I absolutely loved Billy Elliot the film. So when I heard Billy Elliot the Musical* was coming to the Mayflower Southampton I was really excited. Billy Elliot the Musical celebrated it’s tenth anniversary last year in the West End’s Victoria Palace, and is now on it’s first UK and Ireland tour. The award winning show has been critically acclaimed all over the world and now is showing in the Mayflower Southampton.
If you haven’t seen the film, it is set in the North East in a small mining town at the time of the 80’s strikes. You see the lead character Billy going from boxing, to a secret passion for ballet which he hides from his family and his journey pursuing his passion.
The story takes you on a journey of laughter and tears, with it’s tongue in cheek humour and potty mouthed children, it’s definitely a show full of shocks and giggles. The humour shares a balance with the grim reality of the strikes and the conflicts arising in a once tight knit community.
The story is fast paced, with songs that have you tapping your feet throughout. Co-written with lyricist Lee Hall you definitely can feel Elton John’s musical influences throughout the show. It certainly got me thinking about getting my tap shoes and denim jacket out!
My Best Bits
For me the highlight of the show was the choreography. From the angry dance solo from Billy, to the comical value of ballet dancers in their tutus dancing around miners and riot police. The tone of the story came through with the emotions the dance brought with it. A favourite moment for me was when Billy and his older self (Luke Cinque-White), danced to Tchaikovsky pas de deux. It was a moving piece which amongst all the comedy allowed you to understand Billy’s love for ballet. However, I did feel Billy being flung around on wires was unneeded as the dancing really spoke for itself.
On any night Billy is played by one of four boys. When i got the chance to watch the show it was Emile Goodings turn, for which he received a well deserved standing ovation. A lot of the show rests on the performance of Billy, and Emile really did make it. With his singing and incredible dancing, his performance was remarkable for such a young boy.
Billy Elliot the Musical is showing at The Mayflower Southampton 7th February – 4th March 2017.
You can purchase tickets at: https://www.mayflower.org.uk/Whats_On/BillyElliot2017?vm=desktop