Billy Elliot: the inspirational musical based on the 2000 film of the same name
At the time I first saw Billy Elliot The Musical [writes Andrew], fortunately for me on the opening night back in 2005, I had not seen the film. It simply didn’t appeal to me, the story of a ballet dancer from a Northern mining community didn’t particularly interest me. I sat in the Victoria Palace Theatre with a heavy hangover and was simply blown away by this amazing show, which has since become one of my all-time favourites.
The story, the dancing and the music are fantastic. I have since seen the film, and although a big T.Rex fan, this show is by far better than the film. It is grittier, funnier and tugs at the heart strings far more than the film. The film is good but this show is brilliant. Largely thanks to the script, but also to the brilliant Elton John music and the superb cast who are simply amazing. You get a real sense of the dancing skills from a live performance that cannot be portrayed on screen. The kids who star in this stage version are awesome, they can sing, act and dance brilliantly from tap through modern and ballet. The story is the same, set in the ’80s, a young northern lad supposedly attending boxing lessons secretly has been attending ballet classes. His Dad and older brother, both striking miners are appalled when they find out. Set against the back drop of the violence of the miners’ strikes and the opposition to Thatcher’s policies, the beauty of the performance is in contrast to the stark reality of northern struggle at the time. In the end it is one boy’s battles against prejudice and how he wins his family over which is most heart-warming.
The are some real funny one-liners, a great cast and plenty of bad language. I was reluctant to take my younger daughters with the bad language but relented and they thoroughly enjoyed this show. It is a great show and one that I would highly recommend.
Billy Elliot tickets in London:
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Thursday 1st January 1970
Thursday 1st January 1970