Billy Elliot
The Musical
West End promotional poster
MusicElton John
LyricsLee Hall
BookLee Hall
BasisFilm Billy Elliot by Lee Hall
Premiere31 March 2005: Victoria Palace Theatre, London
Productions2005 West End
2008 Broadway
2010 North America tour
2016 UK tour
AwardsLaurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical
Tony Award for Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music

Billy Elliot: The Musical is a coming-of-age stage musical based on the 2000 film of the same name. The music is by Elton John, and the book and lyrics are by Lee Hall, who wrote the film's screenplay. The plot revolves around Billy, a motherless British boy who begins taking ballet lessons. The story of his personal struggle and fulfilment are balanced against a counter-story of family and community strife caused by the 1984–85 UK miners' strike in County Durham, in North East England. Hall's screenplay was inspired in part by A. J. Cronin's 1935 novel about a miners' strike, The Stars Look Down, to which the musical's opening song pays homage.[1]

The musical premiered at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London's West End in 2005 and was nominated for nine Laurence Olivier Awards, winning four, including Best New Musical. The production ran through April 2016.[2] Its success led to productions in Australia, Broadway, and numerous other countries. In New York, it won ten Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk Awards, including, in each case, Best Musical. It has also won numerous awards in Australia including a record-tying seven Helpmann Awards.

A live recording of the musical was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 24 November 2014 in the UK.


Original London production

Five years of West End Billys performing in the 5th Birthday Show on 31 March 2010

The premiere of the musical was planned at the Tyne Theatre in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, but this was abandoned due to financial problems of the Tyne Theatre's operator, and the production's growing budget.[3]

The musical premiered in the West End at the Victoria Palace Theatre, opening in previews on 31 March 2005 and officially on 11 May 2005. It closed on 9 April 2016, when the theatre closed for refurbishment, after 4,600 performances.[2][4] The show reportedly cost £5.5 million to produce (the original film version cost $5 million).[5] The producers were Working Title Films, Old Vic Productions Plc and David Furnish. It was directed by Stephen Daldry and choreographed by Peter Darling, as was the original film. Liam Mower, James Lomas and George Maguire were the original actors who alternated in the title role, and the supporting cast included Haydn Gwynne as Mrs. Wilkinson, Tim Healy as Billy's father, and Stephanie Putson as Billy's mother.[6] The sets were designed by Ian MacNeil, the costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting was by Rick Fisher, and sound by Paul Arditti.

Billy Elliot advertisement on a Routemaster bus in London, 2007

The musical received favourable reviews: The Daily Telegraph's Charles Spencer called it "the greatest British musical I have ever seen".[7] It won four Laurence Olivier Awards in 2006: Best New Musical, Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (awarded jointly to James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower, the boys who played Billy), Best Theatre Choreographer and Best Sound Design. It also won the Evening Standard Theatre Award, the Critics Circle Award, and the Theatregoers Choice Award, all for Best Musical.[8]

The original cast album was released on 10 January 2006. On 12 May 2006, the three original Billys appeared together in a performance of the musical to celebrate its first anniversary. The three rotated the role during the performance and were joined at the end by Elton John.[9] In 2013, the show won another Olivier Award, the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award (voted for by theatre goers), after many years of being finalists for the award.[10] After Margaret Thatcher died in 2013, according to director Stephen Daldry, the audience were given the choice to decide whether the song "Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher" would be included in the performance that day, since the lyrics include the sentence: "We all celebrate today 'cause it's one day closer to your death". As only three audience members voted against it, the performance went ahead as usual.[11][12] On 3 July 2015, 12-year-old Nat Sweeney from Birmingham became the 41st actor to play the role of Billy in London, making him the 100th to play the role worldwide.[13] Elton John appeared on stage at the final West End performance in April 2016.[14]

Billy Elliot the Musical Live

In June 2014, it was announced that the musical would be screened and broadcast live to cinemas around the UK and the world.[15] On 28 September, the matinee of the musical was broadcast as it was being filmed at the Victoria Palace Theatre to cinemas around the UK and other countries, with further encore screenings of that same performance on other dates. Billy was played by Elliott Hanna. Liam Mower, one of the three actors who originated the title role, returned to play the role of Older Billy.[16] In addition, 25 past and present actors to have played the title role on the West End performed a specially-choreographed dance number at the finale. The live broadcast topped the UK and Ireland box office the weekend it was broadcast, a first for an event cinema release, beating The Equalizer with £1.9m.[17] This performance was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 24 November 2014 in the United Kingdom. This cast includes Elliott Hanna in the title role with Ruthie Henshall as Mrs. Wilkinson, Deka Walmsley as Billy's dad, Chris Grahamson as Tony and Ann Emery as Grandma.[18] Further cast included Claudia Bradley as Dead Mam, Howard Crossley as George, David Muscatt as Mr Braithwaite, Alan Mehdizadeh as Big Davey, Liam Mower as Older Billy and David Stoller as Posh Dad.

