THEATRE SPOTLIGHT: BILLY ELLIOT MUSICAL MADE AT CURVE, LEICESTER
The long awaited Made at Curve’s musical theatre production of Billy Elliot has finally hit the stage for the summer with a bang! If there is one show you plan to watch in the next few weeks, make it, Billy Elliot; with its support of local youth talent, relevant storyline, impeccable acting and singing, phenomenal score by Elton John and lyrics by Lee Hall and under the direction of Curve’s Nikolai Foster, this show is guaranteed to provide an electrifying performance.
Production Photography Courtesy: Marc Brenner
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Disclosure: I received a press invite to experience ‘Billy Elliot’. All opinions and views are my own and along with non-production photography remain a copyright of be-lavie. For more information, refer to our disclosure policy.
The Storyline of Billy Elliot
Based on the 2000 BAFTA-winning film by Stephen Daldry, you will most probably be aware of the crux of this storyline set during the 1984 / 85 miner’s strike, Margaret Thatcher was at her peak as PM, and in a small town in County Durham, mining was the form of income for the man of the house. But, instead of focussing on Boxing, which was his father’s preference for extra-curricular activities for his young lad, Billy Elliot jilted the ring for his love of ballet. Here unfolds a stretch of complications and dilemmas.
Coverage of Relevant Issues
This production of Billy Elliot doesn’t just succeed the film but elevates the story to bring relevance to everyday life which can be relatable to a wide audience. The humour and light-hearted jesting was under ridden by several topical points such as grief, with the loss of Billy’s mother, pressures of transcending to the teenage years, living with dementia as well as gender discovery. The moral of the story always anchoring to the same point that whatever you choose to do, make sure you enjoy and shine at your craft or the path you choose to take in life.
The audience reactions were unanimous in terms of one minute there’s be an emotional scene between Billy and his mother who has passed, or his father who was against his ballet and then the crowd would be almost on their feet wanting to clap along to the songs or burst into a bout of laughter with the authentic style of execution of the Northern dialogue. The language has been carefully selected to reflect the routes and social standing of this working-class community, together with admissible topics, the fusion of modern, authentic as well as truly emotional theatre in places fuses effortlessly to form a show of perfect expression. This is something that reflects the backbone of the work Nikolai Foster presents consistently at The Curve. Authenticity at its core in so many ways lifts this production of Billy Elliot and delivers it with individuality.
The Cast of Billy Elliot
Special mentions cannot go a miss with knockout performances from a young cast of local talent, either from and based in the area or local family connections. Of course, the role of Billy Elliot, played by Jaden Shentall-Lee on press night was a performance nothing short of brilliant. He left the crowd on their feet to his stage exit with his highly charged, emotional and determined performance as a boy who courageously fought to follow his dreams
The whole cast line-up is fantastic but notable performances by Joe Caffrey (Billy’s dad), Jessica Daley (Billy’s Mam), Rachel Izen (grandma) and Sally Ann Tripley (Mrs Wilkinson, the dance teacher). Prem Masani (Michael) plays Billy’s friend discovering his gender identity executes this role with such wit and charisma, surprising us with his first stage debut in this musical
Additionally, Lucy Hinds’ musical choreography is outstanding coupled with Michael Taylor’s set design and an absolute power house of songs such as Solidarity, The Letter, He Could be a Star and the show-stopping, Electricity. This show literally has the summer feel good factor we all need this season and a boost for the Curve as it shows that musical theatre here in Leicester is well and truly back in the game post pandemic!
Billy Elliot The Musical: Closing Words
A family show (12+ parental discretion advised due to strong language and violence) that will leave you charged up long after your visit, is a celebration of the country’s time in mining history as well as the close-knit relationship in a community. Here tradition and family is priority and one boys destiny to follow his passion. It’s about being true to oneself and showing courage to pursue dreams. Billy Elliot truly shines.
Billy Elliot the musical is playing at The Curve Theatre, Leicester from 20 July – 20 August 2022. See Booking details below for remaining tickets.
- Address: The Curve. Alexandra House, 60 Rutland St, Leicester LE1 1SB
- Box Office: 0116 242 3595
- Box Office Email: email@example.com
- Website: Curve Theatre.
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