Leon Cooke - Billy Elliot (Principal)
James Jacob-Lomas - Billy Elliot (Principal)
James Jacob-Lomas - Billy Elliot (Principal)
George Maguire - Billy Elliot (Principal)
Liam Mower - Billy Elliot (Principal)
Haydn Gwynne - Mrs. Wilkinson (Principal)
Gillian Kirkpatrick - Mrs. Wilkinson (Alternate)
Tim Healy - Dad (Principal)
Joe Caffrey - Tony (Principal)
Ann Emery - Grandma (Principal)
Trevor Fox - George (Principal)
Steve Elias - Mr. Braithwaite (Principal)
Brooke Havana Bailey - Debbie (Principal)
Emma Hudson - Debbie (Principal)
Lucy Stephenson - Debbie (Principal)
Brad Kavanagh - Michael (Principal)
Ashley Lloyd - Michael (Principal)
Ryan Longbottom - Michael (Principal)
Joey Phillips - Michael (Principal)
Stephanie Putson - Dead Mum (Principal)
Isaac James - Billy's Older Self (Principal)
Daniel Coll - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Erica Ann Deakin - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Alex Delamare - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Damien Delaney - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Susan Fay - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Alan Forrester - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Chris Hornby - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Gillian Kirkpatrick - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Chris Lennon - Ensemble (Ensemble)
David Massey - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Michelle McAvoy - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Karl Morgan - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Daniel Page - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Steve Paget - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Lee Proud - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Mike Scott - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Phil Snowden - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Tessa Worsley - Ensemble (Ensemble)
Dean Charles Chapman - Small Boy (Child role)
John-Joe Connor - Small Boy (Child role)
Bradley White - Small Boy (Child role)
Greg Bernstein - Tall Boy (Child role)
Drew Levi Huntsman - Tall Boy (Child role)
Hugh Wyld - Tall Boy (Child role)
Mrs. Wilkinson (1st cover) - Gillian Kirkpatrick
Mrs. Wilkinson (2nd cover) - Stephanie Putson
Dad (1st cover) - Daniel Coll
Dad (2nd cover) - Alex Delamare
Tony (1st cover) - Chris Lennon
Tony (2nd cover) - Karl Morgan
Grandma (1st cover) - Tessa Worsley
Grandma (2nd cover) - Susan Fay
George (1st cover) - Phil Snowden
George (2nd cover) - Lee Proud
Mr. Braithwaite (1st cover) - Alex Delamare
Dead Mum (1st cover) - Erica Ann Deakin
Dead Mum (2nd cover) - Michelle McAvoy
When Billy Elliot the Musical opened, Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph famously described it as ‘the best British musical I have ever seen’- an assessment with which I heartily concur. But why is it so good? The story, based on the 2000 film about an 11 year old orphaned boy struggling to become a ballet dancer during the 1984 miners’ strike in County Durham, is in some ways a strange subject. How can your central character be regarded as a rebel for wanting to dance when he’s in a musical? What makes it work? It’s not that the score, composed by Elton John, sparkles with memorable tunes- in fact there’s a general absence of strong melodies to hum on your way out. But there are serviceable chorus numbers and a pleasing variety of musical styles from power ballad to folk song. There is a strong left wing, or perhaps more accurately anti-Thatcher sensibility that will certainly not be to everyone’s taste. But Lee Hall’s book and lyrics work very well indeed. The script, studded with a very large number of expletives (uttered by everyone from small children to elderly grandmas as a sort of patois) perfectly conveys the story and is incredibly well structured- perhaps surprisingly so considering how much rewriting and editing went on in previews. The characters are all well drawn and there is a perfect balance of comedy and genuine pathos. The struggles of the central character and the community from which he comes (including his family, his dance teacher and his cross-dressing best friend) are also brilliantly conveyed, a happy ending for one occurring as the others appear to heart-breakingly fail. The strong story telling also extends to the choreography of Peter Darling (one of the many survivors from the team responsible for the film version). In one memorable sequence he manages to create dance for the background characters of riot police