Billy Youth Theatre

Billy Youth Theatre[19] was a countrywide scheme as part of which participating schools and youth groups were given the opportunity to stage their own production of the musical. Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, together with Martin Koch (Musical Supervision and Orchestrations), adapted their original script and orchestrations to produce a shortened version of the show exclusively for groups staging local productions as part of Billy Youth Theatre.

Australian tours

Original Australian tour

The musical opened at Sydney's Capitol Theatre on 13 November 2007, directed by Daldry in association with Julian Webber, and choreographed by Darling.[20] Rhys Kosakowski, Lochlan Denholm, Rarmian Newton, and Nick Twiney alternated in the title role. The production earned good notices, and in January 2008 it won Best Musical at the 2008 Sydney Theatre Awards.[21] The show also won seven Helpmann Awards, including the awards for Best Musical, Best Direction, Best Choreography, Best Female Actor (Genevieve Lemon as Mrs. Wilkinson) and Best Male Actor, awarded jointly to the four boys who played Billy Elliot.[22] The production concluded in Sydney on 9 November 2008 with all eight Sydney Billys in the finale.

The Sydney production transferred to Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre, opening on 13 December 2008.[23] The Melbourne production closed on 14 June 2009 after a successful run.[24]

10th Anniversary Australian tour (2019)

On 10 April 2017 it was announced that Billy Elliot would open at Sydney's Lyric Theatre in October 2019. The production transferred to Adelaide, followed by Melbourne where it was scheduled to close in April 2020.[25] The adult cast featured Kelley Abbey as Mrs. Wilkinson, Justin Smith as Billy's dad, Vivien Davis as Grandma and Drew Livingston as Troy. Mid-way through the run, Abbey withdrew from the show and was replaced by her understudy Lisa Sontag as Mrs. Wilkinson. On 28 November, Elton John watched the show from a private box and surprised the cast and audience by participating in the final bows.[26] The show closed just over a month early in Melbourne, on 16 March 2020, due to audience restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[27]

Original Broadway production

The Broadway production opened at the Imperial Theatre on 1 October 2008 in previews, and officially on 13 November 2008. The London production's creative team directed and designed the Broadway production.[8] The title role was rotated among three young actors, David Álvarez, Kiril Kulish, Trent Kowalik, the last of whom had previously played the role in London.[28] The supporting cast included Haydn Gwynne, reprising her role of Mrs. Wilkinson from the London production, and Gregory Jbara as Billy's father.

The production received rave reviews:[29] Time called it a "triumph"; critic Liz Smith termed it "breathtakingly brilliant" and "absolutely, unequivocally awesome"; the Daily News said it was "so exhilarating that at times you feel like leaping";[30] the New York Post said it was "almost like being in love" and termed it "amusing, perfect and passionate" and "the best show you will ever see"; and the Los Angeles Times called it a "global theatrical phenomenon".[31] It has also been very financially successful, with $20 million taken in advance ticket sales.[29] In 2009, the production received fifteen Tony Award nominations, tying with The Producers for the most nominations ever received by a Broadway show,[32] and winning ten. The original three boys in the lead role jointly won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. The production sold strongly and recouped its original investment of $18 million in 14 months.[33] The Broadway production closed on 8 January 2012 following 40 previews and 1,312 regular performances.[34]

Original Mexican production

The first Spanish language production opened on 14 February 2017 at Centro Cultural Teatro 2 in Mexico City. The role of Billy was played by Mauricio Arriaga, Demián Ferráez, Ian González and Aaron Márquez. The role of Mrs. Wilkinson was played by Anahí Allué. The cast also included Hernán Mendoza, Carlos Fonseca, first actress Norma Lazareno and Concepción Márquez as Billy's father, Tony and Billy's grandmother respectively. Tony award-winner David Alvarez, from the original Broadway production, reprised his character in its adult version for this production. Billy Elliot closed on 30 December 2017 and from January through August 2018 it embarked on a national tour.[citation needed]

