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Billy Elliot the Musical

Billy Elliot
The Musical
West End Poster
Music Elton John
Lyrics Lee Hall
Book Lee Hall
Basis 2000 Film Billy Elliot
Productions 2005 West End
2007 Sydney
2008 Broadway
2008 Melbourne
2010 US National Tour
2010 International productions
2010 2nd National Tour
2016 UK & Ireland Tour
Awards Olivier Award for Best New Musical
Tony Award for Best Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical

Billy Elliot the Musical is a musical based on the 2000 film Billy Elliot. The music is by Elton John, and the book and lyrics are by Lee Hall, who wrote the film's screenplay. The plot revolves around motherless Billy, who trades boxing gloves for ballet shoes. The story of his personal struggle and fulfillment are balanced against a counter-story of family and community strife caused by the UK miners' strike (1984–1985) in County Durham, in North Eastern England. Hall's screenplay was inspired in part by A. J. Cronin's 1935 novel about a miners' strike, The Stars Look Down, to which the musical's opening song pays homage.[1]

The musical premiered in London's West End in 2005 and was nominated for nine Laurence Olivier Awards, winning four, including Best New Musical. The production is still running strongly, and its success led to productions in Australia, on Broadway and elsewhere. In New York, it won ten Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk Awards, including, in each case, Best Musical. It has also won numerous awards in Australia including a record-tying seven Helpmann Awards.

A live recording of the musical was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 24 November 2014 in the United Kingdom.


  • Productions 1
    • Original London production 1.1
      • Billy Elliot the Musical Live 1.1.1
      • Billy Youth Theatre 1.1.2
    • Original Australian production 1.2
    • Original Broadway production 1.3
    • Touring productions 1.4
      • First National Tour 1.4.1
        • Chicago (2010)
        • Toronto (2011)
      • Second National Tour 1.4.2
    • Other productions 1.5
  • Synopsis 2
    • Act I 2.1
    • Act II 2.2
  • Musical numbers 3
  • Original cast recording 4
    • Instrumentation 4.1
  • Original casts 5
  • Awards and nominations 6
    • Original London production 6.1
    • Original Broadway production 6.2
    • Original Australian Production 6.3
    • Original Korean Production 6.4
    • Original Dutch Production 6.5
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Original London production

Five years of West End Billys performing in the 5th Birthday Show on 31 March 2010

It was planned that the musical would have its premiere at the Tyne Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. This was abandoned due to the financial problems of the Tyne Theatre's operator and the production's growing budget.[2]

The musical premiered in the Haydn Gwynne as Mrs. Wilkinson and Tim Healy as Billy's father. The sets were designed by Ian MacNeil, the costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting was by Rick Fisher, and sound by Paul Arditti. The original cast album was released on 10 January 2006.

The musical received favourable reviews: the Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer called it "the greatest British musical I have ever seen", and The Daily Mail thought it "a theatrical masterpiece".[5]

