News: Billy Elliot the Musical

Monday 14 March 2005

- arrives at the Victoria Palace Theatre in the West End in May. Because of the restrictions on school age children performing, three have been cast for every part, meaning that there are over 120 involved. Kate Kellaway met some of them – and Simon Fanshawe sat in on rehearsals…

‘As I watch the rehearsals for Billy Elliot, it feels very British. The set — the miners’ club, with a revolve that carries Billy’s bedroom — has the sparse plainness of northern working-class life. This musical is not so much glitzy as gritty, more kitchen-sink than Broadway baby.’ Simon Fanshawe, Sun.Times, 13 Mar

At school, he was teased about his dancing and would get ‘wound up about it’. But his brothers sorted out those giving him grief. ‘Now I don’t care about anyone watching. They can all call me a poof at school, I’m not bothered. You can watch me and I’ll show you what I’m made of.’ And the future? ‘I don’t know, I am only 12. Maybe I could grow up to think I don’t want to do this any more. I might be an electrician,’ he says with a smile, ‘or a miner.’ Kate Kellaway, Observer, 13 Mar

What’s On