Original Spanish production

The second Spanish language production began previews on 22 September 2017 at the Nuevo Teatro Alcalá in Madrid, and officially opened on 5 October 2017. The role of Billy was originally played by Pablo Bravo, Pau Gimeno, Cristian López, Miguel Millán, Oscar Pérez, and Diego Rey, with Carlos Hipólito as Billy's father and Natalia Millán as Mrs. Wilkinson.[35]

Billy Elliot closed in Madrid on 10 March 2020, when performances were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The production reopened on 9 October 2021 at the Teatre Victòria in Barcelona, where it ran until 22 May 2022. With 1,166 performances played, this is the 3rd longest running production of Billy Elliot worldwide, only after London and Broadway.[36]

Stratford Festival production

The Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario announced that Billy Elliot would be part of its 2019 season. Previews began on 16 April 2019, and the official opening performance was held on 28 May. The production was scheduled to run until 3 November, but was extended due to popular demand until 24 November. There were a total of 119 performances throughout the season.[37]

The production was staged in the Festival Theatre,[38] making this the first time the show has been performed on a Thrust Stage. Because the audience would be seated on 3 sides of the stage, the blocking and staging needed to be designed so that all members of the audience could see the performance. The production was directed and choreographed by Donna Feore, with set design by Michael Gianfrancesco, costuming by Dana Osborne, and music direction by Franklin Brasz.

Nolen Dubuc was announced for the lead role of Billy. While there was an understudy, Dubuc ended up performing in all 119 performances. The rest of the cast included Emerson Gamble as Michael, Blythe Wilson as Mrs. Wilkinson, and Dan Chameroy as Dad.[39]

Touring productions

First US national tour

Although considered the first US national tour, the show did not tour as a usual touring production would, with longer engagements in Chicago and Toronto.

Chicago (2010)
Cesar Corrales in a scene from the Chicago production.

The musical opened in Chicago on 18 March 2010 in previews, officially on 11 April, at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts Oriental Theatre for an extended run. This is the start of the North American multi-city tour.[40] According to producer Eric Fellner, however, the musical "will be here until such time as Chicago says 'go away'. ... We can only do one production at once," and other North American cities will have to wait until the Chicago production runs its course.[41] Emily Skinner plays Mrs. Wilkinson, and the cast featured Tommy Batchelor, Giuseppe Bausilio, Cesar Corrales and J.P. Viernes alternating as Billy, with Armand Schultz as Billy's Dad, Cynthia Darlow as Grandma, Patrick Mulvey as Tony and Jim Ortlieb as George.[42] The production closed early on 28 November 2010 and transferred to Toronto. The show ran for 37 weeks and 288 performances.[43]

The production had been slated to run through July 2010 but was extended to the middle of January 2011, by popular demand. By September, however, ticket sales were growing bleak. According to the Chicago Tribune, "Weekday attendance had been especially poor in recent weeks, despite heavily discounted tickets. Audience members at the Oriental Theatre in the Loop had reported an almost-empty balcony at some shows, and weekday attendance had been as low as 900 or so people. December sales are typically strong, so the decision to close then indicated that things were not expected to pick up." The show closed "early" in November 2010.[44]

Toronto (2011)

The Canadian premiere of the show opened on 1 February 2011 at the Canon Theatre in Toronto. The cast included: Kate Hennig as Mrs. Wilkinson; Cesar Corrales, J.P. Viernes, Marcus Pei and Myles Erlick as Billy; Armand Schultz as Billy's dad; Cynthia Darlow as Grandma; Patrick Mulvey as Tony; Jim Ortlieb as George; and cast members from the Chicago company. It was originally scheduled for 28 January 2011.[45][46][47]

The show received mostly glowing reviews. The most critical review was one published in the National Post: "The signal achievement of Billy Elliot The Musical is to be even phonier than the movie it's based on."[48] The show was extended, due to packed audiences for an additional three months.

Second US national tour

A second tour opened at the Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, North Carolina, on 30 October 2010. Although this is the first production of the musical to tour the United States in a "touring" manner, this is still considered to be the Second National Tour.[49]

The title role was shared by Giuseppe Bausilio, Michael Dameski, Kylend Hetherington, Lex Ishimoto, and Daniel Russell. The cast also included Faith Prince as Mrs. Wilkinson, Rich Hebert as Billy's father, Patti Perkins as Grandma, Jeff Kready as Tony, and Joel Blum as George.[50]

The second tour went on hiatus in August 2011. It re-opened in November of the same year under a new production company, Networks, and with previous cast members from the second tour as well as the Toronto cast. Notable cast replacement included Ben Cook as Billy. The tour went on hiatus after playing its final performance in North America at Hartford, Connecticut on 23 June 2013, before proceeding to São Paulo, Brazil.

