As London bids farewell to Billy Elliot The Musical on Saturday after an incredible 4,600 performances, we remember our favourite moments from the show…
- It’s probably the best film-to-stage adaptation ever and it hasthrilled London audiences for more than 10 years, thanks largely to a seemingly never-ending supply of young talented performers singing their hearts out and filling the stage with Peter Darling’s outstanding choreography. Billy’s pirouettes at the end of ‘Electricity’ will stay in our memory always.
2. From the sadness of Billy’s letter to the comedy of Grandma’s hidden pasties and Mr Braithwaite’s dancing, the show packs a strong emotional punch and has the uncanny ability to make you laugh and cry within in the space of about five minutes. Quite an achievement.
3. Elton John’s tunes, combined with Lee Hall’s lyrics, are truly wonderful. The cast album may not be one we have on repeat but when heard within the context of the show, the songs have a real impact.
“It’s like that there’s a music playing in your ear
But the music is impossible, impossible to hear
But then I feel it move me
Like a burning deep inside
Something bursting me wide open impossible to hide
And suddenly I’m flying, flying like a bird
Like electricity, electricity
Sparks inside of me
And I’m free I’m free.”
4. The parade of dancing frocks on stage is a slightly odd moment in the show but memorable for its sheer quirkiness nevertheless. Did they ever fall over on stage, we wonder?
5. The giant Maggie Thatcher puppet that looms over the stage during the number at the start of the second act is quite a sight to behold. And who can forget the angst over whether the song should be performed on the day Thatcher died back in 2013? It was decided that the audience should choose – they voted YES!
6. In 2006, the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical was awarded to the three young actors who shared the role of Billy. Their jubilation at winning was palpable and coverage of their achievement was headline news the next day. Congratulations boys!
7. The moment during Once We Were Kings when the miners descend sub-stage with the lights on their helmets shining into the audience is pure theatre gold. You couldn’t achieve the impact that has on film!
So what’s next for the Victoria Palace? It’s been reported that the New York smash-hit Hamilton will open there next year after an extended period of refurbishment so, as Billy pirouettes off on tour, we all have something to look forward to in 2017!
If you’re reading this before 9th April 2016 you still have time to buy tickets for Billy Elliot – the incredible original London Production.
Share your memories of Billy Elliot The Musical in the comments box below…