Note: Harry’s last show as Billy in the Auckland Theatre Company production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) was on December 10, 2016.
Debut: October 8, 2016 (Auckland, New Zealand)
Total Performances as Billy: 21.5 (Includes one partial show credited @.5)
Harry Sills was 11-years-old when he debuted as Billy in the Auckland Theatre Company production of Billy Elliot The Musical (BETM). He is from Remuera in Auckland, and is a Year 7 student at King’s School. Outside of dancing and acting, Harry’s other hobbies include soccer, drawing and music.
Harry is the most experienced dancer of the three Auckland Billys, having started ballet when he was just three-years-old. He first became interested in dance when he attended one of his sister’s classes and they gave out marshmallows at the end. He enjoyed the classes so much that even when they stopped getting marshmallows he still wanted to go and dance.
Most of Harry’s dance training since then has taken place at the Mount Eden Ballet Academy. He is also a National Scholar at the New Zealand School of Dance in Wellington, and so he spends a few weekends each term studying dance there.
Harry has performing experience, as he has appeared in productions of Coppelia and A Christmas Carol with the Royal New Zealand Ballet. He is also a talented actor, having appeared in commercials, television shows and in Welby Ings’ 2016 short film Sparrow.
Something that Harry really likes about dance is that it’s not what most boys do. “They would mostly do rugby … it’s just a really cool way to express yourself which is what it’s basically about in the story, Billy likes to do dancing because he expresses himself through dance.”
Harry shares another similarity with the character of Billy – “He kind of doesn’t want to tell too many people that he does ballet, that’s the same with me.”
Some of the hardest things for Harry about playing Billy are doing the Geordie accent and keeping in character while he is dancing. “I have to get very emotional and he gets really angry in a few scenes and he dances and he’s screaming through his dancing … obviously I wouldn’t do that when I’m doing ballet.”
Harry’s first performance as Billy on 8-Oct-2016 makes him the 163rd actor to play the role worldwide.
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