Seeing Billy Elliot With Children and Teenagers
With multi-talented child actors at its centre, Billy Elliot can be a good option for families with pre-teens and teenagers.
The production contains swearing, some of it by the children themselves, and there are a few violent altercations between the police and striking miners. Therefore, it is recommended for children 12 and up. Children under 8 will not be admitted.
The play contains positive messages about individuality and acceptance, mainly regarding Billy’s working class background, attitudes towards a boy pursuing dance, and Billy’s friend, Michael, who is gay. Set against the backdrop of the 1984-5 mining strikes, it is an accessible way to learn about some of the social and political issues during Margaret Thatcher’s term as Prime Minister.
Whilst an energetic and fun night out, Billy Elliot does not contain the same level of spectacle as other West End hits like The Lion King, Shrek, and Wicked, which are better options for younger children. However, pre-teens and teenagers will probably prefer the more mature and relatable themes contained in Billy Elliot to other lighter fare.