AN absolute smash hit.

I couldn't hope to have put it better than the force of children's literature that is David Walliams.

And he loved the adaptation of his brilliant book Billionaire Boy so much that he couldn't resist leaping onto the NST City stage at curtain down to congratulate the incredible actors who brought it to life.

He wasn't the only one.

A joyous crowd, which included Hampshire Cricket chairman Rod Bransgrove, DJ and festival supremo Rob da Bank and lots of thrilled child fans of the book and their equally enraptured parents, absolutely delighted in seeing the world premiere of the musical version of the novel roll into Southampton for its first outing anywhere.

Two hours and ten minutes of gleeful performance ended with rapturous applause and a standing ovation as gold ticker tape fell from the ceiling of the stunning venue, which staff first moved into exactly a year ago.

My companions, 12-year-old George and Miranda, aged nine, loved every minute of it, especially the cheeky jokes about toilet paper that turns your bottom purple and completely inedible school lunches.

Walliams, sat just to our right, smiled, laughed and occasionally bopped along to the catchy tunes penned by song writing duo Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler, previously responsible for hits from Kylie, Girls Aloud and Sugababes.

This is the comical tale of Joe Spud and his father Len, who made his fortune from inventing the loo roll Bum Fresh. Joe just wants to be ordinary, but his Dad has other ideas, paying off everyone from the ancient Harley Davidson loving headmaster to the love of his 12-year-old son's life. With the help of his new best friend Bob and Bob's mum, Joe navigates his way through school bullies and dangerously inedible canteen food to show that money doesn't buy happiness.

In a quite brilliant cast of eight, plus talented on stage musicians, the larger than life Dean Nolan stands out in the dual role of overtly ostentatious Len and the dastardly dinner lady who can't resist a touch of plastic surgery as she splashes her newfound cash.

There's also plenty of fun from Avita Jay as corner shop owner turned confidante Raj and gold digger Sapphire.

Billionaire Boy is a glorious romp with superb staging and colourful characters leaping from every orifice.

With this stunning show, which is very much in the Matilda mould, I have every confidence David Walliams will be right again.

This is an absolute smash hit in the making and the perfect way to end NST City's first year in spectacular style.

Billionaire Boy runs until January 6.