Billy Youth Theatre Announces Groups To Perform At West End Gala July 18

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Today, 13 May, Billy Elliot The Musical announces the 14 groups that have been selected to perform at the Billy Youth Theatre West End Gala which will take place at the Victoria Palace Theatre On Sunday 18 July 2010.

In November last year, to celebrate five years in the West End, the producers of Billy Elliot the Musical launched Billy Youth Theatre, a new initiative providing schools and youth groups around the country with the opportunity to perform their own productions of the internationally award-winning show. Since the launch 115 groups and over 5,000 young people from Stirling to Southampton have taken part in the Billy Youth Theatre which was open to schools and established youth groups in England, Scotland and Wales, and to performers aged 10-19.

The groups chosen to appear in the Billy Youth Theatre West End Gala are Ariel Young Actors (Burgess Hill, Sussex), Canon Slade School (Bolton, Greater Manchester), City Youth Theatre Company (Hove, East Sussex), CODYS Productions (Warrington, Cheshire), Coomeshead College & King Edward VI Community College (Newton Abbot, Devon), Polka Dot Academy (Spalding, Lincolnshire), Sandbach School Theatre (Sandbach, Cheshire), Scottish School of Musical Theatre (Motherwell, Scotland), Shotton Hall Theatre School (Pertlee County Durham), Stagecoach Oxford (Bicester, Oxfordshire), Stagecoach Theatre Arts Darlington and Yarm (County Durham), STP Musicals (Southampton, Hampshire), Youth On Stage Theatre Company (Bowers Gifford, Essex) and West Glamorgan Youth Theatre (Swansea, Wales).

Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, who originally conceived the idea behind Billy Youth Theatre, said: "I am thrilled that so many young people around the country have had the opportunity to bring the story of Billy Elliot to life in their local communities. We have seen some amazing performances from groups throughout the UK and are delighted that some of them are also being given the opportunity to perform at great regional theatres around the country and in the West End. Congratulations to them all."

Billy Elliot director, Stephen Daldry said: "The response to the Billy Youth Theatre has surpassed our expectations. To having been able to offer over 5000 young people the chance to have been so closely associated with our production of Billy Elliot The Musical has been a great experience for us. Our creative team have seen some wonderful excerpts of our musical performed by exceptionally talented young people countrywide."

Throughout May and June seven regional theatres are hosting Billy Youth Theatre regional showcases where participating groups have been invited to perform excerpts from their productions. The theatres and dates are: The Lowry (Quay Theatre), Salford, 9 May; Gala Theatre, Durham, 16 May; Wycombe Swan Theatre, High Wycombe, 22 May; Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, 8 June; Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham, 12 June Brighton Dome (Concert Hall), Brighton, 19 June; Curve, Leicester, 19 June.

Billy Elliot The Musical writer Lee Hall together with Martin Koch, Musical Supervision and Orchestrations, adapted their original script and orchestrations to produce a shortened version of the show exclusively for groups staging local productions as part of Billy Youth Theatre.

In December 2009, to support and encourage their local productions, the directors of the Billy Youth Theatre participating groups took part in a specially created all day workshop led by the award-winning team that brings Billy Elliot to life each day on the London stage. Participating on the day, alongside writer Lee Hall, were Resident Choreographers Lee Proud and Damian Jackson, Musical Director Chris Hatt and Resident Director Nick Evans as well as some former and current cast members.

Over 4.5 million people world-wide including HM The Queen have now seen Billy Elliot The Musical which celebrated its fifth birthday at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London on 31 March this year.

BILLY ELLIOT YOUTH THEATRE GALA

Gala: Sunday 18 July

Tickets: £15

Box Office: 020 7834 1317

LISTINGS INFORMATION BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL

Booking until: currently booking until 18 December 2010

Theatre: Victoria Palace Theatre, Victoria Street, London SW1

Box Office: 0870 895 5577

Tickets: £19.50 - £65.00

Performances: Monday - Saturday at 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm

Website: www.billyelliotthemusical.com
www.billyyouththeatre.com

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