Shows B

BILLY ELLIOT Musical based on the film of the same name. Book and lyrics by LEE HALL: Music by ELTON JOHN Presented by Working Title and Old Vic Productions In association with Tiger Aspect Victoria Palace Theatre, London - 11 May, 2005 Imperial Theatre, New York - 13 November, 2008 - closed 8 January, 2012 (40 previews, 1312 perfs) SYNOPSIS Billy Elliot the Musical has been described as a modern-day fairy tale. It is the heart-warming story of a young boy whose life is changed forever when he discovers an unexpected passion for dance. Set against the turbulent background of the 1984-85 miners’ strike in the northern pit village of Easington, Billy himself naturally is expected to become a miner like his brother Tony, his father Jackie and his father’s father before him. Despite the ravages of the strike, the family scrape together 50p per week for Billy to go to boxing. But, left to pass the hall keys on to the leader of a dance class, the exuberant Mrs Wilkinson, Billy finds himself connecting with the power of the music which, quite literally, moves him in a way that he would never previously have thought possible. Billy secretly joins the class, without being able to tell anyone. His family, after all, would never understand – boxing is for lads, not ballet. The only person who Billy does confide in is his friend Michael, who is happy to listen in between dressing up in his sister’s dresses, a pastime he can explain away very simply: “Me Dad does it all the time.” Sparks fly when Jackie Elliot discovers that his son has been frittering away his hard won 50 pences on ballet instead of boxing. But nevertheless, Billy takes up Mrs Wilkinson’s secret offer of free private tuition in preparation for an audition for the Royal Ballet School. The strike, meanwhile, is getting more and more heated. There are pitched battles between the police and the miners that split friends and spur Tony Elliot to take the law into his own hands as he raids his father’s toolbox for a weapon to use against the police. When Jackie Elliot unexpectedly stumbles upon his son Billy expressing his deepest emotions through dance, he heads off to see Mrs Wilkinson and find out about the audition. It may mean breaking the strike, but Jackie is determined: In the pit communities, solidarity is the watchword and Tony and the strikers agree to pool together what little money they have to help Billy go to London to audition. Money from a strike breaker (a ‘scab’) is unwelcome, but makes the difference and Billy and Jackie head to the bright lights of London. This is the story of a young boy who reaches beyond his place in the world to follow his heart’s desire and fight for his dreams. MUSICAL NUMBERS: 1. The Stars Look Down - Ensemble 2. Shine - Mrs Wilkinson, Debbie, Ballet Girls, Female Ensemble 3. Grandma’s Song - Grandma 4. Solidarity - Mrs Wilkinson, Dad, Devvie, Ballet Girls, Full Ensemble 5. Expressing Yourself - Billy, Michael 6. The Letter - Billy, Mrs Wilkinson, Mum 7. Born to Boogie - Mrs Wilkinson, Mr Braithwaite 8. Angry Dance - Male Ensemble