Billy Elliot the Musical won four

External links

  1. ^ "Bill and Lee’s excellent adventures" The Scotsman (Edinburgh), 2 January 2002
  2. ^ Lathan, Peter (29 July 2004). "Billy Elliot"No Newcastle Premiere for .  
  3. ^ "Tickets - Billy Elliot The Musical (Official London Site)". Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Shoard, Catherine."All-singing, all-dancing, all-smoking (Interview with Haydn Gwynne)"The Telegraph, 11 April 2005
  5. ^ Official Website - West End press reviews
  6. ^ a b "Billy Elliot - The Musical to open at the Imperial Theatre on 16 Oct". New York Theatre Guide, 15 March 2008
  7. ^, checked 22 June 13
  8. ^ "Margaret Thatcher death song goes ahead in Billy Elliott musical". BBC News. 9 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "West End audience votes to keep ironic 'Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher' in show". USA Today. 9 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "Nat Sweeney is the 41st boy to play the role of Billy Elliot in London and 100th worldwide". LondonTheatre1. 3 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Billy Elliot The Musical to Be Screened Live to Cinemas in U.K. and Around the World". Playbill. 
  12. ^ "Original Billy returns for one-off performance!". Best of Theatre. 31 July 2014. 
  13. ^ "Billy Elliot live screening tops UK cinema box office". BBC News. 
  14. ^ Billy Elliot the Musical Live" Sets November DVD Release Date""". Playbill. 
  15. ^ "School Rates - Billy Elliot The Musical (Official London Site)". Billy Elliot The Musical (Official London Site). 
  16. ^ Hernandez, Ernio.playbill article, 13 December 2007, "Elton John and Lee Hall Take a Bow at Billy Elliot's Australian Opening Dec. 13", 13 December 2007
  17. ^ "Review of the Sydney production"Variety (requires registration)
  18. ^ "2008 Helpmann Awards Winners", 28 July 2008
  19. ^ "Billy Elliot to dance into Melbourne, Australia"
  20. ^ Griffin, Michelle, "It's goodbye Billy, hello Her Majesty's rebuild", The Age (Melbourne, Australia), 15 June 2009, NEWS, p. 1
  21. ^ "Billy Elliot set for Broadway - but will Americans understand it?". Mail Online. 
  22. ^ Billy Elliot' announces its New York cast"'".  
  23. ^ a b "How Billy Elliot Conquered Broadway", The Telegraph.
  24. ^ Billy Elliot Broadway website
  25. ^ Billy Elliot official website - Press Reviews/
  26. ^ a b Gans, Andrew (5 May 2009). Earns 15 Nominations"Billy Elliot"Nominations for 2009 Tony Awards Announced; . Retrieved 5 May 2009. 
  27. ^ Healy, Patrick (31 January 2010). "On New, Spare Broadway, Less Scenery to Chew". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  28. ^ BWW News Desk. "BILLY ELLIOT to Close on Broadway January 8, 2012". 
  29. ^ BWW News Desk. BILLY ELLIOT To Launch National Tour In Chicago At The Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre In March 2010",, 21 July 2009
  30. ^ Jones, Chris. to land in Chicago for a long dance,"Billy Elliot" Chicago Tribune, 21 July 2009
  31. ^ Gans, Andrew. "'Billy Elliot' Dances Into Chicago March 18"., 18 March 2010
  32. ^ Gans, Andrew."Chicago Production of Billy Elliot Closes Nov. 28; Toronto Is Next Stop", 28 November 2010
  33. ^ Jones, Chris."'Billy Elliot' is closing early in Chicago" Chicago, 15 October 2010
  34. ^ "Billy Elliot the Musical" Retrieved 5 August 2010
  35. ^ "'Billy Elliot'",
  36. ^ Gans, Andrew. "'Billy Elliot' to Make Canadian Premiere in February 2011", 16 February 2010
  37. ^ Cushman, Robert."Billy Elliot goes through the well-choregraphed motions", 2 March 2011
  38. ^ "Billy Elliot the Musical",, November 2010
  39. ^ "Tony Winner Faith Prince to Star in Billy Elliot's Second National Tour; Casting Complete", 25 August 2010
  40. ^ "BWW Reviews: Billy Dances But BILLY ELLIOT Stumbles", 12 December 2012
  41. ^
  42. ^ "'"Cena Musical > Bastidores > Coletiva do musical 'Billy Elliot. 
  43. ^ "Billy Elliot the Musical Has Official Opening in South Korea". 14 August 2010. 
  44. ^ "Billy Elliot the Musical: Korea Unveiled at Press Conference". 4 August 2010. 
  45. ^ The Korea Herald. "Events". 
  46. ^ "Billy Elliot the Musical Will Launch The Muny's 2014 Summer Season in St. Louis; Performance Dates Announced". Playbill. 
  47. ^ "Emily Skinner, Daniel Oreskes and More to Star in Billy Elliot at the Muny". Playbill. 
  48. ^ "MTI Acquires BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL for Licensing – Official Press Release". Musical Theater News, Production Tips, New Musicals and More on The MTI Marquee Blog. 
  49. ^ "Jubler for drømmerollen som Billy Elliot". Aftenposten. 
  50. ^ "Billy Elliot – for første gang som non-replica-versjon". SceneKvelder. 
  51. ^ "UK News: Re-scheduled Previews and Casting for Billy Elliot", 16 March 2005
  52. ^ Stephen Daldry (Theatre show Director) (28 October 2014). Billy Elliot Live (Live Theatre Event). London, UK: Universal Pictures. 
  53. ^ "Leon Cooke Cast as New 'Billy Elliot' in London Hit", 14 September 2005
  54. ^ Ansdell, Caroline."Billy Extends at Victoria Palace with Cast Changes", 12 December 2005
  55. ^ a b "US actor plays stage 'Billy Elliot'", 23 February 2006
  56. ^ "New Billy Elliott Takes the Stage in London", 20 February 2007
  57. ^ Rock, Malcolm and Paddock, Terri."Cast: Two Christines, Two Billys & Rawle Aspects", 21 May 2007
  58. ^ New Billy - Oliver Taylor Retrieved 6 September 2011
  59. ^ "London Gets Its First Home Grown Billy" Retrieved 6 September 2011
  60. ^ "Who he? Billy Elliott star Tom Holland". 
  61. ^ "Additions to Billy Elliot cast" Retrieved 6 September 2011
  62. ^ "Megan Jossa listing" Retrieved 6 September 2011
  63. ^ "Jackie Clune to Replace Sally Dexter in 'Billy Elliot' in June" Retrieved 6 September 2011
  64. ^ "Joanna Riding to join cast of 'Billy Elliot'", 28 November 2008
  65. ^ "Michael Dameski and Jake Evan Schwencke are Billy Elliot's Newest Billy and Michael". 28 December 2009. 
  66. ^ "Elliot musical leads stage awards" BBC News. Retrieved 28 February 2006
  67. ^ "2007". 
  68. ^
  69. ^ "Billy Elliot Rules Tonys". Retrieved 8 June 2009. 
  70. ^ "Billy Elliot: The Musical - Awards". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  71. ^ "Outer Critics Circle - Awards for 2008–2009". Retrieved 10 May 2013. 
  72. ^ "30th Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved 31 March 2011. 
  73. ^ "De nominaties voor de Musical Awards 2015". 


