A brand new production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) will be presented at the Curve Theatre, Leicester, from July 13 to August 20, 2022.  This will be the first time that BETM has been performed professionally in the UK since the UK/Ireland touring production had its final performance in Milton Keynes in June 2017. 

Curve Theatre – Leicester

Curve was opened in 2008 by Her Majesty The Queen and is now one of the UK’s leading producing theatres.  Curve has two auditoriums that are fully flexible — the theatre has a capacity of 902 and the studio has a capacity of 282, or the two spaces can be combined to hold larger events.

This new production of BETM will be directed by Curve’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster and will feature new choreography by Lucy Hind.  Foster is known for reimagining theatre classics at Curve and his recent work includes productions of Grease, West Side Story and A Chorus Line.  His plans for BETM include making the show “angry, raw and visceral”, stating that “the original had a stripped back direction, but I think we push it even further.”

The search to find the Leicester Billys began with first auditions in October 2021.  The casting team were particularly hoping to find children from the Leicester area to play roles in the show.  Director Nikolai Foster said of the audition process, “We weren’t looking for stage school kids, we wanted rawness.  It was easy to see what we wanted when it walked through the door.  It was less about trained dance moves and more about seeing if they could express something in themselves.”

In April 2022 it was announced that four boys would share the role of Billy in Curve’s production of BETM.  They are Leo Hollingsworth, Alfie Napolitano, Samuel Newby and Jaden Shentall-Lee.

The Curve Leicester’s Billys. L-r: Leo Hollingsworth, Jaden Shentall-Lee, Alfie Napolitano and Samuel Newby

The show will feature over 30 young performers.  Ahead of main rehearsals, the young company got together for two weeks of rehearsals over the 2022 Easter holidays.  The following video was filmed during this period:

Credit: Video by curvetheatre

Full company rehearsals began on 23rd May 2022.  Notably in the adult cast, the role of Dad will be played by Joe Caffrey — he played Tony in the original West End production in 2005, and returned to the show to play Dad a few years later.  

A couple of weeks before the show’s opening, Curve released this first glimpse of the production, featuring the full BETM cast:

Credit: Video by curvetheatre

After the production’s official opening night on 20th July, the show garnered a raft of five star reviews from both local press in Leicester and also from national newspapers including The Times.  A couple of days later Curve released this trailer for the production:

Credit: Video by curvetheatre

To learn more about the Curve Leicester 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 Curve Leicester cast, just click on the Cast Information button.

cast info


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