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    Meet Billy Elliot: London

     

    Victoria Palace Theatre

    London

    Victoria_palace_theatre_london
    London’s Victoria Palace Theatre – Home of Billy Elliot the Musical

    In the West End (London), at the Victoria Palace Theatre (VPT), Billy Elliot The Musical (BETM) was the original production of the stage show. After the success of the 2000 movie, Billy Elliot, Elton John convinced director Stephen Daldry and screen writer Lee Hall that their film would translate superbly to the stage and that he (Elton) wanted to write the music for it.

    On March 31, 2005, the curtain rose on the initial presentation of BETM, the first preview of 36 before an official Opening Night on May 12, 2005.

    After 11 years and 4,598 shows later, the show closed at the VPT on 9-Apr-2016.

    There is no doubt the longevity of this production of the show was due in very large part to the outstanding talents of the 42 boys who led the show — the Billys.

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

    cast info

    London Milestones

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    On May 12, 2005, the official Opening Night of the very first production of Billy Elliot the Musical took place in London’s West End.  That night, Billy was portrayed by George Maguire.  For the curtain calls, he was joined onstage by the other two originating Billys —  James Lomas and Liam Mower.

    The Original Three Billys (l-r James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower)
    The Original Three Billys (l-r James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower)

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    On March 31, 2010, a commemoration of the very first performance of Billy Elliot the Musical took place at the Victoria Palace Theatre.  On that 5th Anniversary night, Stephen Daldry (Director), Lee Hall (Book and Lyrics), and Sir Elton John (Musical Score) each spoke briefly about the show before the performance began.  After a superb show, during which Tom Holland played Billy, the highlight of the evening was a special Finale, which was led by the three orginating Billys — James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower — who were joined by 16 other past, present and future Billys, all of whom had played the role or would play it in the future.

    James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower at the BETMUK 5th Anniversary Show
    James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower at the BETMUK 5th Anniversary Show

    19 Current, Past and Future Billys Join Elton John at the BETMUK 5th Anniversary Show
    19 Current, Past and Future Billys Join Elton John at the BETMUK 5th Anniversary Show

    The events of that night were officially captured on film by the BETMUK company.  Here’s a clip showing the highlights of that evening:

    Credit: Video by WestEndTheatre

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    On May 30, 2012, a date chosen for the availability of the many VIPs who would be in attendance, BETM London celebrated both the 7th Birthday of the show and also its upcoming (July 16 is the actual date) 3000th show.  VIPs in attendance were Stephen Daldry (director), Lee Hall (writer), Sir Elton John (score), and three of the four first Billys (George Maguire, Liam Mower, Leon Cooke).  A special finale/curtain call took place, which included all five of the current Billys and three Michaels. And, after the curtain came down, the cast and crew enjoyed a cake to celebrate the occasion.  Here, Elton John and Lee Hall, along with the five current Billys (l-r Kaine Ward, Adam Vesperman, Harris Beattie, Harrison Dowzell and Ryan Collinson) get ready to enjoy some cake.

    Elton John with cast and crew About to Enjoy the Cake

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    In January of 2014, the then current Billys got to see the original Billy Elliot rehearsing for his new star role as the Prince in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake.  Liam was gracious enough to take a photo of the occasion with the boys:

    l-r Redmand Rance, Bradley Perret, Liam Mower, Mitchell Tobin and Elliott Hanna
    l-r Redmand Rance, Bradley Perret, Liam Mower, Mitchell Tobin and Elliott Hanna

    Credit: Photo by Nigel Howard

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    On 28-Sep-2014 a special live performance of the show was filmed at the Victoria Palace Theatre and was beamed to cinemas across the UK and the world.  A DVD was also made and made available for sale from this show.  On that day, for a special “mash-up” Finale, 21 past London Billys joined the four current ones. Here’s a brief video clip showing highlights from the Finale:

    Credit: Video by Musicalworld

     

