Credit: Article title photo by David Barker.
Note: Tom’s final performance as Billy in London was May 29, 2010
Debut: September 8, 2008 (London)
Total Performances as Billy: Unknown (Unreported data from the period he was Billy) (Recorded data: 151.75 — includes 5 partial shows credited @ .5 ea + 1 partial show credited @ .25)
Tom Holland’s last performance as Billy, in the London production of Billy Elliot the Musical, took place on Saturday, May 29, 2010, just a couple of days shy of his 14th birthday and after 21 months in the role.
Tom, who retired as the senior Billy on the London stage, was born on June 1, 1996 and is from Kingston, England. He started dancing at a hip hop class on Saturday afternoons at a studio called Nifty Feet in Wimbledon, England. He was spotted at age 10, at a dance show in Richmond, by Billy Elliot talent scouts who constantly scour the countryside looking for potential Billys. They invited him to audition for the musical.
Up to that point, Tom’s emphasis had been in street dance and acrobatics. While those conducting the auditions loved how accomplished he was in those skills and for his outgoing personality and stage presence, they suggested that he take ballet lessons in order to be a viable candidate for the role of Billy.
Eight auditions and two years later he was finally offered a role in the show. But he took an unusual path to finally attain his goal of being Billy Elliot. On June 28, 2008, Tom made his West End debut – not as Billy, but as Billy’s best friend Michael. It wasn’t until September 8, 2008 that Tom finally debuted as Billy Eliott.
In a series of videos on the official Billy Elliot the Musical London website, various cast and crew members are introduced to the public. In one, Tom talks about what’s it’s like to play Billy:
Credit: Video by WestEndTheatre
He was considered a “street/acro” Billy because most of his choreography in the show demonstrated that style of dance. Tom was known for his agility and his gravity defying acrobatic flips, including a “no hands” forward flip and his signature backward flip while walking up a wall which ended the show’s signature dance number called “Electricity”. That maneuver never failed to elicit gasps from appreciative audiences at the show.
Early on in his stint as Billy, with all of four shows as Billy under his belt, Tom did his first interview on a local British TV news program, along with another soon-to-be Billy, Tanner Pflueger. A highlight of that interview was when Tom and Tanner, asked by the reporter what their Geordi accents sound like, demonstrated by singing in turn, acapella, the opening words of the musical’s signature song “Electricity”.
Credit: Video by sleepylins
Tom did many interviews and TV appearances in the almost two years he was in the show including this appearance on March 11, 2010 with Fox Jackson-Keen and Dean Charles Chapman on ITV’s The Alan Titchmarsh Show:
Credit: Video by MrWestendboy
To know Tom is to know his bubbly personality and his great sense of humor. One newspaper reporter found that out first hand when, during an interview, she asked Tom where his talent comes from. His reply: “My mum and dad joke about who I take after. I’ve seen them both dance and I have to say, there must have been a mix up at the hospital.” All agree there was no mix up when the creative team of Billy Elliot the Musical decided that Tom Holland should be one of their Billys.
There’s no doubt that, with his talent, Tom will have a stellar career in the performing arts, should he decide to pursue such a life’s work.
Editor’s Note: After BETMUK, Tom has gone on to a mostly cinematic career in the performing arts, and has been featured in several films (see the IMDb link below for further details).
For more information on Tom Holland visit: