I first saw Billy Elliot in 2008 and I was simply blown away with the choreography and the talent of the children in the cast. The second time I saw it was 2012 and I was left underwhelmed with the experience due to choreography and staging changes, and I was disappointed that my expectations had not lived up to the previous performance. When it was announced that Billy Elliot would be closing in April 2016 I knew I had to go one last time to experience and feel what I had felt in 2008. Let’s just say I was not disappointed this time.
Set in a northern mining town, against the background of the 1984/’85 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dreams come true. The story follows Billy’s journey as he stumbles 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. (http://www.billyelliotthemusical.com)
The choreography in the show is one of the most effective on the West End in my opinion. From “Solidarity” to “Once We Were Kings”, the show impresses over and over again. The antithesis of the miners and the ballet dancers is stunning in “Solidarity” and always leaves me grinning from ear to ear. The Swan Lake sequence in Act Two is another defining moment in the show, with Billy dancing with his older self, it really is simply exquisite.
The cast was phenomenal with strong performances from every single cast member. Brodie Donougher as Billy Elliot was extraordinary in the role. Deka Walmsley as Dad is perfect casting for me, his reactions during “Electricity” are so emotional, it really makes you feel honoured to see him perform in the role. Another stand out for me was Bradley Mayfield in the role of Michael, his comedic timing was brilliant and he gave a certain innocence to the role which I have not seen before.
Billy Elliot gives other West End shows adapted from films tough competition, but there is no comparison for me. Billy Elliot will play its last performance at the Victoria Palace Theatre on 9th April 2016. A UK Tour follows from February 2016-May 2017. If you have not yet seen this show, I urge you to go while you can.