Tuesday, March 16

Billy Elliott Celebrates 5 Years In The West End

On 31st March Billy Elliot the Musical will celebrate its fifth birthday at the Victoria Palace Theatre having been seen by over 4.5 million people worldwide.

A special finale will be choreographed for Billy's fifth birthday performance to include 19 past, present and future Billy Elliots.

Since its world premiere 21 boys have played the title role in London, 10 have played Billy in Australia and 9 have played the title role on Broadway. A total of 36 boys, including Jamie Bell who played Billy Elliot in the award-winning film, have now performed the title role.

From 27th March the London cast includes: Rhys Yeomans, Dean-Charles Chapman, Oliver Gardner and Tom Holland who alternate the title role of Billy Elliott  alongside principal cast members Joanna Riding (Mrs Wilkinson), Joe Caffrey (Dad), Craig Gallivan (Tony), Ann Emery (Grandma), David Nellist (George), Sean Kingsley (Mr Braithwaite), Samantha Seager (Dead Mum) and Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy).

To celebrate five years in the West End the producers of Billy Elliot launched Billy Youth Theatre which is a new initiative providing schools and youth groups with the opportunity to perform their own productions of a specially adapted version of the show.

A number of the 115 participating groups will be invited to perform excerpts from their productions at regional showcases. Seven theatres will host the showcases throughout May and June: The Lowry (Quay Theatre), Salford, Gala Theatre, Durham, Wycombe Swan Theatre, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Brighton Dome (Concert Hall) and the Curve, Leicester. A smaller selection of groups will be offered the opportunity to perform at the Billy Youth Theatre West End Gala at the Victoria Palace Theatre in July 2010.

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