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    The Cast for Billy Elliot Live
    Taking part in the mash-up finale were (along with their ages at the time): Liam Mower (22, from Hull), James Lomas, (24, from Sheffield), George Maguire (23, from Stanford-Le-Hope), Leon Cooke (23, from Newcastle under Lyme), Matthew Koon (20, from Salford, Lancashire), Dean McCarthy (22, from Dublin), Layton Williams (20, from Manchester), Joshua Fedrick (20, from Saltash, Cornwall), Fox Jackson-Keen (19, from Hornsey, London), Tom Holland (18, from Kingston-upon-Thames),Ollie Gardner (17, from Bath), Rhys Yeomans (16, from Oldham),Aaron Watson (16, from Kings Lynn, Norfolk), Scott McKenzie (17, fromDumbarton, Scotland), Josh Baker (16, from Rochester), Ryan Collinson (16, from Southport),Kaine Ward (15, from Hertfordshire), Harris Beattie (15, from Aberdeen), Harrison Dowzell (14, from Nottinghamshire),Redmand Rance(14, from Fareham) and Ali Rasul (13, from Hartlepool) were joined by current Billy Elliots – Elliott Hanna (11, from Liverpool), Bradley Perret (12, from Juan-les-Pins, France), Matteo Zecca (12, from Buckinghamshire) and Ollie Jochim(12, from Essex).

    Credit: Photo by Adam Sorenson

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    In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the show’s opening in London in 2005, 23 UK Billys danced on the popular British TV show, Sunday Night at the Palladium on Sunday, May 3, 2015.  Here’s a video of their performance:

    Credit: Video by MYSTiiC KiiNG

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    On April 9, 2016, after 11 years and 4598 shows later, Billy Elliot The Musical closed on London’s West End with a spectacular last show that featured most of the child cast participating in a tag team format throughout the show and included the production’s creative team and 33 of the 42 Billys who had starred in the title role over the years in one big final curtain call:

    The Final Curtain Call
    The Final Curtain Call

    To A List of All Billy Elliot The Musical Articles at theskykid.com

    Back to Billy Elliot Dances Around The World

     

    4 COMMENTS

    1. Help please: I am trying to find the entire casts (very specific) for the 2 times I saw Billy Elliot in London: Those dates being Oct. 18, 2007 (matinee) and July 21, 2010 (evening). Can anyone help?
      I am also looking to purchase the programmes for each of those productions. Thanks: JT.

    2. John,

      Record keeping in the earlier days of the show was very haphazard if it existed at all. At the original Billy Elliot Forum, there may have been records kept from 2005 to early 2009, but if any such information did exist it was lost when that Forum shut down. The current Forum has information from 2010 on, but mainly the Billys, Michaels and Debbies were reported (although there are gaps in that information as well.)

      Given the above as background, here’s what I can share with you:

      October 18, 2007: The Billy was Corey Snide. No other information on the child cast was reported. The adult cast principal roles were generally single cast. You can go to the following link and look up who was playing those roles at the time of this show: https://betm.theskykid.com/meet-billy-elliot-london/3/

      July 21, 2010 (Matinee): Billy was played by Aaron Watson, Michael by Jake Pratt and Debbie by Francesca Mango. No other information on child cast performers for this show was reported and no adult understudies were reported for this show, so you can again go to the above link to look up who of the adult cast would have been playing the principal roles at the time of this show.

      Sorry I couldn’t be any more specific than this. Good luck!

      Gary (porschesrule)

    3. I was hoping you could help with the number of shows to date in London? If you had even the “number” of one of the shows, I could “count forward” from there. If it were a recent show, that would be even better.

      Thanks for what you have built at your site, in particular the “Highlights” of the London show.

    4. Hi Tom,

      You can find the current London show count here: http://www.billyelliottheforum.me.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?p=114441#p114441 The count at the end of January, 2016 can be found at the bottom of that chart in the monthly summary. Please note that this count is the actual number of shows presented with a paid audience. I’ve found it’s a few off from what the BETM company has announced in the past as it is their practice (and may very well be the practice of the West End as a whole) to count all scheduled shows, even if they are cancelled and not actually presented. There have been several of those over the years. But the number shown will get you close. Hope that helps.

      Gary (porschesrule)

      P.S. The method of counting we use at the BE Forum directly ties the number of shows performed by all of the Billys in London (42 to date) to the total number of show count that I cited above. In other words, if you added up all the Billy performances, it will add up to the total number of shows. Of course, the “official” London number they give won’t do that as you can’t give credit to a Billy for a show performed if the show didn’t actually take place :p All the information on London Billy performance tracking can be found at https://betm.theskykid.com/billy-elliot-the-musical-tracking-the-billys/

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