and striking miners that overlaps with a ballet class and manages to tell us about the mounting confrontation and Billy’s developing skills compared to the ballet girls all at the same time. Throughout the piece there are various styles (regimented moves for the police, country dance-style steps for the miners and awkward looking ballet for the girls) which resolve into a tap dancing finale for everyone that ends the show on a fantastic high. And the routines provided for Billy himself are a mixture of tap, ballet and street styles that demand extraordinary abilities- towards the end of the rehearsal period it was apparently feared that no young performer would be able to pull off the role. In fact the show rests not exclusively but largely on the slender shoulders of one young man for the whole two and a half hours. In the year that Billy Elliot has been running there have been seven boys ranging in age from 13 to 16 in the title role (with a further two in final training) and each has been phenomenal. Without exception they all have tremendous energy with dancing and acting skills in spades. It seems incredible that the casting and training process, interminable as it is, could have produced such a succession of huge talents. But what’s really unbelievable is that each of them has also had that indefinable ‘it’ quality. They all naturally project a personality that drives the show- and all of them are different. Indeed the musical keys to the songs, the dance steps and therefore lighting and sound cues are adjusted for their particular strengths. However the thing that really makes this production such a success is the way all the elements are synthesised into a brilliant whole. As well as those previously mentioned there are factors such as the set design, the sound design, the musical arrangements, great performances by the whole company- all seem to fit together seamlessly. Add to this the indefinable sense of being part of something special that extends throughout the creative team, the cast and crew and even the audience (many of whom are regulars) and you have one very exceptional show. See it. (Written by "srd17", 7th Jun 2006)
Just a wonderful performance. (Written by "Simbea (Guest)", 30th Nov 2009)
I saw Billy Elliot in 2009, it was amazing. The tap dancing is amazing! (Written by "Emily (Guest)", 27th Feb 2011)
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Site Status for Billy Elliot:
1st Apr 2016: Billy Elliot in London ends on 9th April 2016.
27th May 2014: Updated current cast list.
27th Mar 2014: New cast from 12th May. Ruthie Henshall will join as Mrs Wilkinson.
24th Nov 2013: Updated current cast list. Some child changes in November.
16th Sep 2013: Updated current cast list.
4th Feb 2013: Updated current cast list, new cast from 12th November 2012.
7th Jun 2012: Harrison Dowzell joined as Billy Elliot on 14th May.
28th Feb 2012: Updated current cast list.
2nd Nov 2011: Added the new cast, which starts on 14th November.
14th Jul 2011: Updated current cast list.
30th Nov 2010: Updated current cast list.
9th Nov 2010: Added principals in new cast, which starts on 29th November.
5th Aug 2010: Updated current cast list.
9th May 2010: Updated current cast list.
15th Jun 2009: New additions to the cast - Oliver Gardner (Billy), Jake Pratt/Connor Doyle (Michael), Fleur Houdijk/Fransesca Mango (Debbie).
7th Dec 2008: Added complete current cast, which started in 1st December.
5th Oct 2008: Tom Holland started as Billy on 8th September, Tanner Pflueger started as Billy on 29th September, Stephanie Putson returned as Dead Mum on 8th September. New cast from 1st December with Joanna Riding as Mrs Wilkinson and Joe Caffrey as Dad.
2nd Jul 2008: Fox Jackson-Keen started as Billy Elliot on 23rd June. Tom Holland started as Michael on 25th June.
3rd Jun 2008: A few cast members left on 31st May, and a few new cast members have now joined the cast. Philip Whitchurch has returned as Dad, and Megan Jossa and Alicia Hawkins are new in the role of Debbie. Trent Kowalik will play his last performance as Billy Elliot in London on 7th June, while Corey Snide will leave on 5th July.
25th May 2008: Lewis Cope, the new Michael, started on 23rd May.
23rd May 2008: Hogan Fulton, the new Billy Elliot, started on 19th May.
2nd Feb 2008: Added current cast understudies.
27th Dec 2007: Updated the current cast list.
5th Sep 2007: Added new Billy Elliot, Sam Angell.
10th Jun 2007: Complete cast information from the opening until now. Missing ballet girls and a few tall boys and small boys.