West End's BILLY ELLIOT Welcomes New 'Billy'
Nat Sweeney, 12 years old from Birmingham, will make his West End stage debut this evening (3 July 2015) when he becomes the forty-first boy to play the title role in the iconic British musical Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Now in its eleventh year in the West End, the show recently extended booking at the Victoria Palace Theatre until 17 December 2016. In addition, the first UK and Ireland tour of Billy Elliot the Musical begins in February 2016 with tickets now on sale for performances at the Theatre Royal Plymouth.
Nat Sweeney makes his West End debut in Billy Elliot the Musical. He previously performed in Mathew Bourne's Lord of the Flies at the Birmingham Hippodrome. He trained at the Sparkles School of Dance and was a Junior Associate with Elmhurst School of Dance. Nat is a keen gymnast and has trained, competed and won various competitions with the Revolution Gym Club.
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.
Billy Elliot the Musical has now been seen by over 10 million people worldwide and has played on five continents. Billy Elliot the Musical is the recipient of over 80 awards internationally, receiving ten Tony Awards and five Oliviers, including the 2013 Audience Award. In total, eighty five boys have now played the iconic role on stage across the globe.
Nat Sweeney (12 years old from Birmingham) joins Brodie Donougher (12 years old from Blackpool), Thomas Hazelby (10 years old from Doncaster), Ollie Jochim (13 years old from Chelmsford, Essex) and Bradley Perret (13 years old from Juan les Pins, France) who alternate the title role of Billy Elliot. Todd Bell (12 years old from Whitehaven, Cumbria), Tomi Fry (12 years old from Swindon) and Nathan Jones (12 years old from Prudhoe, Northumberland) play the role of Billy's best friend Michael. Kyria Cooper (11 years old from Hartlepool), Connie Fisher (10 years old from Brompton, North Yorkshire) and Demi Lee (12 years old from Middlesbrough) alternate the role of Debbie.
Ruthie Henshall and Deka Walmsley lead the adult cast in the West End as Mrs Wilkinson and Dad respectively in Billy Elliot the Musical. They are joined by Chris Grahamson as Tony, Gillian Elisa as Grandma, Howard Crossley as George, Claudia Bradley as Dead Mum, Phil Snowdon as Mr Braithwaite and James Butcher as Older Billy. Ensemble members are Craig Armstrong, Richard Ashton, James Ballanger, David Bardsley, Paul Basleigh, Rachel Bingham, Lucinda Collins, Peter Cork, Scott Cripps, Robbie Durham, Ross Finnie, Lee Hoy, Ruri James, Ben Redfern, Charlotte Riby, Mike Scott, Sharon Sexton, Wendy Somerville, Spencer Stafford, David Stoller and Kerry Washington.
Billy Elliot the Musical 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.
The first Dutch production of Billy Elliot the Musical continues at the AFAS Circustheater in The Hague. Productions have previously been staged on Broadway, 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. 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.
Photo Credit: Alastair Muir