Note: Colin’s Final known Performance as Billy in London was February 24, 2007
Debut: March 13, 2006 (London)
Total Performances as Billy: Unknown (Unreported data from the period he was Billy ) (Recorded data: 76– includes 2 partial shows credited @ .5)
Colin Bates was the first American to play the role of Billy Elliot on the Victoria Palace Theatre (VPT) stage. He was the 7th Billy overall. Colin was born on 17-Aug-1990 in Los Angeles California to a British father (Robert) and American mother (Donna). He grew up in New Freedom, Pennsylvania.
At the age of nine, he was taking classes at the Baltimore School of the Arts and competing in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical and hip hop. He also competed in gymnastics. Prior to his being chosen to “Be Billy”, Colin played Charlie Bates and then The Artful Dodger in the U.S. national tour of Cameron Mackintosh‘s Oliver!.
In November of 2005 Colin first auditioned for Billy Elliot the Musical in the U.S., even though he was 15 when the cut-off age was 14. Director Stephen Daldry liked what he saw but, realizing Colin would be too old for the Broadway production but recognizing his potential, decided to send Colin to London to join the West End cast. A few weeks later, he was off to the UK to start rehearsals there. Colin debuted as Billy on 13-Mar-2006. He would go on to play the role for 11 months before doing his last show on 24-Feb-2007.
Shortly after his debut, Colin was interviewed on CBBC. Here is that interview in three parts:
Credit: Videos by AccordBETM
Colin was chosen to film the official BETMUK promotional trailer that was used in advertisements for the show:
Post Billy Activities
Here are some of the highlights of “life after Billy” for Colin:
- He moved back to Los Angeles, California in 2008 to pursue his acting career.
- Formed the band “North Coast”, playing bass guitar and doing vocals.
- In 2010, did guest appearances on the TV series Children’s Hospital and One Life to Live.
- In 2010, Colin joined the cast of the Columbine Project in Los Angeles.
- In 2010, enrolled at the Julliard School in NYC, studying mainly acting.
For more information about Colin, visit: