Mrs Wilkinson (Ruthie Henshall) in Billy Elliot the Musical. Photo credit Alastair Muir

Billy Elliot The Musical celebrates 9th Birthday with new cast

Mrs Wilkinson (Ruthie Henshall) in Billy Elliot the Musical. Photo credit Alastair Muir
Mrs Wilkinson (Ruthie Henshall) in Billy Elliot the Musical. Photo credit Alastair Muir

Today, 12th May 2014,  9 years since Billy Elliot the Musical officially opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre, 11 year old Matteo Zecca (Billy) and 10 year old Kyria Cooper (Debbie) will have their first performance together with new cast members Ruthie Henshall as Billy’s dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson, Chris Grahamson as Billy’s brother Tony and Barnaby Meredith who returns to the show to play Older Billy.

Matteo Zecca from Buckinghamshire will make his West End debut in the title role, becoming the thirty seventh Billy Elliot in the West End.  Kyria Cooper, 10 years old from Hartlepool, joins the cast to alternate the role of Debbie, Billy’s dance teacher’s daughter.  Later in May, 11 year old Tomi Fry will join the cast to alternate the role of Billy’s best friend Michael.

Set in a northern mining town, against the background of the 1984/’85 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dream come true. Follow Billy’s journey as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and whole community and changes his life forever.

The internationally celebrated show, which has now been seen by over 9.5 million people worldwide, is currently booking at the Victoria Palace Theatre to 16 May 2015 and features music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall.  Stephen Daldry directs with choreography by Peter Darling.

Billy (Matteo Zecca) in Billy Elliot the Musical, photo by Alastair Muir
Billy (Matteo Zecca) in Billy Elliot the Musical, photo by Alastair Muir

Matteo Zecca said “I am eleven years old and live in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.  I went to see Billy Elliot the Musical three years ago and I absolutely loved it.  From that moment I wanted to be Billy even though I had never danced before!  I started ballet at the age of nine and have loved it ever since. After my auditions when I found out I had got the part I was so happy and excited.  Before Billy Elliot I was a Junior and Mid Associate at The Royal Ballet School and during my time there I performed as a hedgehog in their production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at The Royal Opera House in 2013.

Kyria Cooper said “I’m ten years old and from Hartlepool. I first began to dance with Stagecoach Hartlepool where I have been training in singing, acting and dancing for the past few years. I have also performed with Edith’s Harrison Performing Arts as well as appearing in the National touring production of Oliver! at the Theatre Royal Newcastle.  I am so excited to be performing in the West End

Tomi Fry said “I am 11 years old and live in Swindon with my mum and dad. I have been acting, singing and dancing since I was seven.  I have done film, television and radio work, along with some stand-up comedy work for charity. Along with my family, my fabulous teachers at Swindon Stagecoach have really helped me to get where I am today. I am so looking forward to joining the cast of Billy Elliot – it’s an amazing opportunity.

Matteo Zecca (11 years old from Buckinghamshire) joins Elliott Hanna (11 years old from Liverpool), Bradley Perret (12 years old from Juan les Pins, France) and Mitchell Tobin (13 years old from Florida, USA) who alternate the role of Billy.  Tomi Fry (11 years old from Swindon) joins Zach Atkinson (12 years old from Manchester), Zak Baker (13 years old from St Albans) to play the role of Billy’s best friend Michael, and Kyria Cooper (10 years old from Hartlepool) alternates the role of Debbie with Dayna Dixon (11 years old from Newcastle upon Tyne) and Demi Lee (10 years old from Middlesbrough).

Deka Walmsley (Dad) and Ann Emery (Grandma) in Billy Elliot The Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre.
Deka Walmsley (Dad) and Ann Emery (Grandma) in Billy Elliot The Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre. Photo credit Alastair Muir

From 12th May 2014 the adult cast comprises Ruthie Henshall (Mrs Wilkinson), Deka Walmsley (Dad), Chris Grahamson (Tony), Ann Emery (Grandma), Howard Crossley (George) and Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy).  They are joined by Claudia Bradley and David Muscat in their new roles as Dead Mum and Mr. Braithwaite respectively.

Ensemble members are Craig Armstrong, David Bardsley, Paul Basleigh, Spencer Cartwright, Lucinda Collins, Gillian Elisa, Lee Hoy, Ruri James, Chris Jenkins, Charlie Martin, Alan Mehdizadeh, Steve Paget, Ben Redfern, Charlotte Riby, Mark John Richardson, Mike Scott, Phil Snowden, Wendy Somerville, Spencer Stafford and David Stoller.

Productions of Billy Elliot the Musical have been staged on Broadway, as well as in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto and Seoul, South Korea.

Billy Elliot the Musical, photo by David Scheinmann
Billy Elliot the Musical, photo by David Scheinmann

The North American touring production, which began in 2010, finished its spectacular run in August last year with an engagement in São Paulo, Brazil, the first time Billy Elliot has played in South America.

The show will open in the Netherlands in late 2014, and further international productions are currently planned.

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.

Billy Elliot The Musical
Victoria Palace Theatre

Running Time: 3 hours
Age Restrictions: Contains frequent strong language, children under 7 will not be admitted. Not recommended for children under 12. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Important Info: Contains some bad language and violence.

12th May 2014


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