BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL

Friday 28 November 2008

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NEW BILLY ELLIOT JOINS LONDON CAST OF INTERNATIONAL HIT MUSICAL
From 1 December 2008, twelve year old Brad Wilson from Doncaster will join the London cast of Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre to play the title role, making him the thirtieth boy to play the iconic role worldwide, first performed by Jamie Bell in the original movie.   He is joined by Joanna Riding who will play Mrs Wilkinson and Joe Caffrey who returns to the production to play Jackie Elliot, Billy’s Dad.  

Set in the North East Billy Elliot the Musical is a funny, heart-warming and feel-good celebration of one young boy's dreams.  This new staging of Billy Elliot the Musical is an adaptation of one of the most adored British films of the last decade which broke box office records across the world and was nominated for 3 Oscars and 13 BAFTA Awards. 

Billy Elliot the Musical has now played to over 2.6 million people worldwide since its world premiere at the Victoria Palace Theatre in May 2005.  The London production, which recently celebrated its 1500th performance, is currently booking until 24 October 2009.  Billy Elliot the Musical opened on Broadway earlier this month and will open at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne in December after a successful Sydney season at The Capitol Theatre. 

The score for Billy Elliot the Musical has been composed by music legend Elton John, the most celebrated UK singer songwriter of the last 30 years, choreography is by Peter Darling, designs are by Ian MacNeil with sound by Paul Arditti and lighting by Rick Fisher.  Billy Elliot the Musical is presented in London by Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions in association with Tiger Aspect.  Billy Elliot the Musical is based on the Universal Pictures/Studio Canal film.

Brad Wilson joins Tom Holland (12 years old from Kingston-upon-Thames), Tanner Pflueger (12 years old from Norfolk, Nebraska) and Fox Jackson-Keen (13 years old from Hornsey, London) who alternate the title role of Billy Elliot alongside principal cast members Joanna Riding (Mrs Wilkinson), Joe Caffrey (Dad), Craig Gallivan (Tony), Ann Emery (Grandma), Trevor Fox (George),  Sean Kingsley (Mr Braithwaite), Stephanie Putson (Dead Mum) and Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy).  They are joined by Dean-Charles Chapman (11 years old from Romford, Essex), George Maycock (11 years old from Solihull) and Lewis Cope (13 years old from Hartlepool) who will share the role of Michael and Annabelle Crosby-Stewart (10 years old from Darlington), Scarlet Embleton (12 years old from Newcastle upon Tyne) and Megan Jossa (12 years old from Eltham) who share the role of Debbie.  From the end of December 2008 until Summer 2009, the role of Mrs Wilkinson will be played by Kate Graham. 

BRAD WILSON

My name is Brad and I am 12 years old and live in Doncaster with my Mum Karen, Dad Jim and two brothers Tom (15) and Keegan (18 months).  I started dancing when I was 9 years old.  Since then I have studied ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dance.  I have danced in many competitions and won many medals and trophies.  I was invited to audition for Billy Elliot over two years ago by my dance teacher, Marilyn Baker, and since then I have been training up in Leeds before moving to the Billy Elliot House in London.

JOE CAFFREY

Joe Caffrey returns to Billy Elliot the Musical to play Jackie Elliot, Billy’s Dad, previously having played Tony, Billy’s brother.  Caffrey’s Grandfathers were both miners and during the 1984/85 strike Caffrey became a member of The Workey Tickets, a capella band who performed many fund raising benefit concerts for the striking miners and their families.  His theatre credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost and We are the People at Shakespeare’s Globe, Lee Hall’s Cooking With Elvis at the Whitehall Theatre and on National Tour, Charlie’s Trousers, Dirty Nets, Cooking With Elvis, NE1, Close The Coalhouse Door and Bandits, all for Newcastle upon Tyne’s Live Theatre, Keepers of the Flame for the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Live Theatre, Studs for Hull Truck Theatre, Noir, Beauty and the Beast, Out of the Blue, Trouble Under Foot for Northern Stage, Black and White Shorts for Paines Plough and Births, Marriages and Deaths for the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton.  His many television credits include The Bill, Distant Shores, Catherine Cookson’s Colour Blind, Quayside, The Last Musketeer, Ain’t Misbehaving, Soldier Soldier, Doctors, Byker Grove, Attachments, Holby City, Badger, Hetty Wainthrope Investigates and Spender.  His film credits include Bridget Jones – The Edge of Reason and The One and Only.

JOANNA RIDING

Multi Olivier award-winning Joanna Riding joins the cast to play Billy’s Dance Teacher, Mrs Wilkinson.   Following a run in the West End production of Me and My Girl she was cast as Julie Jordan in Nicholas Hytner’s production of Carousel for the National Theatre.  Subsequently her musical theatre roles have included Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Jane in The Witches of Eastwick, Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music, Susie in Lady Be Good at the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park and Bertrande in Martin Guerre for West Yorkshire Playhouse and on tour.  Joanna Riding has most recently appeared at The Royal Court Theatre in Mark Ravenhill’s cycle of plays Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat.  Previously her credits include Blithe Spirit for the Theatre Royal Bath and in the West End, An Ideal Husband, Hobson’s Choice and The Happiest Days of Your Life all for The Royal Exchange Theatre, The Portrait of Dorian Gray for the Lyric Hammersmith and My Mother Said I Never Should and The Merry Wives of Windsor both for Chichester Festival Theatre.  Her more recent television credits include Doctors, Heartbeat, Where The Heart Is, The Royal, Midsomer Murders, The Brian Conley Show, Sean’s Show, Casualty, Strike Command and Wings of a Prayer.

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