NEWS: New West End Cast For Billy Elliot Announced

From 29 November 2010, 13 year old Scott McKenzie from Dumbarton, Scotland, the twenty fourth boy to play the iconic role of Billy Elliot in the West End, 12 year old Aaron Watson from Kings Lynn, Norfolk, 13 year old Dean Charles-Chapman from Romford, Essex and 12 year old Rhys Yeomans from Oldham, Lancashire, will be joined by principal cast members Genevieve Lemon (Mrs. Wilkinson), Martin Marquez (Dad), Tom Lorcan (Tony), Diane Langton (Grandma), Chris McGlade (George), Kay Milbourne (Dead Mum), Kevin Patricks (Mr. Braithwaite) and Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy) in Billy Elliot The Musical.

They will perform alongside ensemble members Ashley Andrews, David Bardsley, Romy Baskerville, Paul Basleigh, Alan Bradshaw, Spencer Cartwright, Caroline Deverill, Helen French, Tim Funnell, Sergio Giacomelli, Shaun Henson, Stevie Hutchinson, Stuart Ramsay, Derek Richards and Russell Wilcox and swings Craig Armstrong, Dawn Buckland, Lucinda Collins, Kieran Jae and Mike Scott.

Reece Barrett (12 years old from Exeter), Connor Kelly (12 years old from Scunthorpe) and Joe Massey (11 years old from South Wirrell) alternate the role of Billy’s best friend Michael with Connor Lawson (12 years old from Shotton, County Durham), and Emily Smith (11 years old from County Durham), Emily Williams (9 years old East Wingate, County Durham) and Francesca Mango (11 years old from Northumberland) alternate the role of Debbie.

Diane Langton’s (Grandma) theatre credits include Birdlady in Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre, Carlotta in Follies at the Royal Festival Hall, Viv Nicholson in Spend Spend Spend at the Piccadilly Theatre and Grizabella in Cats at the New London Theatre.  As well as credits for the National Theatre, the Royal Court and the Royal Shakespeare Company her other West End musical credits include A Little Night Music, A Chorus Line and Side By Side By Sondheim.  On television Langton played Kathy in the BBC’s sitcom The Rag Trade and more recently has been seen as Nana McQueen in Hollyoaks. Her many other television credits include roles in EastEnders, Heartbeat and Only Fools and Horses.  Her recording credits include The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Kiss Me Kate.

Multi award-winning Genevieve Lemon continues in the role of Mrs. Wilkinson.  Her extensive Australian theatre credits include Billy Elliot The Musical at both the Capitol Theatre, Sydney, and Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne for which she won both the Sydney Theatre Award and Helpmann Award for Best Actress in a Musical as well as the Green Room Award for Female Artist in a Leading Role. For the Sydney Theatre Company she has been seen in productions including Summer Rain, Merrily We

Roll Along, The Seagull and The Madras House.  Her other Australian credits include Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical at the Regent Theatre, Broken Glass for the Ensemble Theatre, Piaf for the Melbourne Theatre Company and And A Nightingale Sang for Queensland Theatre Company.  On film her credits include Charlotte’s Web, Holy Smoke and The Piano and on television she has been seen in The Flying Doctors and Neighbours.

Martin Marquez (Dad) was most recently on stage in Mother Courage and Her Children at the National Theatre where he has also been seen in Love’s Labour’s Lost and Anything Goes both directed by Trevor Nunn, the latter transferred to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.  His other theatre credits include the UK tour of Boeing Boeing, Pal Joey and Insignificance for Chichester Festival Theatre, Of Mice and Men and Don Juan for West Yorkshire Playhouse, Cleansed and Identical Twins for the Royal Court and The Iceman Cometh for the Almeida Theatre Company.  On television his extensive credits include Hotel Babylon, in which he played the role of Gino, New Tricks, EastEnders and Lead Balloon all for the BBC, Elizabeth I for Channel 4 and Dirty Tricks and The Bill for ITV.

Tom Lorcan’s (Tony) theatre credits include the role of Donnie/Knuckles in Jersey Boys at the Prince Edward Theatre, Fiddler on the Roof at The Savoy Theatre, The Taming of The Shrew at the Bridewell Theatre, Alice In Wonderland at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and the national tour of Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers. On television he has been seen in Dalziel and Pascoe for the BBC.

Connor Lawson, a former Billy Youth Theatre participant joins the cast to play Billy’s friend Michael.  In July this year Connor played Michael in Shotton Hall Theatre School’s performance at the 2010 Billy Youth Theatre West End Gala.  Twelve year old year old Connor is from the former mining town of Shotton, County Durham, where many of his family including his grandfather and great grandfather earned their livings working in the mines.  He started drama classes when he was 6 years old and went on to join the Shotton Hall Theatre School where his passion for drama was realised.  After his performance at the Billy Youth Theatre West End Gala earlier this year, Connor attended Newcastle auditions for Billy Elliot The Musical and was invited to London to meet the Billy Elliot creative team after which he was offered the role of Michael.

Scott McKenzie, 13 years old from Dumbarton, Scotland, began UK Theatre School when he was 5 years old. He joined acro classes at the Jan Sutherland School of Dancing and went on to study tap and ballet after being recommended by his teacher. When he was 10 he auditioned for and gained a place at Scottish Ballet Juniors where he continued to study and take part in song and dance festivals around Scotland. Scott auditioned for Billy Elliot The Musical in February 2009 and has since been working at the Billy Elliot Academy. Scott is excited to be only the second boy from Scotland to play the title role and is looking forward to making his West End debut.

BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL

Based on the Oscar nominated film, Billy Elliot The Musical is an inspirational story of one boy’s dream to realise his ambitions against the odds.  Set in the North East of England against the background of the historic 1984/85 miners’ strike, Billy pursues his passion for dance in secret to avoid disapproval of his struggling family.

Billy Elliot The Musical features music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, and is directed by Stephen Daldry with choreography by Peter Darling. The production features scenic design by Ian MacNeil, the associate director is Julian Webber, costume design is by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.

The critically acclaimed, internationally award-winning musical opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005 and has subsequently been seen by over 5 million people worldwide.  As well as the current London production, Billy Elliot The Musical has performed in Sydney and Melbourne, is currently performing at the Imperial Theater on Broadway, the Oriental Theatre, Chicago and the LG Arts Centre in Seoul, South Korea.  A North American touring production will begin in Durham, North Carolina in November this year, with a further production due to open in Japan in 2011. Productions are also in the works for Germany and Holland.

Since its world premiere, 24 boys have played the title role in London and a total of 44 boys, including Jamie Bell who played Billy Elliot in the award-winning film, have now performed the title role worldwide.

Billy Elliot The Musical is presented in London by Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions in association with Tiger Aspect and is based on the Universal Pictures/ Studio Canal film.

Following the enormous success of Billy Youth Theatre 2010, the producers of Billy Elliot The Musical have recently announced the second year of this countrywide scheme where participating schools and youth groups are given the opportunity to stage their own production of this internationally award-winning show.  Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, together with Martin Koch (Musical Supervision and Orchestrations), have 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, culminating in a West End Gala at the Victoria Palace Theatre in July.

Theatre:         Victoria Palace Theatre, Victoria Street, London SW1
Box Office:    0844 811 0055
Tickets:          £19.50 – £65.00

Performances:

Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm
Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm
Extra Matinees on Tuesday 26th October at 2.30pm & Tuesday 22nd February at 2.30pm

Website:   www.billyelliotthemusical.com

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