Billy’s 7th Birthday
Billy Elliot this week celebrated its landmark 3000th performance at the Victoria Palace Theatre, where the show received its world premiere back in 2005. A giant birthday cake with the Billy Elliot logo was used to mark the occasion, in a star studded party attended by music and lyrics writer Elton John himself. The event took place on May 30th at the Victoria Palace, which marked the 7th year of the show in London’s West End. Since opening the show has entertained audiences from around the world, and transferred to Broadway where it won 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical. The show is now enjoying its first ever North American tour.
A host of celebrities turned out to the event, with Elton John braving illness to attend, saying he “wouldn’t miss it for the world”. He attended the show with his husband David Furnish, and the pair continue to be amazed at the continued success of the musical. The show proves to be as popular now as ever before, and has just announced that it is taking bookings until December 2013 – giving it the longest current advance in the West End.
Director of the musical Stephen Daldry, who also directed the film on which the show is based, welcomed the specially invited audience to the theatre, saying “Although we’ve performed all over the world, London is very much our home.” At a time of austerity the themes in the musical seem fresh and relevant, and the show continues to celebrate what is good about the British musical. With so many Broadway and American imports filling London theatres, it is exciting to know that a homegrown musical such as Billy Elliot continues to thrive.
Members of the original cast attended the event, including the original Mrs Wilkinson Hayden Gwynne and Olivier Award winner Liam Mower. Although both have gone on to perform in various shows, they still spoke of fond memories of Billy Elliot. Original Grandma Ann Emery continues to shine in the role she created, returning to the musical in this historic year. Celebrities from the stage, screen and even Team GB turned out to the event to help mark the special occasion.
Despite some industry experts predicting that the London 2012 Olympics will mean a “bloodbath” for the West End, Elton John was keen to argue that he expected the opposite effect. He said he was “optimistic” about the effect the games would have, as more people would be in London and want to experience some of the world class theatre whilst they are here. Producers of Billy Elliot have embraced the challenge, saying that they have put on extra matinee performances over the games period that have so far been selling well.
To get tickets for Billy Elliot in its 7th Anniversary year, be sure to visit our Tickets page. There you will find a number of excellent special offers that will help you see this record breaking musical for yourself.