Note: Ali’s Final Performance as Billy in London was January 4, 2014
Debut: May 13, 2013 (London)
Total Performances as Billy: 64 (includes 2 partial shows credited @.5 ea)
On May 13, 2013 at the Victoria Palace Theatre, 13-year-old (D.O.B. 19-Aug-2000) Ali Rasul debuted as the 33rd London Billy. Ali is from Hartlepool in North East England where he lives with his uncle and four siblings, making him the first boy from that region to play the role in BETM. He is a student at High Tunstall College of Science in Hartlepool and is the 70th Billy internationally to play the role in the musical.
Dancing since the age of five, Ali competed with a hip hop “crew”, aged 10-13, which won many awards nationally and internationally. In 2011, the group, called Lil Diamondz, competed and won on the popular CBBC British TV program Alicia Dixon’s Street Dance Stars. Here Lil Diamondz represented the UK at the World Hip Hop Championships in Las Vegas in 2011. Watch for Ali at the end of the performance as he takes over the stage mic and entertains the audience:
Credit: Video by Mick Rowley
To hone his skills in other forms of dance, Ali joined the Debbie Barrass Academy of Performing Arts in May of 2012, where he developed his ballet, tap and jazz and worked on vocals with Peter de Dee. To refine his ballet, he also took private ballet lessons in Newcastle twice a week.
After a BETM gruelling audition process in London and Newcastle, Ali was off to live in the Billy Elliot house in London where he completed eight months of training before making his debut. About the audition process and his training Ali said, “I was so surprised and excited to have been cast and I just can’t wait until my first performance on stage.”
According to an article in his hometown newspaper, the Hartlepool Mail, Ali received three standing ovations during his debut performance. So, for Ali, the wait is over and now he will regularly BE Billy on stage at the VPT and London audiences will be the beneficiaries.
On June 19, 2013, with just nine performances in the role of Billy under his belt, Ali represented the BETM cast on the roof garden at Cardinal Place as the events of West End Live kicked off. Here, Ali performs his stunning “street” version of Electricity:
Credit: Video by Samar Nasseri
Ali’s final performance was on Saturday, January 4, 2014. He performed as Billy on that night for the 64th time (total includes 2 partial shows credited at .5 each).
To learn more about Ali, visit: