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Thursday, 21 July 2022

REVIEW: Billy Elliot at the CURVE theatre, Leicester

Billy Elliot, based on Stephen Daldry’s acclaimed film from 2000 tells the story of community, acceptance and one boy chasing his dream against all the odds. After its many successful years in the West End, Billy Elliot finally makes a long-awaited return in a new re-imagined production from director Nikolai Foster and choreographer Lucy Hind at the Leicester Curve. 

What has and always works for Billy Elliot is how it’s one of the very few productions that manage to make the transition from screen to stage so well. It takes the memorable moments from the film and adds in an array of musical numbers (music from Elton John and Lyrics from Lee Hall). Combined it becomes a musically catchy and enlarged version of the beloved film. 

Once the curtains come up, an empty and stripped back stage appears, with just a few gates and some scaffold poles. It gives the audience an industrial setting reflecting the minor strike and creating a sense of realism. The focus as a result is spent on the actors and not the surroundings. A clever setting choice from designer Michael Taylor.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

BILLY ELLIOT to close in the West End after 4,600 performances

Universal Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions today (10 December 2015) announce that after 4,600 performances, due to the theatre's previously announced refurbishment programme, the multi award-winning West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical will play its final performance at the Victoria Palace Theatre on 9 April 2016 as the production celebrates its eleventh birthday. The show has been seen to date by over 5.25 million people in London and nearly 11 million people worldwide, has grossed over $800 million worldwide and is the winner of over 80 theatre awards internationally.

In June this year tickets went on sale for the first UK and Ireland tour of Billy Elliot the Musicalopening at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in February 2016 when the touring and West End productions will be playing concurrently.  Further dates - Sunderland, Bradford, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester, Southampton and Birmingham - have subsequently been announced, with the tour currently booking to May 2017.  The first Japanese language production will open at the Akasaka ACT Theater in Tokyo in 2017.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Encore screenings confirmed for BILLY ELLIOT: THE MUSICAL

This weekend saw a record breaking twenty-five former and current Billy Elliots come together on stage in a specially choreographed mash-up finale of Billy Elliot the Musical.  This unique performance was broadcast live to eight countries from the show’s West End home at the Victoria Palace Theatre. 
All three original Billy Elliots - James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower – took part in a spectacular finale as the broadcast, the widest ever cinema release of a live event, hit number one at the UK box office.

Two special screenings of Billy Elliot the Musical Live also took place at the historic Easington Social Welfare Centre, formerly the Easington Colliery Miners’ Institute, one of the settings for Billy’s inspiring story.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Liam Mower will return to BILLY ELLIOT for one night only as Older Billy for live broadcast

Original Billy Elliot Liam Mower will return to the hit musical for one night only on 28 September 2014, this time as older Billy.
Mower, who since leaving the show in 2006 has trained at Rambert and appeared in several productions, will join the cast on the night thatBilly Elliot is broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and internationally.
Elton John's musical, based on the 2000 film starring Jamie Bell and Julie Walters, is the story of a young boy from a mining town who discovers a passion for dance.

Friday, 13 June 2014

BILLY ELLIOT to be broadcast live in cinemas

Billy Elliot is set to be broadcast live from the West End to cinemas across the UK and around the world on 28 September 2014.
The screen-to-stage musical, which has been running in the West End since 2005, is the latest big show to be broadcast on screen, following the success of the National's NT Live scheme.
Elton John, who wrote the songs for the show, said: "Billy Elliot has always had a very special place in my heart and being involved in the musical has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Broadcasting the show live to cinemas is a new venture for all of us and will make for a very special event."

Monday, 12 May 2014

FIRST LOOK: Ruthie Henshall as Mrs Wilkinson in BILLY ELLIOT

Olivier award-winning actor Ruthie Henshall will be joining the London cast of Billy Elliot the Musical to play Billy’s straight talking dance teacher, Mrs Wilkinson. Her first performance will be 12th May 2014 (tonight), which is also the same day the show will be celebrating nine years at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Billy Elliot the Musical: Theatre Review

Billy Elliot the Musical runs at the Victoria Palace Theatre where it originally opened back in May 2005. To this day Billy Elliot is playing too sold out audiences and remains one of the top West End shows, although I could not see why. On 23rdMay 2011 I made my way to see the show; I have never seen the film before this but knew the story enough to be able to tell what was going on.
Elton John's score was truly uninspiring and the only memorable piece was the dance break in Electricity, which was the only point for me when I felt the music was uplifting and refreshing. Lee Halls Book was witty and Stephen Daldry complemented this with his direction.
Pete Darlings Choreography was good but nothing special; I feel as though my dance teacher in my old theatre school could have done the exact same thing, I felt no personality come through with the dance so it felt very impersonal to the audience and the characters.
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