Note: Josh’s Final Performance as Billy in London was on March 3, 2012
Debut: February 24, 2011 (London)
Total Performances as Billy: 108.5 (includes 1 partial show credited @.5)
At 12 years old (D.O.B. = 18-May-1998), Josh Baker from Rochester, southeast of London, became the 25th Billy on the London stage and the 54th overall in the world to play the role, when he debuted on February 24, 2011 at the Victoria Palace Theatre.
Though it was his professional debut, he was very familiar with the role as he played Billy in the Stage Theatre Society’s production of Billy Elliot the Musical at the Hazlitt Theatre in Maidstone in June of 2010. That production was done in conjunction with the popular Billy Youth Theatre program in Great Britain, in which a modified version of the show was made available to school and youth theatre groups for production.
In this video produced by the Stage Theatre Society, here’s a glimpse of Josh performing as Billy:
Credit: Video by emilypushthebutton
Josh began training in acting at age five and dance at the age of seven. Most of his training was at the Italia Conti Associate School in Chislehurst, which provides Saturday part-time classes in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Musical Production, Latin & Ballroom, Acting and Singing to young people aged from 3 to 18 years.
The BETM creatives obviously liked what they saw in Josh’s portrayal of the role in the Stage Theatre Society production, as they offered him a spot in the prestigious 2010 Billy Elliot camp, which was run in Leeds during the summer hiatus from school. The result of his involvement in that camp led to an intense period of training/rehearsing to play Billy before the footlights of the VPT.
BETM London participated in the annual “West End Live” program in June of 2011. Members of the ensemble and the ballet girls, led by Josh, danced the “Finale” at that event. Here’s video of the occasion:
Credit: Video by haseebkayani
In January of 2012 Josh, along with Ann Emery (Grandma) and Deka Walmsley (Dad) were interviewed on a popular British TV show. Here’s some footage of that interview:
In another interview, just prior to his debut, Josh was quoted as saying, “I love being part of such a great musical – the training has been very hard but also great fun, I can’t wait for all my friends from Stage Theatre School to come and see me performing in the West End.”
At the age of 13, and a little over a year since his debut, Josh performed the role of Billy for the 108.5th (includes one partial show @ .5) and final time on Saturday evening, March 3, 2012 at the 7:30pm performance at the Victoria Palace Theatre.
This video shows Josh in the lead up to his final show as Billy:
Credit: Video by Meridian Tonight
To learn more about Josh Baker, visit:
- 2012-14 – After leaving BETM Josh attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School. During this time he also started assisting Got To Dance winner Lukas Mcfarlane across Europe and became a dancer in his contemporary company Untitled.
- 2014-17 – Josh then went on to train at Bird College of Dance, doing the 3 year Diploma in Music & Theatre Performance.
- 2014 – I’m a Mess was a piece choreographed by Josh for his first class at Husky Studios based in London in summer 2014. In September 2014 Josh participated in the special Billy Elliot finale at the Victoria Palace for Billy Elliot Live.
2015 – In February 2015 Josh participated in Can You Dance UK, the biggest touring dance convention in the United Kingdom. In May 2015 Josh celebrated the 10th Birthday of Billy Elliot the Musical. Josh taught dance in the summer at Pineapple Studios.
2016 – This is Josh out of his comfort zone choreographing All We Know with music by The Chainsmokers featuring Phoebe Ryan.
- 2017 – Josh performed in The Lorax at The Old Vic from Oct 15th to Nov 5th, 2017.
2018 – In July 2018, Josh directed and choreographed his first concept video XXXtentacion to the music Changes. In June/July he was in the Ensemble for Oklahoma! at Grange Park Opera. From Aug 3rd to Sep 22nd, Josh performed in Little Shop of Horrors at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Later in September 2018, Josh worked as an Associate Choreographer on Lin Manuel Miranda’s 21 Chump Street production in the UK. Josh choreographed all the kids are depressed with music by Jeremy Zucker in November 2018. He also took time out to teach at BASE Dance Studios. In December 2019/January 2020 Josh performed in the pantomime Dick Whittington at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre.
- 2019 – In May of 2019 Josh choreographed and starred in Menswear with music by The 1975. Josh began playing Thomas in the musical & Juliet in 2019, and as of 2020 he is still in this role. Josh is Assistant Dance Captain in the musical and he was also on the original cast recording of & Juliet.
- 2020 – In March Josh choreographed the video, I Think I’m Ok, music by Machine Gun Kelly. In April Josh worked on choreography for Freeze Your Brain, by Ryan McCartan and I Don’t Need Your Love from Six the Musical. Josh loves to choreograph and direct and is sure he will turn out many more dance films in the future.