BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL Live Broadcast Tops UK Box Office; Encore Screenings Set
This weekend saw a record breaking twenty-five former and current Billy Elliots come together on stage in a specially choreographed mash-up finale of Billy Elliot the Musical. This unique performance was broadcast live to eight countries from the show's West End home at the Victoria Palace Theatre. All three original Billy Elliots - James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower - took part in a spectacular finale as the broadcast, the widest ever cinema release of a live event, hit number one at the UK box office.
Two special screenings of Billy Elliot the Musical Live also took place at the historic Easington Social Welfare Centre, formerly the Easington Colliery Miners' Institute, one of the settings for Billy's inspiring story.
Fourteen years ago today (29 September 2000) the BAFTA award-winning film Billy Elliot was released in UK cinemas. The story of a young boy's struggle against the odds to make his dream come true was subsequently brought to life on stage in Stephen Daldry's internationally award-winning production which continues to thrill audiences in the West End eight shows a week.
In addition to the live broadcast, Billy Elliot the Musical will be screened to a further nine countries across four continents and due to huge public demand encore screenings will take place in 350 cinemas throughout the UK on 2, 3, 4 and 5 October (see local cinema listings for details). Billy Elliot the Musical Live will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on 24 November 2014.
Set in a northern mining town, against the background of the 1984/'85 miners' strike, Billy's journey takes him out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and whole community and changes his life forever.
Elliott Hanna, 11 years old from Liverpool - the youngest boy ever to play the title role when he made his debut at just 10 years old - led the cast, joined by Liam Mower, 22 from Hull, who made his return to the show in the role of Older Billy for this special event, having been the first boy to play the role of Billy Elliot on stage in 2005. The performance was introduced by Billy Elliot's director Stephen Daldrywith a special message from composer Elton John.
Taking part in the mash-up finale were Liam Mower (22, from Hull), James Lomas, (24, from Sheffield), George Maguire (23, from Stanford-Le-Hope), Leon Cooke (23, from Newcastle under Lyme), Matthew Koon (20, from Salford, Lancashire), Dean McCarthy (22, from Dublin), Layton Williams (20, from Manchester), Joshua Fedrick (20, from Saltash, Cornwall), Fox Jackson-Keen (19, from Hornsey, London), Tom Holland (18, from Kingston-upon-Thames), Ollie Gardner (17, from Bath), Rhys Yeomans (16, from Oldham),Aaron Watson (16, from Kings Lynn, Norfolk), Scott McKenzie (17, from Dumbarton, Scotland), Josh Baker (16, from Rochester),Ryan Collinson (16, from Southport), Kaine Ward (15, from Hertfordshire), Harris Beattie (15, from Aberdeen), Harrison Dowzell(14, from Nottinghamshire), Redmand Rance (14, from Fareham) and Ali Rasul (13, from Hartlepool) will be joined by currently Billy Elliots - Elliott Hanna (11, from Liverpool), Bradley Perret (12, from Juan-les-Pins, France), Matteo Zecca (12, from Buckinghamshire) and Ollie Jochim (12, from Essex).
The adult cast of Billy Elliot is led by Ruthie Henshall as Billy's dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson, Deka Walmsley as Billy's dad, Chris Grahamson as Tony and Ann Emery as Grandma, joined by Claudia Bradley, Howard Crossley, Barnaby Meredith and David Muscat. Ensemble members are Craig Armstrong, David Bardsley, Paul Basleigh, Spencer Cartwright, Lucinda Collins, Gillian Elisa, Lee Hoy, Ruri James, Chris Jenkins, Charlie Martin, Alan Mehdizadeh, Steve Paget, Ben Redfern, Charlotte Riby, Mark John Richardson, Mike Scott, Phil Snowden, Wendy Somerville, Spencer Stafford and David Stoller.
Based on the Academy Award® nominated film, Billy Elliot the Musical has been dazzling London's theatergoers at the Victoria Palace Theatre since 2005, and has gone on to captivate audiences around the world, winning over 80 theatre awards globally including 10 Tony Awards® and 5 Olivier Awards. Billy Elliot the Musical has now been seen by nearly 10 million people worldwide and is brought to life by the multiple award-winning creative team behind the film including writer Lee Hall (book and lyrics), director Stephen Daldry, and choreographer, Peter Darling, joined by Elton John who composed the show's score. The production features scenic design by Ian MacNeil, the associate director is Julian Webber, costume design is by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.
Productions of Billy Elliot the Musical have been staged on Broadway, as well as in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto and Seoul, South Korea. The North American touring production, which began in 2010, finished its spectacular run in August 2013 with an engagement in São Paulo, Brazil, the first time Billy Elliot played in South America. The show will open in the Netherlands in November this year, and further international productions are currently planned.
Billy Elliot the Musical is presented in London by Universal Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions in association with Tiger Aspect and is based on the Universal Pictures/Studio Canal film. The show is produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jon Finn and Sally Greene. Angela Morrison and David Furnish are executive producers.