While the second tour received much praise from audiences and critics, gave the show a rare mixed review, calling Stephen Daldry's direction "muddy and over-complicated", Elton John's music "dull", and Ian MacNeil's set "hideous, over-designed, and unnecessarily complex".[51]

After the tour's hiatus, it transferred to Brazil for a limited engagement and opened on 2 August 2013 at the Credicard Hall in São Paulo. It was the first time the tour played in a Latin American country and was the first musical to take its international tour to Brazil since Cats in 2006.[52] The tour played its final performance on 18 August with Ty Forhan, Drew Minard and Mitchell Tobin as the last to share the title role.[53]

Other productions

The first non-English language production of the musical opened in Seoul on 10 August 2010 in previews and officially on 14 August at the LG Arts Center. It originally starred Jin-Ho Jung, Ji-Myeong Lee, Sunu Lim, and Se-Yong Kim in the title role of Billy with Junhyung Kim later joining the cast in January 2011.[54][55] Supporting cast included Young-joo Chung as Mrs. Wilkinson, Won-hee Cho as Billy's father, and Jae-hyung Lim as Tony. This production closed on 27 February 2011.[56]

The first US regional production of the show opened on 16 June 2014 at The Muny in St. Louis, Missouri, for a week-long run.[57] Included among the cast were Tade Biesinger as Billy, Emily Skinner as Mrs. Wilkinson, Daniel Oreskes as Dad, and Patti Perkins as Grandma, all reprising their roles from the original Broadway production.[58] On 25 October 2013, the Ogunquit Playhouse announced that it would stage their own production which ran from 25 June through 26 July 2014. Included among the cast were Anastasia Barzee as Mrs. Wilkinson, Sam Faulkner and Noah Parets as Billy, Armand Schultz as Billy's dad, Dale Soules as grandma, Anthony Festa as Tony and Joel Blum as George.[59] Other regional productions have also been announced.

In December 2013 the Norwegian production company SceneKvelder announced that it would stage their own production of the show at the Folketeatret in Oslo. This production opened on 18 September 2014 for a limited run and was the first international non-replica production to open.[60][61] Kevin Haugan played the title role with Hilde Lyrån as Mrs. Wilkinson, Nils Ole Oftebro as Billy's dad and Benjamin Helstad as Tony.

On 30 November 2014 Billy Elliot premiered in the Netherlands at the AFAS Circustheater in The Hague (Scheveningen) after previews starting on 6 November. Billy was alternately played by Tydo Korver, Stijn van der Plas, Svenno van Kleij, Carlos Puts, Jillis Roshanali and Roan Pronk. Among the cast were Dutch musical actress Pia Douwes as Mrs. Wilkinson, Bas Heerkens as Billy's father, and Reinier Demeijer as Tony. This production was produced by the original English producers (Universal Stage Productions, Working Title Films, Old Vic Productions) and by Joop van den Ende Theaterproducties/Stage Entertainment.

On 22 January 2015 Billy Elliot premiered in Denmark at Det Ny Teater in Copenhagen. Billy was alternately played by Oscar Dietz, Carl-Emil Lohmann and Nicolas Stefan Anker Markovic. The cast included actress Julie Steincke as Mrs. Wilkinson, Kristian Boland as Billy's father, and Sebastian Harris as Tony.

In March 2015 Billy Elliot premiered in Estonia, Tallinn, at the Nordea Concert Hall. Among the cast were Kaire Vilgats as Mrs. Wilkinson and Mait Malmsten as Billy's father.

On 5 May 2015 Billy Elliot premiered in Italy at Il Sistina in Rome. Billy was alternately played by Alessandro Frola and Simone Romualdi. Among the cast were Sabrina Marciano as Mrs. Wilkinson, Christian Roberto as Michael, Luca Biagini as Billy's father, Cristina Noci as Grandma, Donato Altomare as Tony, Elisabetta Tulli as Mum, Jacopo Pelliccia as George and Maurizio Semeraro as Mr. Braithwaite .

Billy Elliot premiered in Malmö, Sweden on 13 February 2016 at Malmö opera. Billy was alternately played by Grim Lohman, Oliver Lohk and Jacob Hermansson and Michael by David Fridholm, Carl Sjögren and Uno Elger. Among the cast were Åsa Fång as Mrs. Wilkinson, Lars Väringer as Dad, Rasmus Mononen as Tony, Paul James Rooney and Robert Thomsen playing the role of Older Billy. The production moved to Stockholm in March 2017.

