Note: Elliott’s final show as Billy was on 20-Jun-2015 at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London.
Debut: July 17, 2013 (London)
Total Performances: 145.85 (includes 8 partial shows credited @.5 ea, 1 partial show credited @ .25 and one partial show credited at .1)
On July 17, 2013, 10-year-old Elliott Hanna (D.O.B. = 20-Mar-2003) became the 34th and youngest boy ever to play Billy Elliot on the London stage. He also became the 71st worldwide in the role. Elliott is from the home of the Beatles – Liverpool – where he has been dancing since the age of four, beginning with break dancing and gradually expanding his dance repertoire at Nazene Danielle’s Dance Dynamix. Before his involvement with Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM), Elliott attended St Cecilia’s Junior School in the Liverpool community of Tuebrook.
Before his involvement with BETM, Elliott was well-known to television audiences in the UK, having competed with his then dance partner, Tayluer Amos, in the popular Sky 1 show Got To Dance (Series 3). He and Tayluer placed second in that competition. Not a bad accomplishment for someone who was only eight years old at the time. Here’s a video clip of their performance in the final of that show:
Credit: Video by GottoDanceSky1
Also in 2012, at age 8, Elliott was the youngest ever to receive the ISTD Janet Cram Modern Theatre Award and he and Tayluer were crowned national champions at the Hall of Fame Dance Challenge in Las Vegas. Quite a year — one like many of us will never experience and Elliott experienced it at eight years old! After that, one wondered what he could do to top it. Well, the answer of course is to star in a West End musical.
And his first show as Billy wasn’t even his West End debut. He and Tayluer did that when they appeared in a variety show in November of 2012 at the Savoy Theatre to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which featured performances by Britain’s most entertaining children and teenagers. Other theatre credits include The Wizard of Oz at the St Helens Theatre Royal and Dick Whittington and the Bells of London at the now closed Contemporary Urban Centre. Elliott and Tayluer also danced in Cinderella at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. In addition, Elliott has a singing credit on his resume as well, having sung at Liverpool’s Echo arena in the touring production of ABBA: The Show.
In an article in his hometown newspaper, The Liverpool Echo, Elliott’s dance teacher (Nazene Danielle Langfield) said “I’ve always known Elliott had something in him. He’s always been a pleasure to work with and he always struck us as a little Billy Elliot.” She went on to say that she’d recommended that he audition for BETM in March of 2012, even before he competed in the Got to Dance competition. After two call backs, the BETMUK people liked what they saw and had Elliott go to the Billy Elliot summer school that year and then he moved into the Billy House and began his training there for the following months. She said “He’s got an advantage of being younger than the other boys who play Billy so he won’t have to worry about things like his voice breaking for some time.”
When asked what his favorite part of the show is, Elliott had a two-fold answer. He said “My favourite acting scene in Billy Elliot is ‘Expressing Yourself’ as my character Billy gets to have loads of fun with Michael, his best friend! My favourite dance number is ‘Dream Ballet’; it’s a lovely number and classical ballet is my favourite thing to perform.”
In August, 2014 BETMUK also did a series of videos with the current Billys called “Quick-Fire Interviews”. Here’s Elliott’s:
Credit: Video by BETMUK
To support the opening of a new production of Billy Elliot The Musical scheduled to premiere in The Netherlands on November 4, 2014, BETMUK sent Elliott to The Hague on August 31, 2014 to take part in the promotional annual cultural event there called the Uitmarkt.
On September 28, 2014, Elliott was chosen to be Billy in the Billy Elliot Live production, which was a live performance of the show, on a Sunday afternoon, streamed live to hundreds of movie theatres across the UK and, indeed, across the world. It would be shown many times in other countries since then and a DVD/Blu-ray disc of that show is now for sale. He also shared the title role with Ollie Jochim, Bradley Perret and Matteo Zecca in the Special Live Billy Finale.
Elliott and Tomi Fry (who played Michael in the London production) were invited to be guest performers on the Mel & Sue daytime chat show hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins in 2015. Here’s a video clip of that appearance:
Credit: Video by MYSTiiC KiiNG
On March 7, 2015, Elliott performed the role of Billy for the 137.75th and final time on the Victoria Palace Theatre stage. Elliott, just days short of his 12th birthday when he “retired” from the show, returned home to Tuebrook.
Editor’s note: Subsequent to his “official last show”, Elliott returned to cover for the injured Thomas Hazelby (20-May to 20-Jun, 2015), accounting for his total of 145.85 shows as Billy.
There is no doubt that this triple threat entertainer has not been heard the last of. Look for him in on some stage in the future.
Life After Billy
- Elliott continued his dance training at Nazene Danielle’s Dance Dynamix and his academics at Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School.
- He danced his way to a Gold Medal at Dance World Cup in December of 2016 in the Song & Dance category with a number called “Friend Like Me”. The owner of the following video of Elliott’s performance notes that the audio was very poor.
Credit: Video by István Mága
- In November of 2016, Elliott performed in the Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust (BOST Musicals) production of White Christmas at the Liverpool Empire Theatre.
- In April of 2017, Elliott performed in Beauty and the Beast with St. Helen’s Theatre Royal. He also competed in Dance Awards USA in Las Vegas, in June/July of that year.
- In January/February of 2018, Elliott was in the 25th Anniversary show, Her Benny, at Liverpool’s Royal Court.
- In April of 2018 he performed in Cinderella at St. Helens Theatre Royal.
- Elliott performed the title role in Peter Pan at Malvern Theatre in August and at Liverpool’s Echo Arena Auditorium in December 2018.
- 2019 was a quiet year as Elliott spent most of it preparing for and taking his GCSE’s.
- Beginning in September, 2019 Elliott began studying the International Baccalaureate curriculum.
For more information on Elliott, visit:
Photo Credit: Some production photos from the show in this profile are by Alastair Muir.