See also

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2014 (show in 2015) John Kraaijkamp Musical Award[73] Best Big Musical Production Won
Best Actor in Leading Role Bas Heerkens Nominated
Best Actress in Leading Role Pia Douwes Nominated
Best Actor in Supporting Role Dennis Willekens Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Young Performer Carlos Puts Won
Outstanding Performance by a Young Performer Noah de Vos Nominated
Best Book Martine Bijl (translation) Won
Best Orchestrations Martin Koch Nominated
Best Choreography Peter Darling Nominated
Best Set Design Ian MacNeil Nominated

Original Dutch Production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2010 Korean Musical Awards Best Foreign Musical Won
Best New Actor Se-Yong Kim, Ji-Myung Lee, Jin-ho Jung and Sunu Lim Won
Best Supporting Actress Young-Joo Chung Won

Original Korean Production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2008 Helpmanns Best Musical Won
Best Male Actor in a Musical Rhys Kowsakowski, Rarmian Newton, Nick Twiney and Lochlan Denholm Won
Best Female Actor in a Musical Genevieve Lemon Won
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical Linal Haft Nominated
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical Lola Nixon Nominated
Best Direction of a Musical Stephen Daldry Won
Best Choreography in a Musical Peter Darling Won
Best Scenic Design Ian MacNeil Nominated
Best Lighting Design Rick Fisher Won
Best Music Direction Stephen Amos Won
Best Sound Design Paul Arditti Nominated
2007 Sydney Theatre Awards Best Production of a Musical Won
Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical Rhys Kowsakowski, Rarmian Newton, Nick Twiney and Lochlan Denholm Won
Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical Genevieve Lemon Won
2008 Green Room Awards Best Production Music Theatre Won
Best Male Artist in a Leading Role Rhys Kowsakowski, Dayton Tavares, Michael Dameski, Joshua Denyer and Joshua Weiss Gates Won
Best Male Artist in a Leading Role Richard Piper Nominated
Best Female Artist in a Leading Role Genevieve Lemon Won
Best Male Featured Male Artist Thomas Doherty, Landen Hale-Brown, Joel Slater and Liam Dodds Won
Best Featured Male Artist Mike Smith Nominated
Best Direction Music Theatre Stephen Daldry Won
Best Choreography in a Musical Peter Darling Won
Best Lighting and/or Sound Rick Fisher Nominated
Best Music Direction Stephen Amos Nominated
Best Costume and/or Set Design Nicky Gillibrand Nominated
Best Costume and/or Set Design Ian MacNeil Nominated

