Dreams Come True for Former Billy Elliot Star
After winning an Olivier award for his role as one of the three original Billy Elliots, Liam Mower is living out Billy’s dream as a member of Matthew Bourne’s prestigious ballet troupe.
Mower, now 19, made his debut with the ensemble as a Liquourice Allsort in Nutcracker! He was the longest-running original Billy, playing the beloved role for eighteen months after the musical’s debut in 2005. He remains the youngest person ever to receive a Lawrence Olivier award, a prize he shared with fellow Billys, James Lomas and George Maguire.
Originally from Kingston Upon Hull, after his success in Billy Elliot, Mower enrolled in Rambert Dance Company in London, where he trained in ballet for three years. He made appearances on the TV series, Wire in the Blood, as well as in productions of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Pinocchio. He featured in the music video for Elton John’s release of ‘Electricity’ as a single and an episode of the popular children’s series Blue Peter.
Lomas and Maguire, both 21, are also still involved in show business, with Lomas performing in the national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and Maguire serving as a moderator of dance shows across the country.
Fans of the film version of Billy Elliot may remember that it ends with Billy performing the lead in Bourne’s innovative Swan Lake. The ballet broke tradition by casting male dancers as swans, roles traditionally reserved for women. First premiering in 1995, the production remains the longest-running ballet in the West End and on Broadway, winning both Olivier and Tony awards in the process. It remains a part of the company’s repertoire, though there are no plans to revive it for at least two years following its successful international tour. Nutcracker! runs through 22 January, 2012 at Sadler’s Wells in London.