Note: Shirabe Kawaguchi is currently appearing as Billy in the Japanese production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) in Tokyo and Osaka, from September 11 to November 14, 2020.

Debut: September 13, 2020 (Tokyo, Japan)

Total Performances as Billy to Date:  7 (As of 30-Sep-2020) 

Shirabe Kawaguchi was 12 years old (born in 2007) when he made his debut as Billy in the Japanese production of BETM in Tokyo.

Shirabe has previously made appearances on TV and on stage.  He played the role of ‘Kanbe Daisuke’ in the NHK serial TV show Manpuku.  On stage he has played the role of ‘Yahiko Myojin’ in the romance action drama Rurouni Kenshin at the Shinbashi Enbujo Theatre in Toyko, and the role of ‘Young Luffy’ in One Piece Oto Utage: East Blue at Tokyo Kokusai Forum Hall C.

Shirabe’s special skill is baton twirling, which he has been doing since he was two years old.  He has even won the All Japan Championships.  Here is a video that shows off Shirabe’s skill with a baton:

Credit: Video by Shirabe’s act

At first Shirabe went along to the BETM audition as he thought the experience might help him with his baton twirling.  But as the training continued he found that he was becoming more and more enthusiastic about ballet. 

As Shirabe is from Hyogo, he first auditioned for BETM in Osaka and did the first part of his training there before joining the others in Tokyo.

Shirabe’s debut performance as Billy on 13-Sep-2020 makes him the 297th actor worldwide to play the role in a professional, regional or community theatre production of the musical.

Shirabe Kawaguchi performs “Angry Dance”

For more information about Shirabe visit:

Billy Elliot the Forum

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