Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) was first presented on the New Stage DJKT (Divadlo J. K. Tyla) in Pilsen in the Czech Republic with a planned run from May 11, 2019 to May 6, 2020. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, all performances of BETM in Pilsen that were scheduled for March 2020 onwards during that first season were cancelled.
BETM then returned to Pilsen for a second season, with performances scheduled from September 4 to December 13, 2020. Sadly, once again, the season was cut short due to COVID-19 restrictions being reintroduced. The last performance of the second season was on September 5, 2020.
The production has returned for a third season in 2021, with the first performance on June 1, 2021.
DJKT performs across three stages in Pilsen, with their four artistic ensembles producing around 500 drama, opera, operetta, musical and ballet performances annually. The oldest of these stage is the JK Tyl Theatre, which was completed in 1902. Work on a second building for the company to perform in began in June 2012, and was completed in September 2014. This houses the New Stage, a 444-seat theatre, which is where BETM will be performed, and a 120-seat studio theatre, known as the Little Scene.
In order to get a licence to perform BETM, the Czech theatre had to go through a rigorous process in order to persuade the licensing agency that they would be able to produce a production to a high standard. This included giving them details of previous productions performed at the DJKT and the audience reactions to these shows, and who the team of people that would create BETM there would be. In the later stages of the process they had to get the Czech translation of the script and songs approved, alongside the stage designs, costumes and cast. Finally they were given the go ahead and were granted permission to mount a production.
The search began in 2018 to find actors to lead the cast in the role of Billy. After a long search with many rounds of auditions, two boys were chosen to share the role. They are Šimon Fikar and Miloslav Frýdl.
In the days leading up to the opening of the production a press conference was held to promote the show, during which the Billys sang ‘Electricity’ and were then joined by the Michaels to perform ‘Express Yourself’. Here is a video with excerpts from these performances:
Credit: Video by musicalcz
In June 2020, it was announced that two new Billys had been found to take over the lead role from the original Billys. The second set of Czech Billys are Ondřej Kapusta and Ondřej Tolar. The two original Billys performed for the last time in September 2020.
As all performances of BETM were put on hold due to the pandemic, the new Billys had a longer than expected delay before beginning performances. Theatres were finally allowed to reopen at the end of May in the Czech Republic and both Ondřej Kapusta and Ondřej Tolar were able to debut at the beginning on June.
To see a complete listing of the rest of the Pilsen cast, just click on the Cast Information button.