Original Australian Production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2009 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical Won
Outstanding Book of a Musical Lee Hall Won
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Gregory Jbara Won
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Haydn Gwynne Won
Outstanding Director of a Musical Stephen Daldry Won
Outstanding Choreography Peter Darling Won
Outstanding Orchestrations Martin Koch Won
Outstanding Music Elton John Won
Outstanding Lighting Design Rick Fisher Won
Outstanding Sound Design Paul Arditti Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Broadway Musical Won
Outstanding New Score Won
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Gregory Jbara Won
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Haydn Gwynne Won
Carole Shelley Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical Stephen Daldry Won
Outstanding Choreography Peter Darling Won
Outstanding Costume Design Nicky Gillibrand Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design Rick Fisher Won
Outstanding Set Design Ian MacNeil Nominated
Special Achievement Award David Álvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish Honored
Theatre World Award David Álvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish Won
Tony Award Best Musical Won
Best Book of a Musical Lee Hall Won
Best Original Score Lee Hall and Elton John Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical David Álvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish Won
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical David Bologna Nominated
Gregory Jbara Won
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Haydn Gwynne Nominated
Carole Shelley Nominated
Best Direction of a Musical Stephen Daldry Won
Best Choreography Peter Darling Won
Best Orchestrations Martin Koch Won
Best Scenic Design Ian MacNeil Won
Best Costume Design Nicky Gillibrand Nominated
Best Lighting Design Rick Fisher Won
Best Sound Design Paul Arditti Won
Young Artist Award Outstanding Broadway Musial Ensemble David Álvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish, David Bologna, Frank Dolce and Erin Whyland Honored

Original Broadway production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2006 Laurence Olivier Awards Best New Musical Won
Best Actor in a Musical Liam Mower Won
Best Actress in a Musical Haydn Gwynne Nominated
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Tim Healy Nominated
Best Director Stephen Daldry Nominated
Best Theatre Choreographer Peter Darling Won
Best Set Design Ian MacNeil Nominated
Best Lighting Design Rick Fisher Nominated
Best Sound Design Paul Arditti Won
2013 Audience Award for Most Popular Show Won

Original London production

The West End production was nominated for nine 2006 [71] The six juvenile principals were recognized with an honorary Young Artist Award as Outstanding Broadway Musial Ensemble.[72]

Billy Elliot Sign in West End

Awards and nominations

Notable Australian replacements
Notable Broadway replacements
Notable West End replacements
Character Original London Cast[51] Original Broadway Cast Original Australian Cast Billy Elliot Live Cast[52]
Billy Elliot Liam Mower
James Lomas
George Maguire
Kiril Kulish
David Álvarez
Trent Kowalik
Rhys Kosakowski
Lochlan Denholm
Rarmian Newton
Nick Twiney
Elliott Hanna
Mrs. Wilkinson Haydn Gwynne Genevieve Lemon Ruthie Henshall
Dad Tim Healy Gregory Jbara Richard Piper Deka Walmsley
Tony Joe Caffrey Santino Fontana Justin Smith Chris Grahamson
Grandma Ann Emery Carole Shelley Lola Nixon Ann Emery
Mr. Braithwaite Steve Elias Thommie Retter John Xintavelonis David Muscat
George Trevor Fox Joel Hatch Linal Haft Howard Crossley
Mum Stephanie Putson Leah Hocking Samantha Morley Claudia Bradley
Older Billy Issac James Stephen Hanna Joshua Horner Liam Mower
Michael Ryan Longbottom
Ashley Luke Lloyd
Brad Kavanagh
David Bologna
Frank Dolce
Thomas Doherty
Landen Hale-Brown
Scott Eveleigh
Joel Slater
Zach Atkinson
Debbie Lucy Stephenson
Emma Hudson
Brooke Havana Bailey
Erin Whyland Shannon Joliff
Fiona Booker
Kelsi Boyden
Taylor-Rose Campanella
Demi Lee

The principal original cast of the West End, Broadway and Australian productions:

Original casts

The instrumentation for Billy Elliot requires a moderately-sized pit orchestra of seventeen musicians. The Broadway orchestra required two keyboards, bass, drums, percussion, guitar, four woodwind players, three trumpets, two horns, and two trombones. Almost all players double on two or more instruments. The keyboards double on synthesizer, guitar on Variax, and bass with fretless bass. The trumpets double on cornet and flugelhorn while the second trumpet part also doubles on E-flat cornet. The trombones double on euphonium. The horns also double on tenor horn. The woodwind doublings vary depending the venue. In the original West End production there was a single woodwind player that doubled on piccolo, flute, clarinet tenor and alto sax. The Broadway production had four woodwind players. The first doubled on piccolo, flute, clarinet, and alto sax. The second on flute, clarinet, and alto sax. The third on clarinet and soprano and tenor sax. The fourth on clarinet, bass clarinet, and tenor sax. The Chicago production had the same doublings from Broadway but omitted the fourth woodwind part. The tour version has two woodwind players. The first doubles on flute and soprano and tenor sax, the second on clarinet and alto sax.