In May 2016, the Grandstreet Theatre in Helena, Montana, became the first American, non-professional theatre company to stage this musical.[62]

On 1 June 2016 Billy Elliot premiered in Israel at City Hall theater in Cinema City Gelilot Complex. Billy was alternately played by Arnon Herring and Shon Granot-Zilbershtein. The main cast included Daphna Dekel as Mrs. Wilkinson, Avi Kushnir as Billy's father, Oshri Cohen as Tony and Dina Doron as Billy's grandmother. The role of Michael was alternately played by Sahar Lev-Shomer, TimoTi Sannikov and Amit Brenner. The role of Debbie was alternately played by Naya Federman, Sasha Bezrukov and Maya Mintz. Eldar Groisman directed and choreographed the show, which was translated into Hebrew by Eli Bijaoui.

The first Hungarian language production of the musical—a non-replica staging—debuted on 29 July 2016 at the Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest, directed by Tamás Szirtes and choreographed by Ákos Tihanyi. The production was originally intended for the Erkel Theatre which has more seats but was relocated after the ticket sales started. Hungarian translation is by István Puller and Ferenc Bárány.[63] It was the first musical ever to be performed at the Opera House.[64] The production was later moved to Erkel Theatre where it was originally intended. In this production, the role of Michael—the only identifiably homosexual character in the original—is significantly reduced, and his homosexuality is not made explicit.[65] Despite this, on 1 June 2018, ahead of the production's third summer season, conservative Hungarian newspaper Magyar Idők published an article calling the musical "gay propaganda", and accused it of corrupting children and turning them gay. Ticket sales fell in response to the article, and 15 performances had to be cancelled (29 other performances went ahead as planned).[66][67][68] It was announced shortly after that the cancelled performances would be made up for during the final season of production in 2019.[69][70]

In July and August 2022 a completely new UK production was presented at the Curve, Leicester. The revival, by the theatre's artistic director Nikolai Foster, was the first full-scale staging of Billy Elliot in the UK since the original. It was a completely new staging, with a new set design by Michael Taylor and choreography by Lucy Hind.[71] It was the biggest in-house production that the Curve Theatre has ever mounted.[72][73]

Social and cultural issues

Subversion of gender roles

The production is notable in its empowering promotion of the subversion of traditional gender roles, promoting acceptance and open-mindedness; both implicitly in the show's decision to represent drag and the challenging of traditional masculinity in a positive light, and explicitly, in the shows lyrics and repeated core message of the value of 'expressing yourself' and embracing one's 'individuality.' Billy's subversion of traditional masculine "gender performativity"[74] is highlighted against the contrast of Durham's extremely masculine working-class society. With this focus, Billy Elliot has the position of being "the first mainstream British entertainment to directly interrogate homophobic prejudice as a function of patriarchal society."[75] With the impact of its empowering message of acceptance entering public discourse and education campaigns[19] thanks to the prominence and financial success of the show.

Empowering the working class

Within the social context of the 1984–85 miner's strike, Billy Elliot's personal struggle to continue dancing is contrasted powerfully to choreographed violence due to the strike. The repetition of 'solidarity forever' is an empowering musical motif to represent the perceived power of the miners union.[76] The message of strength in unity is assisted by emotive and colloquial lyrics, producing audience affect as the empowered everyday working men fight ardently against the British government.[77] However the eventual fall of the worker's strike suggests that class differences are inevitable, yet there remains an allusion to strength despite this loss of power.[78] Ultimately Billy's passion for dance remains empowering enough to allow his movement to a middle class education.


Act I

In County Durham, the 1984–85 coal miners' strike is just beginning ("The Stars Look Down"). Motherless eleven-year-old Billy stays behind after his boxing class to give keys to Mrs. Wilkinson, who runs a ballet class. The class is all girls, but Billy is attracted to the grace of the dance ("Shine"). At first, Billy's interest in dance is easily concealed from his family, as the only person home at the time is his grandmother. She reveals to Billy the abuse she suffered at the hands of her late husband, but that she found great joy in dance ("Grandma's Song").

While his father Jackie, brother Tony and neighbours are on strike and clash with riot police, Billy secretly takes dance lessons ("Solidarity"). During the number, the violent reality of the strike is contrasted with the peaceful practise of ballet.

Eventually, Jackie discovers Billy in the ballet class and forbids him from attending the lessons. Mrs. Wilkinson, who recognizes Billy's potential, privately suggests that he should audition for the Royal Ballet School in London, offering free private lessons to prepare him for the audition. Billy is not sure what he wants to do, so he visits his best friend Michael for advice. He finds Michael wearing a dress. Michael persuades Billy to have fun with him by dressing up in woman's clothing, rejecting the restrictive inhibitions of their working class community ("Expressing Yourself").

