★★★★ | Billy Elliot, Victoria Palace, London
The West End show, adapted from the film of the same title, has been running for nearly ten years now. With Elton John adding the music to the Lee Hall’s lyrics and script you could almost guarantee a great night out. However, the real praise here goes completely to the current cast of the Billy Elliot The Musical, whose energetic boys steal the show.
The whole cast of kids were to be commended for their efforts, and not in a school play ‘oh didn’t they do well’, but with instances of showing up their adult dance partners, with slicker, more energised, and more grounded routines.
Highlights included a spine tingling section of Swan Lake where Billy dances with his future self on a mist covered stage before taking flight in a magical and beautiful moment, brought together by the powerful music of Tchaikovsky.
A show stealing scene with Billy reading a letter from his dead mother to his new Ballet teacher Mrs.Wilkinson had most of the audience welling up with great delivery timing and precision. About half way through the first half the emotional roller coaster starts which must be applauded to not only the great casting of Billy (11-year-old Matteo Zecca) and Mrs Wilkinson (Ruthie Henshall), but also to the penmanship of Lee Hall who mixes the grit of the mining industry strikes in the North East with the delicacy of ballet beautifully. Director Stephen Daldry has sewn the two lives together to make at times a comedic and bitterly honest stage experience.
By the end of the show, which did fly by, I was ready to dust off my tappers again and head to the kitchen floor after an all-cast dance routine put other shows, such as A Chorus Line, to shame.
I must round off with saying that both Billy and his best friend, the brilliantly and unphased camp, cross dressing, Michael (Tomi Fry) certainly have what it takes for a very long and successful career on the stag.
Bravo them boys.
Billy Elliot The Musical is on at the Victoria Palace, London. Tickets from £20.50
Booking until: Currently booking until 16 May 2015
Theatre: Victoria Palace Theatre, Victoria Street, London, SW1E 5EA
Box Office: 0844 248 5000
Tickets: £20.50 – £68.50 (until 21 June 2014 to include £1 theatre restoration levy)
£20.70 – £68.70 (from 23 June 2014 to include a £1.20 theatre restoration levy)
Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm