London’s Billy Elliot celebrates its fourth birthday and an impressive 1,700 performances on 12 May, two milestones that are merely a taster of what’s to come. During its time at the Victoria Palace, Elton John and Lee Hall’s musical has surpassed the success of the 2000 film on which it is based, becoming nothing short of a worldwide phenomenon.
In its four years in London, Billy Elliot has achieved a great deal, not least for its record breaking performance at the 2006 Olivier Awards. Not only did the show mark the first time the award for Best Actor in a Musical had been given in a shared capacity (to the three original Billys James Lomas, Liam Mower and George Maguire), but at twelve years old, Mower became the award’s youngest ever recipient. This feat was mirrored in Australia as the four Sydney Billys were jointly awarded the same title at the Helpmann awards. In New York, the Broadway Billys are also up for the Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical, one of an incredible fifteen nominations, matching the record set by The Producers in 2001.
The worldwide spread of Billy Elliot the Musical has really only just begun, and the future looks exciting. The show’s assured success at the internationally respected Tonys will most certainly result in more productions being staged, with shows in France, Germany and Korea already in development. Not only that, buut the show also looks set to go full circle and find itself once again on the big screen. Billy Elliot is of course based on Lee Hall’s 2000 film starring Jamie Bell, and now the show looks set to have a movie adaptation of its own. Both Elton John and producer Nick Fellner have mentioned the project in various interviews.
As part of the celebrations, Billy Elliot will mark its birthday with some new cast members including Oliver Gardner, who will become London’s twentieth Billy, joining Tom Holland, Tanner Pflueger and Brad Wilson in the role. Billy Elliot is currently booking in London until December 2009.
Published: 03/06/2009 11:46:02