The original London cast recording was released on CD in 2005. This 75 minute CD features all the musical numbers listed above, excluding the instrumental Swan Lake track. A two disc 'Special Edition' version was later released, however the second CD only totals 9 minutes and contains versions of 'The Letter', 'Electricity' and 'Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher' performed by Elton John. Despite the small amount of additional material on the special edition, it currently retails at up to four times the cost of the original release and is the only version sold by the theatre in London and online through the official website.

Original cast recording

Musical numbers

The entire cast comes out on stage and calls Billy back to celebrate the bright future ahead of him ("Finale").

Billy packs his things for the trip to the school and says goodbye to the soon to be unemployed miners who are returning unhappily to work ("Once We Were Kings"). Billy says goodbye to his dead mother, who often visits him in his imagination ("Dear Billy (Billy's Reply)"). Billy breaks the fourth wall and begins to walk down the center aisle before Michael stops him to say goodbye. Billy drops his suitcase and runs onto the stage to give Michael a kiss on the cheek. Billy then walks back off stage, retrieves his suitcase and walks out to his future alone.

Back in Durham, the Elliots resume life, but times are tough and the miners are running a soup kitchen to ensure everyone is fed. Eventually, Billy receives a letter from the school and, overwhelmed and fearful, knowing that it heralds the end of the life he has known, informs his family that he wasn't accepted. Tony retrieves the letter from the waste bin and discovers that his brother was accepted. At the same time, the miners' union has caved in; they lost the strike. Billy visits Mrs. Wilkinson at the dance class to thank her for everything she did to help him. Debbie is sad that Billy will be leaving.

Billy and his father arrive at the Royal Ballet School for the audition. While Mr. Elliot waits outside, an upper-crust Londoner highlights the contrast between the Elliots and the families of the other applicants. Mr. Elliot meets a dancer with a thick Northern accent. The dancer confesses that his father does not support his ballet career. He sharply advises Mr. Elliot to "get behind" his boy. Billy nervously finishes the audition with a sinking feeling that he did not do well. As he packs his gear, he lets that emotion overwhelm him and he punches another dancer who was trying to comfort him. The audition committee reminds Billy of the strict standards of the school. They have received an enthusiastic letter from Mrs. Wilkinson explaining Billy's background and situation, and they ask him to describe what it feels like when he dances. Billy responds with a heartfelt declaration of his passion ("Electricity").

Mr. Elliot decides the only way to help Billy is to return to work. When Tony sees his father cross the picket line, he becomes infuriated and the two argue over what is more important: unity of the miners or helping Billy achieve his dream ("He Could Be A Star"). The argument eventually comes to blows and Billy is hit accidentally. One of the miners chastises them for fighting and says that the important thing is looking after the child. One by one, the miners give money to help pay for the trip to the audition, but Billy still does not have enough for the bus fare to London. A strike-breaker arrives and offers him hundreds of pounds. An enraged Tony attempts to shun his donation, but no one else speaks up in his support. Now drained of hope, Tony dismally ponders whether there's a point for anything anymore, and runs off.

Michael departs, but leaves a music player running. Billy feels like dancing for the first time since the day of the aborted audition and dances while dreaming of being a grown-up dancer ("Swan Lake"). Unknown to Billy, his father arrives and watches him dance. Overcome with emotion, his father goes to Mrs. Wilkinson’s house to discuss Billy’s prospects as a dancer. She confirms Billy's talent, but is not sure whether or not he would get into the Royal Ballet School. Mrs. Wilkinson offers to help pay for the trip to London for the audition, but Mr. Elliot refuses. He leaves questioning his working-class pride and the future mining has for his boys.

Six months later at the miner's annual Christmas show, the children put on a show disparaging Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who is seen as the antagonist by the coal miners ("Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher"). Billy's father gets drunk and sings an old folk song that elicits memories of his deceased wife and the usually stoic man leaves in tears ("Deep Into the Ground"). Left alone with Billy in the Community Centre, Michael reveals he has feelings for him, but Billy explains that the fact that he likes ballet does not mean that he is gay. Michael gives him a kiss on the cheek. Michael tries to get Billy to show him some dancing, but Billy is sad and just tells him to leave.

