Meet Billy Elliot: River Mardesic

    Note:  River Mardesic’s final performance as Billy in the Australian Tour of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) was in Melbourne on March 14, 2020.

    Debut: October 12, 2019 (Sydney, Australia)

    Total Performances as Billy:  33 (No partial shows) 

    River Mardesic was 10 years old when he debuted as Billy in the Australian Tour production of BETM.  He is from Melbourne.

    River discovered his passion for dance at a young age, while watching his mother teach at her studio.  At the age of four he began training at an advanced dance and vocal level.  More recently, he was accepted into the Elite Training and Elite Vocal Programs at The Dance Company in Melbourne.

    River is a national champion dancer and vocalist, with competition credits including appearing as a representative for Australia at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA). Furthermore, his performance credits include Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight and the Victorian Dance Festival. 

    River is the youngest of the four Australian Billys and hadn’t even been born when the original Australian production opened.  In fact he has never seen the show performed.  

    River dancing at the press launch

    When the Billys were announced at a press event in May, the four of them performed a special version of Electricity.  For River this was a particularly special moment because he got to do it with his three new best friends, “It felt really great doing it together, we are like brothers,” he said. “I was really happy to be dancing with them all.  We have become incredibly close, I was so proud dancing with them.”

    At an open rehearsal for the press River performed Angry Dance.  Here is a clip of part of that performance:

    Credit: Video by Theatre Now

    River’s first performance as Billy on 12-Oct-2019 makes him the 287th actor worldwide to play the role in a professional, regional or community theatre production of the musical.

    River Mardesic is Billy Elliot

    For more information about River, visit:

    Billy Elliot the Forum


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