Note: Olly’s Final known Performance as Billy in London was December 15, 2007
Debut: June 18, 2007 (London)
Total Performances as Billy: Unknown – Said to be 50 (Unreported data from the period he was Billy) (Recorded data: 46 — no partial shows)
London’s 11th Billy, Olly is from Paignton on the coast of Tor Bay in Devon, an area of Britain called the English Riviera.
Olly’s older sister took dance lessons at the Buckingham Dance Studios in Paignton and her dance teacher invited three-year-old Olly to join in. That was the beginning of a love affair with dance that continues in Olly to this day. He went on to excel in it, competing and winning several awards in his pre-Billy days, including the 2006 Fonteyn Nureyev Young Dancers Competition, run by the Royal Academy of Dance. He was also awarded the Young Dancer of the Year title.
Right after he won the Fonteyn Nureyev Young Dancers Competition, CBBC did a documentary about Olly. In this video clip, one can see the acting and ballet skills that eventually lead the BETM casting people to select him to play Billy.
Credit: Video by Boys in Ballet
Olly also had some pre-Billy acting experience. He played the part of the Boy in The Snowman, the Nutcracker in The Nutcracker, and Franz in Coppélia. He was featured in Ready Steady Cook (2006) and took part in a children’s BBC programme Take a Bow (2007).
Olly auditioned for BETM in September of 2006, and having been offered a contract, he moved to London and began final training and rehearsals for the show in January, 2007. His debut came on 18-Jun-2007. He was 13-years-old (D.O.B. = 10-Mar-1994) at the time of that first performance. As time in the role of Billy goes, Olly’s was one of the shortest, just one six-month contract long. During that time he did about 50 performances.
He had an “official” last show on Saturday evening, 1-Dec-2007. Here is a video clip of the Finale of that show, known as the Company Celebration:
He was asked to come back to fill in on a couple of ensuing weekends during that holiday period. His actual last show was on 15-Dec-2007. Having achieved stardom in the West End at the tender age of 13, Olly has expressed the desire to eventually become a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet Company.
Post Billy Activities
Here are some of the highlights of “life after Billy” for Olly:
- Returned home to Paignton and resumed his training at the Buckingham Dance Studios along with taking lessons as a mid associate of the Royal Ballet. His academic training, as an A-level student, was at Churston Ferrers Grammar School.
- On 24-Feb-2008 he was one of five past and present Billys who performed in BBC’s show “Happy Birthday Brucie!” devoted to Bruce Forsyth‘s 80th birthday.
- In February, 2008, Olly entered a second Fonteyn Nureyev Young Dancers Competition, this time at the Senior level. He won the Wales & South West England (Including Channel Islands) heat and, on 13-Apr-2008 he competed in the Final of the Competition that took place at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London.
- On 7-Nov-2008 hе played the role of Prince Albrecht in the Buckingham Dance Studios production of Giselle.
- In the summer of 2009, at the Princess Theatre, Olly performed Nijinsky’s Fire Bird Ballet Solo.
- On 21-Nov-2009 he was in the lead role in The Prince and the Pauper at Babbacombe Theatre.
- On 27-Nov-2010 he was a leading dancer in A Beatles Ballet produced by the Buckingham Dance Studio.
For more information about Olly, visit:
Billy Elliot The Forum, Wikipedia