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Billy Elliot - the musical
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Author:  kurinuku [ Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Billy Elliott - the musical

Quote:
Any child prodigies out there?

by NANCY WATERS
the Independent

...the current boys will be playing the role for only six months, and, once again, the arduous selection process is taking place across the country.

"We are looking for a child with raw talent, so we are not going down the conventional route," says Jessica Ronane, the children's casting director.
more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Billy Elliott - the musical

Ballet brothers
From more than 3,000 hopefuls, a trio of young dancers has been selected to follow in the brilliant footsteps of Jamie Bell in Stephen Daldry and Elton John's stage version of Billy Elliot. He's a hard act to follow. By Kate Kellaway in The Observer:

If you were to walk into the Victoria Palace Theatre without any clue of what was going on, you would think the management had gone mad and converted it into an eccentric children's home. The organisation required to put on this £5.5 million production of Billy Elliot is jaw-dropping, not least because theatre regulations forbid children to perform more than five times a week.

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Billy Elliot and the miners' strike
Take a ‘poofy’ dancing kid, the miners’ strike, Elton John and an Oscar-winning team, put them together and what do you get? Billy Elliot the Musical. It’s a real class act, says Simon Fanshawe in The Sunday Times.


There will be something of a shock when Billy Elliot the Musical opens in May in the West End. Because it is a show as much about the miners’ strike as it is about dancing pumps, a boy’s ambition in a “girls’ world” and the grinding, old-fashioned machismo of the working-class northern dad. Twenty years after its conclusion, the strike provides the narrative book ends of the piece, which starts on the day the men come out and ends on the day they go back. Instead of a grown-up Billy, leaping to fame as the swan prince, there is the stoic return to work.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Billy Elliott - the musical

First week of Billy Elliot previews delayed
By Alistair Smith for The Stage


Billy Elliot the Musical has cancelled its three opening previews, delaying its first performance from March 24 to March 31.

The decision comes weeks after Anne Rogers, due to play Billy’s grandmother, quit the cast over fears that her part could

face cuts as producers attempted to cut half an hour from the production’s running time. She was replaced by Ann Emery,

Rentaghost star and sister of the late comedian Dick Emery.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Mar 27, 2005 2:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Billy Elliott - the musical

Every step they take
By NICK CURTIS for The Scotsman

STEPHEN DALDRY LOOKS PENSIVE, DRAWN, lacking in his trademark confidence when we meet in the deserted Circle Bar of London’s Victoria Palace Theatre. The 44-year-old director, usually an irrepressible force in British theatre and film, has just decided to postpone the first three previews of Billy Elliot the Musical, concerned that he may be pushing the 45 children in his cast too hard.

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Author:  Francis Timlin [ Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Billy Elliott - the musical

In Dancing Times, Alison Kirkman interviews choreographer Peter Darling and set designer Ian McNeil:

http://www.dancing-times.co.uk/html.pages/dtltd_frameset.html

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Billy Elliott - the musical

The biggest leap of faith for Billy Elliot
Getting the hit film on to the stage has been triple the work. By Ian Johns for The Times:


“IT HAS been like directing Hamlet with the Prince only available for rehearsal a few hours each day.” A weary-looking Stephen Daldry is explaining what it has felt like getting the musical of the hit film Billy Elliot on to the West End stage.

For Daldry, the former artistic director of the Gate and Royal Court theatres, the original Billy Elliot marked the start of a big-screen career that would later include The Hours with Nicole Kidman.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Apr 13, 2005 7:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Billy Elliott - the musical

We introduce this month two members of the Billy Elliot – The Musical team and find out about their work
Interviews by Alison Kirkman.

The Choreographer

PETER DARLING

Peter Darling is Choreographer for Billy Elliot – The Musical. He also choreographed the film. “The musical is harder than I anticipated,” he admits, “mainly because there are three Billys, three Michaels and three sets of ballet girls. The scheduling of it is impossible. I take my hat off to people who run schools and have to organise classes!”

He also admits he never intended to become a choreographer but fell into the job through his work as an actor.

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Author:  kurinuku [ Thu Apr 21, 2005 7:08 am ]
Post subject: 

Quote:
'I grew up in Billy Elliot's world'
by LEE HALL for the Daily Telegraph

Lee Hall: What was it about the film of Billy Elliot that made you think that it could be a musical?

