Meet Billy Elliot: Auckland Theatre Company (NZ)

    The 668 seat ASB Waterfront Theatre

    A production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) was presented by Auckland Theatre Company (ATC) at the ASB Waterfront Theatre in Auckland, New Zealand, from October 7 to December 10, 2016.

    The ASB Waterfront Theatre is a new state-of-the-art performing arts facility located in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter.  It is a purpose-built venue and the home of Auckland Theatre Company.  BETM is the inaugural production at the ASB Waterfront Theatre.

    ATC is Auckland’s flagship professional theatre company. This new theatre will help the company reach wider audiences and provide a space for other domestic and international arts organisations to tour and showcase their work.  The ATC Artistic Director, Colin McColl, has described BETM as being a show that represents everything the theatre aspires to be. “It’s about having big dreams and pursuing your passion. It’s about living a life less ordinary and it’s about the importance of the arts and creativity in everyday life.”

    In order to cast their Billys and Michaels, ATC started a nationwide search in February 2016.  They auditioned over 60 boys from all across New Zealand and some even travelled from Australia to attend the auditions.  Those who were successful at their first audition were then invited back for a three day intensive audition recall during their April school holidays.  Eventually three young actors were chosen to lead the cast in the role of Billy.  They are Jaxson Cook, Ben Shieff and Harry Sills.

    Back – The Billys (l-r: Jaxson Cook, Ben Shieff, Harry Sills); Front – The Michaels (l-r: Daniel Bridgman Christian Swan, Stanley Reedy)

    Credit: Photo by Nicole Lawton

    In order to advertise the show, ATC released this promotional video, featuring Jaxson Cook as Billy:

    Credit: Video by Auckland Theatre Company

    The whole cast came together in September 2016 to begin rehearsals for the opening of the show in October, with the official opening night on 13-Oct-2016.

    Here is an interview with John Gibson, the musical director for the show, and the video also includes some rehearsal footage:

    Credit: Video by MJ Duda

    To learn more about the Auckland Billys, click on the Billy Profiles button (below) to be taken to their detailed profiles.

    billy profiles

    To see a complete listing of the rest of the Auckland Theatre Company cast, just click on the Cast Information button.

    cast info

    The Auckland Cast in the Finale

    Credit: Photo by Michael Smith

    To A List of All Billy Elliot The Musical Articles at

    Back to Billy Elliot Dances Around The World


    1. Quite an intriguing vision from ATC. It`s the BETM we know and love , yet somehow more modern – judging from their promotional efforts. The theater venue also looks quite hype.

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