For his first private ballet lesson, Billy brings things to inspire a special dance for the audition, including a letter from his mother ("Dear Billy (Mum's Letter)"). Through his lessons, he develops an impressive routine for his audition ("Born to Boogie"), as he forms a close bond with Mrs. Wilkinson. Her daughter, Debbie, tries to discourage Billy from auditioning because she has a crush on him. Meanwhile, Jackie and Tony are engaged in daily battles with riot police that often turn bloody. They struggle to support the family with very little in strike and union pay, a difficult task as the strike goes on for nearly a year.

When the day of the Royal Ballet School audition comes, the police come through the village, injuring Tony. Billy's family and some members of the community are gathered at the Elliot home, where Mrs. Wilkinson arrives when Billy fails to meet her to leave for the audition. She reveals that she has been teaching Billy in preparation for this audition, which upsets and angers Jackie and Tony. Tony tries to force Billy to dance on the table in front of everyone. Suddenly, the police approach and, as everyone escapes, Billy calls out to his father saying that his mother would have let him dance, to which Jackie says, "Your Mam's dead!". Billy goes into a rage ("Angry Dance"), and from that moment on, he stays away from anything related to ballet.

Act II

Six months later at the miner's annual Christmas show, the children put on a show disparaging Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who is seen as the antagonist by the coal miners ("Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher"). Billy's father gets drunk and sings an old folk song that elicits memories of his deceased wife and the usually stoic man leaves in tears ("Deep Into the Ground"). Left alone with Billy in the Community Centre, Michael reveals he has feelings for him, but Billy says that the fact that he likes ballet does not mean that he is gay. Michael gives him a kiss on the cheek. Michael tries to get Billy to show him some dancing, but Billy is sad and tells him to leave.

Michael departs, but leaves a music player running. Billy feels like dancing for the first time since the day of the aborted audition and dances while dreaming of being a grown-up dancer ("Swan Lake"). Unknown to Billy, his father arrives and watches him dance. Overcome with emotion, Jackie goes to Mrs. Wilkinson's house to discuss Billy's prospects as a dancer. She confirms Billy's talent, but is not sure whether or not he would get into the Royal Ballet School after missing the audition. Mrs. Wilkinson offers to help pay for the trip to London for the next audition, but Jackie refuses and leaves, questioning his working-class pride and the future mining has for his boys.

Jackie decides the only way to help Billy is to return to work. When Tony sees his father cross the picket line, he becomes infuriated and the two argue over what is more important: unity of the miners or helping Billy achieve his dream ("He Could Be A Star"). The argument comes to blows and Billy is hit accidentally. A miner chastises them for fighting and says that the important thing is looking after the child. One by one, the miners give money to help pay for the trip to the audition, but Billy still does not have enough for the bus fare to London. A strike-breaker arrives and offers him hundreds of pounds. An enraged Tony attempts to shun his donation, but no one else speaks up in his support. Now drained of hope, Tony dismally ponders whether there's a point for anything anymore, and runs off.

Billy and his father arrive at the Royal Ballet School for the audition. While Jackie waits outside, an upper-crust Londoner highlights the contrast between the Elliots and the families of the other applicants. Jackie meets a dancer with a thick Northern accent, who confesses that his father does not support his ballet career, but sharply advises Jackie to "get behind" his boy. Billy nervously finishes the audition with a feeling that he did not do well. As he packs his gear, he becomes overwhelmed and punches another dancer. The audition committee reminds Billy of the strict standards of the school and their zero-tolerance on violence. They have received an enthusiastic letter from Mrs. Wilkinson explaining Billy's background, situation and talent/potential; then ask him to describe what it feels like when he dances. Billy responds with a heartfelt declaration of his passion ("Electricity").

Back in Durham, the Elliots resume life, but times are tough and the miners are running a soup kitchen to ensure everyone is fed. Eventually, Billy receives a letter from the school and, overwhelmed and fearful, knowing that it heralds the end of the life he has known, informs his family that he was not accepted. Tony retrieves the letter from the waste bin and discovers that Billy had lied and actually was accepted - the family rejoice. At the same time, the miners' union has caved in; they lost the strike. Tony laments that miners are "dinosaurs", that by the time Billy returns home, all surrounding village's men will be jobless. Billy visits Mrs. Wilkinson at the dance class to thank her for everything she did to help him. Debbie is sad that Billy will be leaving.