Act II

When the day of the Royal Ballet School audition comes, police are coming through the village and Tony has been injured by the police. Because Billy had not come to the miner's hall to get picked up by Mrs. Wilkinson for the audition, she goes to the Elliot home. There, Billy's family and some members of the community have gathered. She is forced to reveal that she has been teaching Billy ballet in preparation for this very day. This news upsets Billy’s father and Tony, who gets in an argument with Mrs. Wilkinson. Tony tries to force Billy to dance on the table in front of everyone. The police approach and, as everyone escapes, Billy calls out to his father saying that his mother would have let him dance, but his father refuses to accept that, saying that, "Your Mam's dead!". Billy goes into a rage ("Angry Dance"), and for nearly a year, stays away from anything related to ballet.

Billy arrives for his first private ballet lesson bringing with him things to inspire a special dance for the audition ("Dear Billy (Mum's Letter)"). He begins learning from and bonding with Mrs. Wilkinson while he develops an impressive routine for his audition ("Born to Boogie"). Mrs. Wilkinson's daughter Debbie tries to discourage Billy because she has a crush on him. Meanwhile, Billy's father and brother Tony are engaged in daily battles with riot police that often turn bloody. They struggle to support the family with very little in strike and union pay, a difficult task that goes on for nearly a year.

Eventually, Mr. Elliot discovers Billy in the ballet class and forbids him from attending the lessons. Mrs. Wilkinson, who recognizes Billy's talent, privately suggests that he should audition for the Royal Ballet School in London. To prepare for the audition, she offers free private lessons. Billy is not sure what he wants to do so he visits his best friend Michael for advice. He finds Michael wearing a dress. He persuades Billy to have fun with him by dressing up in woman's clothing and disdaining the restrictive inhibitions of their working class community ("Expressing Yourself").

While his brother, father, and neighbours are on strike and clash with riot police, Billy continues to take dance lessons, keeping it a secret from his family ("Solidarity"). During the number, the violent reality of the strike is interspersed with the peaceful practise of ballet.

In County Durham, the 1984-85 coal miners' strike is just beginning ("The Stars Look Down"). Motherless eleven-year-old Billy is required to stay behind after his boxing class and finds his way into a ballet class run by Mrs. Wilkinson. He is the only boy, but becomes attracted to the grace of the dance ("Shine"). The secret is at first easily kept, as the only person home at the time is his grandmother. She reveals her abusive relationship with her dead husband and that she too loved to dance, which made everything all right ("Grandma's Song").

Act I


On 5 May 2015, Billy Elliot premiered in Italy at Il Sistina in Rome. Billy will be alternately played by Alessandro Frola and Simone Romualdi. Among the cast are actress Sabrina Marciano as Mrs. Wilkinson, Luca Biagini as Billy's father, and Donato Altomare as Tony.

In March 2015, Billy Elliot premiered in Estonia, Tallinn, at the Nordea Concert Hall. Among the cast are an actress Kaire Vilgats as Mrs. Wilkinson and Mait Malmsten as Billy's father.

On 22 January 2015, Billy Elliot premiered in Denmark at Det Ny Teater in Copenhagen. Billy will be alternately played by Oscar Dietz, Carl-Emil Lohmann and Nicolas Stefan Anker Markovic. Among the cast are actress Julie Steincke as Mrs. Wilkinson, Kristian Boland as Billy's father, and Sebastian Harris as Tony.

On 30 November 2014, Billy Elliot premiered in the Netherlands at the AFAS Circustheater in The Hague (Scheveningen) after previews starting on 6 November. Billy will be alternately played by Tydo Korver, Stijn van der Plas, Svenno van Kleij, Carlos Puts, Jillis Roshanali and Roan Pronk. Among the cast are Dutch musical actress Pia Douwes as Mrs. Wilkinson, Bas Heerkens as Billy's father, and Reinier Demeijer as Tony. This production is produced by the original English producers (Universal Stage Productions, Working Title Films, Old Vic Productions) and by Joop van den Ende Theaterproducties/Stage Entertainment.

In December 2013, the Norwegian production company SceneKvelder announced that it would stage their own production of the show at the Folketeatret in Oslo. This production opened on 18 September 2014 for a limited run and was the first international non-replica production to open.[49][50] Kevin Haugan played the title role with Hilde Lyrån as Mrs. Wilkinson, Nils Ole Oftebro as Billy's dad and Benjamin Helstad as Tony.