... The music was an integral part of the film, and while that can often be very jarring in a movie, with Billy Elliot it seemed to flow, and I thought, as I was sitting there, I'd love to get my hands on this.

published: April 19, 2005
more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun Apr 24, 2005 5:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

'I grew up in Billy Elliot's world'
From The Daily Telegraph


Elton John always wanted to write a British musical, and in the hit film 'Billy Elliot' he found the perfect subject. He tells Lee Hall, his collaborator on the eagerly awaited new stage musical, what drew him to the story

Lee Hall: What was it about the film of Billy Elliot that made you think that it could be a musical?


Lee Hall and Elton John: 'the whole musical has such a close-knit team'
Elton John: When I first saw the film, I just couldn't help thinking about it on the stage. I knew it would make a great piece of theatre, because it has every emotion you need for a stage musical. The music was an integral part of the film, and while that can often be very jarring in a movie, with Billy Elliot it seemed to flow, and I thought, as I was sitting there, I'd love to get my hands on this.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sun May 01, 2005 2:56 am ]
Post subject: 

James Lomas - Billy Elliott
Interview by Ann McFerran for The Sunday Times


The 15-year-old is one of three actors alternating in the starring role of Billy Elliot at London's Victoria Palace theatre. The show opens on May 11. James lives in Sheffield with his mother, Cathy, a hairdresser, his father, Pete, a steelworker, and his brother, Adam, 18.

"My mum usually wakes me with a kiss, at home, saying: "Come on — get up." For Billy Elliot I live in a special house in east London with the other two Billys, and I wake with my alarm at 7am. If I'm doing the evening show, it'll be 9.

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Author:  kurinuku [ Thu May 05, 2005 2:44 am ]
Post subject: 

Quote:
'Elton John has been taken from the theatre on a stretcher - it's a hit!'
in the Guardian

Billy Elliot creator Lee Hall recounts how his flight of fancy was transformed into a blockbuster movie and now a West End musical

published: May 4, 2005
more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu May 12, 2005 4:42 am ]
Post subject: 

Thatcher 'death' song shocks at Billy Elliot stage show
By Richard Brooks for The Times


THE stage version of Billy Elliot has shocked some members of its preview audiences by performing a song looking forward to the death of Baroness Thatcher.

The song, written by Sir Elton John and the lyricist Lee Hall, is intended to reflect the depth of feeling against the former prime minister during the 1984 miners’ strike.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu May 12, 2005 5:14 am ]
Post subject: 

Billy Elliot
By Benedict Nightingale for The Times


GREAT to have one’s flagging faith in musical theatre restored yet again. Last Christmas the stage version of Mary Poppins turned out to be far better than the Disney film and, even though the same director and writer created the original movie, much the same is true of Billy Elliot.

Together, Stephen Daldry and Lee Hall have concocted a piece that’s tougher, bolder and, as my tear-ducts can attest, more moving than its admittedly admirable celluloid precursor.

click for more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri May 13, 2005 5:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

Looks like they have a big hit on their hands.

Billy Elliot
From the BBC website


Sir Elton John, Hugh Grant and Graham Norton were among the stars who attended Thursday's celebrity opening of West End musical Billy Elliot. But the press had already given an overwhelmingly positive response to the £5m stage version of the 2000 British film.


THE GUARDIAN - MICHAEL BILLINGTON
Turning small-scale movies into big musicals is a treacherous business. But Billy Elliot succeeds brilliantly because Elton John's music and Peter Darling's choreography enhance Lee Hall's cinematic concept.


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Billy Elliot
Benedict Nightingale for The Times at Victoria Palace, SW1


GREAT to have one’s flagging faith in musical theatre restored yet again. Last Christmas the stage version of Mary Poppins turned out to be far better than the Disney film and, even though the same director and writer created the original film, much the same is true of Billy Elliot.

Together, Stephen Daldry and Lee Hall have concocted a piece that is tougher, bolder and, as my tear-ducts can attest, more moving than its admittedly admirable celluloid precursor.


click for more

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Sat May 14, 2005 6:35 am ]
Post subject: 

Could Billy be our best musical ever?
Billy Elliot is gripping, moving, and real. It’s enough to make you sing and dance. By Benedict Nightingale for The Times:


IS BILLY ELLIOT as strong a musical as the British theatre has produced? That certainly was my feeling as I left the Victoria Palace simultaneously brushing the residual salt from my eyes, trying to stop my feet tapping, and mentally composing a review that would adequately acknowledge Stephen Daldry’s success in transposing a screen talkie to the musical stage. Given the uproar that greeted the final curtain — the very opposite of the blandiloquent halloos of the usual first-night claques — clearly a lot of other people felt that way too.

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