A production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) was first presented at Oulu Theatre in Oulu, Finland from March 3 to May 24, 2022. This was the fourth time that BETM had been performed in Finland – there have been previous acclaimed productions in Helsinki (2015), Vaasa (2017-18) and Tampere (2018-19).
After taking a break over the summer, the Oulu production will return for performances from September 8 to December 17, 2022.
Oulun Teatteri (Oulu Theatre) was first established in 1931, when it was initially operated as a Worker’s House, known as the Theatre House. However, this original building burned down during bombings in 1944, and the theatre was moved to the ballroom of the town hall until 1972.
In 1972, new permanent premises were completed, located in the Oulu market square. At that time, the theatre had three stages: a large stage, a small stage, and a rehearsal room.
In May 2002 a two-year renovation of the theatre building began, during which a new annex was built. The theatre building was reopened to the public in September 2004. Over the opening weekend, more than 10,000 guests visited the renovated building.
Today Oulu Theatre is the largest professional theatre in Northern Finland. They produce plays, opera and musical theatre, and also annual programs and festivals for children and young people to participate in.
The search for the child cast for the Oulu production of BETM began in Spring 2021, when the first auditions were held. From these auditions 30 children, of which eight were boys, were chosen to attend the Billy School. This would be co-run by Oulu Theatre and the Oulu University of Applied Sciences’ School of Culture. Classes at the Billy School started in April 2021 and the kids attended three times per week to train in acting, singing and dancing. A Billy Camp was then held in June for a small group of boys who were potential Billys.
In September 2021, an announcement was made that the role of Billy would be shared by two young actors — Aslak Kipinä and Kimi Lumme.
The Billys and the other young cast members continued to attend Billy School right up until rehearsals for the full cast began in late October 2021.
To see a complete listing of the rest of the Oulu cast, just click on the Cast Information button.