The first regional production of the show opened on 16 June 2014 at The Muny in St. Louis, Missouri for a week-long run.[46] Included among the cast were Tade Biesinger as Billy, Emily Skinner as Mrs. Wilkinson, Daniel Oreskes as Dad, and Patti Perkins as Grandma, all reprising their roles from the original Broadway production.[47] On 25 October 2013, the Ogunquit Playhouse announced that it would stage their own production which ran from 25 June – 26 July 2014.[48] Other regional productions have also been announced.

The first non-English language production of the musical opened in Seoul on 10 August 2010 in previews and officially on 14 August at the LG Arts Center. It originally starred Jin-Ho Jung, Ji-Myeong Lee, Sunu Lim, and Se-Yong Kim in the title role of Billy with Junhyung Kim later joining the cast in January 2011.[43][44] Supporting cast included Young-joo Chung as Mrs. Wilkinson, Won-hee Cho as Billy's father, and Jae-hyung Lim as Tony. This production closed on 27 February 2011.[45]

Other productions

After the tour's hiatus, it transferred to Brazil for a limited engagement and opened on 2 August 2013 at the Credicard Hall in São Paulo. It was the first time the tour played in a Latin American country and was the first musical to take its international tour to Brazil since Cats in 2006.[41] The tour played its final performance on 18 August with Ty Forhan, Drew Minard and Mitchell Tobin as the last to share the title role.[42]

While the Second National Tour received much praise from audiences and critics, gave the show a rare mixed review, calling Stephen Daldry's direction "muddy and over-complicated," Elton John's music "dull," and Ian MacNeil's set "hideous, over-designed, and unnecessarily complex."[40]

The Second National Tour went on hiatus in August 2011. It re-opened in November of the same year under a new production company, and with previous cast members from the second national tour as well as the Toronto cast. Notable cast replacement included Ben Cook as Billy. The tour went on hiatus after playing its final performance in North America at Hartford, Connecticut on 23 June 2013, before proceeding to São Paulo, Brazil.

[39] The title role was shared by Giuseppe Bausilio, Michael Dameski, Kylend Hetherington, Lex Ishimoto, and Daniel Russell. The cast also included

A second tour opened at the Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, North Carolina on 30 October 2010. Although this is the first production of the musical to tour the United States and Canada in a "touring" manner, this is still considered to be the Second National Tour.[38]

Second National Tour

The show was extended, due to packed audiences and seemingly undying interest, for an additional 3 months.

The show received mostly glowing reviews. The most critical review was one published in the National Post: "The signal achievement of Billy Elliot The Musical is to be even phonier than the movie it’s based on."[37]

The Canadian premiere of the show opened on 1 February 2011 at the Canon Theatre in Toronto, Canada. It was originally scheduled for 28 January 2011.[34][35][36]

Toronto (2011)

The production had been slated to run through July 2010 but was extended to the middle of January 2011, by popular demand. By September, however, ticket sales were growing bleak. According to the Chicago Tribune, "Weekday attendance had been especially poor in recent weeks, despite heavily discounted tickets. Audience members at the Oriental Theatre in the Loop had reported an almost-empty balcony at some shows, and weekday attendance had been as low as 900 or so people. December sales are typically strong, so the decision to close then indicated that things were not expected to pick up." The show closed "early" in November 2010.[33]

The musical opened in Chicago on 18 March 2010 in previews, officially on 11 April, at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre for an extended run. This is the start of the North American multi-city tour.[29] According to producer Eric Fellner, however, the musical "will be here until such time as Chicago says 'go away'. ... We can only do one production at once," and other North American cities will have to wait until the Chicago production runs its course.[30] Emily Skinner plays Mrs. Wilkinson, and the cast featured Tommy Batchelor, Giuseppe Bausilio, Cesar Corrales and J.P. Viernes alternating as Billy.[31] The production closed early on 28 November 2010 and transferred to Toronto. The show ran for 37 weeks and 288 performances.[32]

Cesar Corrales in a scene from the Chicago production.
Chicago (2010)

Although considered to be the First National Tour, the show did not tour as a usual touring production would, with longer engagements in Chicago and Toronto.

