Elton John Debuts Billy Song at Royal Variety GalaDate: 13 December 2004
Five months before Billy Elliot - The Musical’s opening at the West End Victoria Palace theatre, pop legend Elton John, who’s written the stage show’s original score, will this week premiere one of its new songs to the public. As part of the Royal Variety Performance at the London Coliseum tomorrow night (14 December 2004), John will perform the “Electricity”, one of 14 new songs John has written for the stage show.
John will be joined on stage by the three boys chosen from over 3,000 hopefuls to play the title role of the Northern miner’s son whose love of ballet that leads him from secret lessons to a place at the Royal Ballet School. They are: James Lomas (14 years old), George Maguire (13) and Liam Mower (12), who has himself recently won a scholarship to the Royal Ballet School. “Electricity” is the song used by Billy in reply to the question “what does it feel like when you’re dancing?” at the RBS audition.
Performances of Billy Elliot - The Musical begin at the Victoria Palace on 24 March 2005. In what is believed to be a first for the West End, during the first five weeks, from 24 March to 30 April, previews will be staggered, running on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays only. The conventional eight shows per week will commence from 2 May, ahead of the 11 May press performance.
The stage adaptation reunites the creative team behind the award-winning 2000 Brit flick: director Stephen Daldry, writer Lee Hall and choreographer Peter Darling. It's designed by Ian MacNeil, with costumes by Sue Blane and musical supervision by Martin Koch, and produced by Working Title and Old Vic Productions plc.
Other theatre-related artists due to participate in this year’s Royal Variety Performance, attended by HRH The Prince of Wales, include: Denise Van Outen, Liza Minnelli, Shane Richie, Ennio Marchetto and company members from current West End hits Round the Horne…Revisited and The Producers.
The 2004 Royal Variety Performance will be broadcast on BBC1 on Wednesday 15 December 2004 at 8.00pm.
- by Terri Paddock