Current cast features Ruthie Henshall as Mrs Wilkinson and Thomas Hazelby, Brodie Donougher, Ollie Jochim and Bradley Perret as Billy.
A decade after it first stamped, swore, and pirouetted into audiences' hearts, 'Billy Elliot the Musical' continues to mark itself out as one of the best nights in town. Both as tough as a miner's fist after a Friday night booze-up and as soaringly sensitive as one of Tchaikovsky's swans, it's a gritty story of hope that works its magic by defying sentimentality and slaying stereotypes.
Book writer Lee Hall has displayed a talent for comedy that has been noted by critics ever since he hit the radio airwaves with the less successful, but darkly Ortonesque 'Cooking With Elvis' in 1995.
By taking the miners' strike as the backdrop to Billy's tale, he taps into a period of history that powerfully resonates as the last great iconic clash between left and right in British politics.
What works so beautifully in 'Billy Elliot the Musical' is the miners' staunch embodiment of grimy-faced beer -without-frills masculinity – as threatened by the 12-year-old Billy's 'effeminate' attempts to express himself as a dancer, as they are by the rapacious, gorgon-style femininity of Thatcher. Hall and director Stephen Daldry exploit the gender clash to the full, both verbally and visually: so whether you're laughing at foul-mouthed ballerinas or miners in tutus, this is a glorious comedy – and near-tragedy – of dissonant values and shifting perceptions.
It was Jamie Bell, of course, who so successfully captured the popular imagination in the 2000 'Billy Elliot' film. Now, the myriad practicalities of staging the story of the motherless miner's son whose priorities go from pasties to pas de deux mean there must be several Billies. On the night I went, Dean Charles Chapman showed triumphantly that this is not a process of diminishing returns. As solemnly beautiful as a medieval knight, he brought both streetwise punch and the precision of a true professional both to his performance and the dance routines.
A good musical demands great stage pictures, and 'Billy Elliot' is full of them. The extraordinary, starkly lit ballet of men with wooden chairs, cigarettes, and pint glasses, as his dementia-ridden grandmother serenades Billy's 'bastard' of a dead grandfather; the devastating scene where a frustrated Billy smashes a tap dance against an advancing phalanx of darkly glinting police riot shields.
The theatre poster cliché is 'I laughed, I cried' – here you really do. Elton John's music – despite having no stand-out numbers – sensitively underscores a thrilling, devastating evening.
Average User Rating
4.6 / 5
- 5 star:65
- 4 star:13
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:2
Returned for the second time last night and was disappointed. Still as amazing as the first time I saw it. Incredible actors, especially the children. Rousing music and awesome choreography. Not to be missed
The worst thing was, I was too bored to even fall asleep. I just don't get the hype. If you're looking for good dancing, catchy songs and flawless singing, you wont find it here!
The story totally trivialised the miners strike and developed into something utterly bizarre by the interval - dancing dresses - what? Needless to say, I couldn't bare sitting through the second half, making it the only production I have ever walked out of.
I really wouldn't recommend this musical to anyone!
If you want to see a ballet get yourself tickets to something by the English National Ballet or Royal Ballet. You'll find cheaper tickets, with stunning dancing and the most sublime music to compliment an already magical production. If you're looking for a musical with a good storyline, catchy songs and fab dance routines, go and see Kinky Boots or the Book of Mormon.
For something that's been recommended to me countless times, I was truly disappointed.
I was told that Billy is now in its 11th Year! No wonder really - It's a fab show.
Word of warning, it's labelled as a family show but the language is a bit fruity at times if you want to avoid that awkward moment
If you haven't seen it, you've got to ask yourself why? It's brilliant - go see it!
Saw this for the first time last night and it was SO GOOD. Cried, laughed and cringed at all the swearing (brought my boyfriends little nephew with me). Great cast and really heartfelt performances. I especially liked Billy's nan - legend!
Go and see this before it closes!
brilliant show - I've seen it so many times and think the music is exceptional. Each song I can usually imagine Elton singing himself. I would love to see a concert version of him singing songs from the show one day.
Fabulous. Fantastic range of talent from all the cast, from the singing and dancing to the authentic geordie accents.
Good music, great dance routines, touching story. Elton John's reflection on the Miner's strike story of Billy Elliot works well. Certainly took me back to what was a period of intense social and economic dislocation. The young Billy Elliot performer excelled and the show is certainly to be recommended. Thank you, London.
What a fantastic show!!! Thoroughly enjoyed it, some really funny scenes together with some really poignant ones. Actor who played Billy was excellent - a superb dancer and loved his scenes with "Michael". Would recommend this show to anyone.
Billy Elliot is such a joy to watch. With history, dance and singing, tears of both sadness and happiness, the musical follows a true story. Amazing cast and fun, catchy songs. A must see for all the family. I would happily go see it again any day.
Performances were very good, the story line followed the film but none of the songs from the film were played, not a major issue though. Final part was disappointing in comparison to the film as the story line builds up to his first major performance attended by his family & Michael where the show seemed to fizzle out and merged into the encore. Congratulations to the cast and company we were enthralled throughout.
A great musical, a little on the long side with some unnecessary bad language but it is still well worth seeing,. The young boy who played Billy was excellent, as were the dance routines.
This was a tremendous show and so beautifully British. Not too sugar coated, actually rather gritty, with humour and pathos. Maybe could have been a little shorter, but the action flowed together seamlessly and had a great energy. And darn, can that kid dance!
The kid who plays Billy is preternaturally brilliant. Precocious doesn't even begin to describe the rest of the young cast. And the backdrop of Thatcher's Britain is, for obvious reasons, more relevant now than at any time since she governed. Just one quick word of warning: you WILL cry (or at least come perilously close).
This was the third time id seen Billy Elliott and like a fine wine this show just gets better and better as it goes along, really builds along as the show goes on and is superb entertainment, very arty, funny and emotional too. I fully recommend this show for the whole family it really is one of the west end's best shows...5 stars
An absolutely outstanding performance by all - it's amazing how talented the kids are in particular. It had the perfect mix of hilarity and seriousness and made for an unforgettable evening.
This was outstanding. After a couple of major disappointments (Chorus Line, Curious Incident) it was a major relief to see a brilliantly acted and staged show. The songs are excellent and move the story along. The dancing is exceptional. There were several scenes which brought tears to a 56 year old's eyes - Billy dancing with fury against the police and strikers; Billy dancing with himself as an adult. And the young kid who plays his friend was both hilarious and poignant. Also loved the set piece where the cast sing Happy Christmas Mrs Thatcher. A real show for our times. I could see it several times over.
Absolutely amazing, actor playing billy was outstanding. Michael was hilarious and would definitely recommend it!