First National Tour

Touring productions

The production received rave reviews:[23] Time called it a "triumph"; critic Liz Smith termed it "breathtakingly brilliant" and "absolutely, unequivocally awesome"; the Daily News said it was "so exhilarating that at times you feel like leaping";[24] the New York Post said it was "almost like being in love" and termed it "amusing, perfect and passionate" and "the best show you will ever see"; and the Los Angeles Times called it a "global theatrical phenomenon".[25] It has also been very financially successful, with $20 million taken in advance ticket sales.[23] The production received fifteen Tony Award nominations, tying with The Producers for the most nominations ever received by a Broadway show,[26] and winning ten. The original three boys in the lead role jointly won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. The production sold strongly and recouped its original investment of $18 million in 14 months.[27] The Broadway production closed on 8 January 2012 following 40 previews and 1,312 regular performances.[28]

The Broadway production opened at the Imperial Theatre on 1 October 2008 in previews, and officially on 13 November 2008.[21] The London production's creative team directed and designed the Broadway production.[6] The title role was rotated among three young actors, David Álvarez, Kiril Kulish, Trent Kowalik, the last of whom had previously played the role in London.[22] The supporting cast included Haydn Gwynne, reprising her role of Mrs. Wilkinson from the London production, and Gregory Jbara as Billy's father.

Original Broadway production

The Sydney production transferred to Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre, opening on 13 December 2008.[19] The Melbourne production closed on 14 June 2009 after a successful run.[20]

The musical opened at Sydney's Capitol Theatre on 13 November 2007, directed by Daldry in association with Julian Webber, and choreographed by Darling.[16] Rhys Kosakowski, Lochlan Denholm, Rarmian Newton, and Nick Twiney alternated in the title role. The production earned good notices, and in January 2008 it won Best Musical at the 2008 Sydney Theatre Awards.[17] The show also won seven Helpmann Awards, including the awards for Best Musical, Best Direction, Best Choreography, Best Actress (Genevieve Lemon as Mrs. Wilkinson) and Best Actor, awarded jointly to the four boys who played Billy Elliot.[18] The production concluded in Sydney on 9 November 2008 with all eight Sydney Billys in the finale.

Original Australian production

Billy Youth Theatre[15] is a countrywide scheme as part of which participating schools and youth groups will be given the opportunity to stage their own production of this internationally award-winning show. Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, together with Martin Koch (Musical Supervision and Orchestrations), have adapted their original script and orchestrations to produce a shortened version of the show exclusively for groups staging local productions as part of Billy Youth Theatre.

Billy Youth Theatre

In June 2014, it was announced that the musical would be screened and broadcast live to cinemas around the UK and the world.[11] On 28 September, the matinee of the musical was broadcast as it was being filmed at the Victoria Palace Theatre to cinemas around the UK and other countries with further encore screenings of that same performance on other dates. Liam Mower, one of the three actors who originated the title role, returned to play the role of Older Billy.[12] In addition, 25 past and present actors to have played the title role on the West End performed a specially-choreographed dance number at the finale. The live broadcast topped the UK and Ireland box office the weekend it was broadcast, a first for an event cinema release, beating The Equalizer with £1.9m.[13] This performance was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 24 November 2014 in the United Kingdom. This cast includes Elliott Hanna in the title role with Ruthie Henshall as Mrs. Wilkinson, Deka Walmsley as Billy’s dad, Chris Grahamson as Tony and Ann Emery as Grandma.[14] Further cast included Claudia Bradley as Dead Mam, Howard Crossley as George, David Muscatt as Mr Braithwaite, Alan Mehdizadeh as Big Davey, Liam Mower as Older Billy and David Stoller as Posh Dad.

Billy Elliot the Musical Live

On 3 July 2015, 12 year old Nat Sweeney from Birmingham became the forty-first actor to play the role of Billy, making him the 100th to play the role worldwide. [10]

On 8 April 2013, after it was announced that Margaret Thatcher had died at the age of 87, there was uncertainty whether the song 'Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher' would be included in the performance that day due to the lyrics including: "We all celebrate today 'cause it's one day closer to your death". Director Stephen Daldry said that after "much discussion", the audience were given the choice to decide whether the song should be performed and, with only 3 audience members voting against it, the performance went ahead as normal.[8][9]

In 2013, the show won an additional Olivier Award, the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award (voted for by theatre goers) after many years of being finalists for the award.[7]

On 12 May 2006, the three original Billys appeared together in a performance of the musical to celebrate its first anniversary. The three rotated the role during the performance and were joined at the end by Elton John. [6]

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