Billy Elliot the musical

Lewis Smallman as Billy

Billy Elliot The Musical is on at Bristol Hippodrome until 26th of November. I took Super Kid my eldest child to the opening night.

The Story; 

Billy Elliot is set in a northern town, against the background of the 1984/85 miner’s strike. Billy’s family are also dealing with personal tragedy because Billy’s Mum has died. Billy accidentally ends up taking part in a ballet class and develops a passion for dance.

Unfortunately ballet isn’t considered an appropriate activity for a boy in a small Northern village in the mid 80s. So as Billy prepares for an audition for the Royal Ballet school his dreams are dashed when his family won’t let him attend.

As history tells us the miner’s story doesn’t end well. Fortunately Billy’s story has a happier finish.

Billy Elliot The MusicalAnnette Annette McLaughlin as Mrs Wilkinson

My thoughts; 

Billy Elliot is an intense show. I held back tears when Billy sings the letter his Mum left for him. The tension as the miners riot at the end of the first half is incredible, loud and powerful, with Billy tap dancing in front of a line of policemen holding riot screens. I laughed out loud during the scene where Billy’s friend Michael shares his passion for wearing girl’s clothing, culminating in a dance number featuring giant dresses on coat hangers.

Billy was played by local boy Haydn May (one of four actors playing the role during this tour), and he is a very talented singer, dancer and actor. The rest of the cast were all superb as well. The performance was fresh, exciting and totally immersive.

Overall I would give top marks to Billy Elliot The Musical. Every element is top notch.

Taking children; 

I took my eldest, who’s nine, to see Billy. He enjoyed it and was impressed with the quality of the show.

Billy is recommended for children aged eight upwards but I would recommend caution. The language used throughout the show is pretty extreme, there are not many lines in the script that don’t contain expletives.  Super Kid found the volume of the musical numbers too loud. It’s a long show, with an interval, just over three hours which some children of this age might struggle with.

I would say that provided you don’t mind the language the ideal age for Billy is 12 upwards.

For more information; 

If you’d like to see Billy Elliot The Musical at Bristol Hippodrome (and I’d really recommend that, if you’re local, you do) then go here to book tickets.

If you’d like more information about the rest of the tour, and the show in general then visit this website.