Billy packs his things for the trip to the school and says goodbye to the soon-to-be-unemployed miners who are returning unhappily to work ("Once We Were Kings"). Billy says goodbye to his dead mother, who often visits him in his imagination ("Dear Billy (Billy's Reply)"). Billy breaks the fourth wall and begins to walk down the center aisle before Michael stops him to say goodbye. Billy drops his suitcase and runs onto the stage to give Michael a kiss on the cheek. Billy then walks back off stage, retrieves his suitcase and walks out toward his future alone.

The entire cast comes out on stage and calls Billy back to celebrate the bright future ahead of him ("Finale").

Musical numbers

Original cast recording

The original London cast recording was released on CD in 2005. This 75-minute CD features all the musical numbers listed above, excluding the instrumental Swan Lake track. A two disc 'Special Edition' version was later released, however the second CD only totals 9 minutes and contains versions of "The Letter", "Electricity" and "Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher" performed by Elton John.

Original casts

The principal original cast of the West End, Broadway, Australian and UK tour productions:

Character West End[79] Australia Broadway Billy Elliot: Live[80] UK Tour
2005 2007 2008 2014 2016
Billy Elliot Liam Mower
James Lomas
George Maguire
Rhys Kosakowski
Lochlan Denholm
Rarmian Newton
Nick Twiney
Kiril Kulish
David Álvarez
Trent Kowalik
Elliott Hanna Adam Abbou
Matthew Lyons
Haydn May
Lewis Smallman
Harrison Fox
Mrs. Wilkinson Haydn Gwynne Genevieve Lemon Haydn Gwynne Ruthie Henshall Annette McLaughlin
Dad Tim Healy Richard Piper Gregory Jbara Deka Walmsley Martin Walsh
Tony Joe Caffrey Justin Smith Santino Fontana Chris Grahamson Scott Garnham
Grandma Ann Emery Lola Nixon Carole Shelley Ann Emery Andrea Miller
Mr. Braithwaite Steve Elias John Xintavelonis Thommie Retter David Muscat Daniel Page
George Trevor Fox Linal Haft Joel Hatch Howard Crossley Leo Atkin
Mum Stephanie Putson Samantha Morley Leah Hocking Claudia Bradley Nikki Gerrard
Older Billy Issac James Joshua Horner Stephen Hanna Liam Mower Luke Cinque-White
Michael Ryan Longbottom
Ashley Luke Lloyd
Brad Kavanagh
Thomas Doherty
Landen Hale-Brown
Scott Eveleigh
Joel Slater
David Bologna
Frank Dolce
Zach Atkinson Henry Farmer
Elliot Stiff
Samuel Torpey
Taylor Graham
Debbie Lucy Stephenson
Emma Hudson
Brooke Havana Bailey
Shannon Joliff
Fiona Booker
Kelsi Boyden
Taylor-Rose Campanella
Erin Whyland Demi Lee Lilly Cadwallender
Evie Martin
Italia Ross
Notable West End replacements
Notable Broadway replacements
Notable Australian replacements

Awards and nominations

Billy Elliot sign in West End

The West End production was nominated for nine 2006 Laurence Olivier Awards and won four, including Best New Musical. At age thirteen, Liam Mower was the youngest actor to win the award, and the actors playing Billy were the first to win the award in a shared capacity. Lomas, Maguire, and Mower also jointly received the Theatre Goers' Choice Award 2005 for The Most Promising Newcomer. The production also won The Evening Standard Award 2005, among others.[96] The Sydney production was nominated for eleven 2008 Helpmann Awards and won seven, including Best Musical. The Sydney production was nominated for three 2007 Sydney Theatre Awards and won all three including Best Production of a Musical.[97] The Melbourne production was nominated for twelve 2008 Green Room Awards and won six, including Best Production Music Theatre.[98] The Broadway production received 15 Tony Award nominations in 2009, tied with The Producers for the most nominations ever received by a single show, although this was surpassed in 2016 by Hamilton with 16 nominations.[32] It won ten Tony Awards, including the Best Musical. The lead actor award was shared by the three boys who opened in the title role, marking the first time in Tony history the award has been shared by three actors.[99] The production also won in all ten of its Drama Desk Awards nominations, including Outstanding Musical.[100] It garnered ten 2008–09 Outer Critics Circle Awards nominations, winning seven, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, as well as receiving an honorary Special Achievement Award for its three Billys.[101] The six juvenile principals were recognized with an honorary Young Artist Award as Outstanding Broadway Musical Ensemble.[102]

