Set against the North-eastern mining strikes of the 1980s, the musical recounts the tale of a motherless boy whose father wants him to learn to box. Instead, he discovers a love for ballet that leads him from secret lessons to a place at the Royal Ballet School.
Billy Elliot - The Musical reunites the creative team behind the award-winning film: director Stephen Daldry, writer Lee Hall and choreographer Peter Darling as well as producer Jon Finn. It features an original score by pop singer-songwriter Elton John, with lyrics by Hall. It's designed by Ian MacNeil, with costumes by Sue Blane and musical supervision by Martin Koch. It’s produced by Working Title and Old Vic Productions plc.
James Lomas (15), George Maguire (14) and Liam Mower (12) – discovered after a year-long, countrywide search – make their professional stage debuts alternating in the title role. Mower (who in, true Billy style, won a place at the Royal Ballet School during preparations for the musical) took the honours at last night’s press performance. The cast also features Haydn Gwynne as dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson and Tim Healy Billy’s father and Ann Emery as Billy’s Grandma.
Some highlights from the critical acclaim so far heaped upon the premiere production follow.
- by Terri Paddock