (Sheffield Theatres), Miss Littlewood, Vice Versa (RSC), Wind in the Willows the Musical (Theatre Royal Plymouth/ The Lowry/Mayflower Theatre), Noises Off (Nottingham Playhouse/Northern Stage/Nuffield Southampton Theatres), The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (Birmingham Rep), The Heresy of Love, As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe), Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Exchange Theatre), Tuxedo Junction (The Watermill Theatre), The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory), The Pyjama Game (Chichester Festival Theatre), Ragtime and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Antony and Cleopatra (Nuffield Southampton Theatre), Grimm Tales (Library Theatre), England People Very Nice (National Theatre), Our House (Cambridge Theatre), The Drowsy Chaperone (The Gatehouse), Footloose (Novello Theatre) and Fame (UK tour).
Luke Sheppard directs. His credits include In The Heights (Southwark Playhouse/ King Cross Theatre – winner of 3 Olivier Awards), Murder for Two (The Other Palace / UK tour), Spring Awakening (Hope Mill, Manchester), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Age 13 ¾ (Menier Chocolate Factory / Leicester Curve), Working, Casa Valentina (Southwark Playhouse), Jersey Boys (international tour), Oliver! (The Watermill Theatre), Peter and the Starcatcher (Theatre Royal Northampton), Night Must Fall (Salisbury Playhouse) and Stig of the Dump (Arts Theatre).