Original London production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2006 Laurence Olivier Awards Best New Musical Won
Best Actor in a Musical James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower Won
Best Actress in a Musical Haydn Gwynne Nominated
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Tim Healy Nominated
Best Director Stephen Daldry Nominated
Best Theatre Choreographer Peter Darling Won
Best Set Design Ian MacNeil Nominated
Best Lighting Design Rick Fisher Nominated
Best Sound Design Paul Arditti Won
2013 Audience Award for Most Popular Show Won

Original Broadway production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2009 Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical Won
Outstanding Book of a Musical Lee Hall Won
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Gregory Jbara Won
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Haydn Gwynne Won
Outstanding Director of a Musical Stephen Daldry Won
Outstanding Choreography Peter Darling Won
Outstanding Orchestrations Martin Koch Won
Outstanding Music Elton John Won
Outstanding Lighting Design Rick Fisher Won
Outstanding Sound Design Paul Arditti Won
Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Broadway Musical Won
Outstanding New Score Won
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Gregory Jbara Won
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Haydn Gwynne Won
Carole Shelley Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical Stephen Daldry Won
Outstanding Choreography Peter Darling Won
Outstanding Costume Design Nicky Gillibrand Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design Rick Fisher Won
Outstanding Set Design Ian MacNeil Nominated
Special Achievement Award David Álvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish Honored
Theatre World Award David Álvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish Won
Tony Award Best Musical Won
Best Book of a Musical Lee Hall Won
Best Original Score Lee Hall and Elton John Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical David Álvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish Won
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical David Bologna Nominated
Gregory Jbara Won
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Haydn Gwynne Nominated
Carole Shelley Nominated
Best Direction of a Musical Stephen Daldry Won
Best Choreography Peter Darling Won
Best Orchestrations Martin Koch Won
Best Scenic Design Ian MacNeil Won
Best Costume Design Nicky Gillibrand Nominated
Best Lighting Design Rick Fisher Won
Best Sound Design Paul Arditti Won
Young Artist Award Outstanding Broadway Musical Ensemble David Álvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish, David Bologna, Frank Dolce and Erin Whyland Honored

Original Australian production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2008 Helpmanns Best Musical Won
Best Male Actor in a Musical Rhys Kowsakowski, Rarmian Newton, Nick Twiney and Lochlan Denholm Won
Best Female Actor in a Musical Genevieve Lemon Won
Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical Linal Haft Nominated
Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical Lola Nixon Nominated
Best Direction of a Musical Stephen Daldry Won
Best Choreography in a Musical Peter Darling Won
Best Scenic Design Ian MacNeil Nominated
Best Lighting Design Rick Fisher Won
Best Music Direction Stephen Amos Won
Best Sound Design Paul Arditti Nominated
2007 Sydney Theatre Awards Best Production of a Musical Won
Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical Rhys Kowsakowski, Rarmian Newton, Nick Twiney and Lochlan Denholm Won
Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical Genevieve Lemon Won
2008 Green Room Awards Best Production Music Theatre Won
Best Male Artist in a Leading Role Rhys Kowsakowski, Dayton Tavares, Michael Dameski, Joshua Denyer and Joshua Weiss Gates Won
Best Male Artist in a Leading Role Richard Piper Nominated
Best Female Artist in a Leading Role Genevieve Lemon Won
Best Male Featured Male Artist Thomas Doherty, Landen Hale-Brown, Joel Slater and Liam Dodds Won
Best Featured Male Artist Mike Smith Nominated
Best Direction Music Theatre Stephen Daldry Won
Best Choreography in a Musical Peter Darling Won
Best Lighting and/or Sound Rick Fisher Nominated
Best Music Direction Stephen Amos Nominated
Best Costume and/or Set Design Nicky Gillibrand Nominated
Best Costume and/or Set Design Ian MacNeil Nominated

Original Korean production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2010 Korea Musical Awards Best Foreign Musical Won
Best New Actor Se-Yong Kim, Ji-Myung Lee, Jin-ho Jung and Sunu Lim Won
Best Supporting Actress Young-Joo Chung Won

Original Dutch production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2014 (show in 2015) John Kraaijkamp Musical Award[103] Best Big Musical Production Won
Best Actor in Leading Role Bas Heerkens Nominated
Best Actress in Leading Role Pia Douwes Nominated
Best Actor in Supporting Role Dennis Willekens Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Young Performer Carlos Puts Won
Noah de Vos Nominated
Best Book Martine Bijl (translation) Won
Best Orchestrations Martin Koch Nominated
Best Choreography Peter Darling Nominated
Best Set Design Ian MacNeil Nominated

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