A West End venue still hasn’t been named for the upcoming musical stage adaptation of Billy Elliot (See The Goss, 16 Apr 2004), but dates at least appear to be firming up. The show is now expected to open out-of-town in December 2004 ahead of a West End transfer in spring 2005. Theatre Royal Newcastle has previously been tipped as an ideal starting point for the story, set during 1984 miners' strikes that gripped the North East (See The Goss, 3 Nov 2003). Producers have held several open auditions in Newcastle to find the right 11-14 year old Geordie boys to play the ballet-mad Billy and his best friend Michael. The stage version reunites the theatre veterans behind the film - director Stephen Daldry, writer Lee Hall and choreographer Peter Darling - with Elton John adding original music to the mix.