From 12 November 2012 Killian Donnelly will join the cast of Billy Elliot the Musical to play Billy’s brother Tony. He will perform alongside Gillian Bevan (Mrs. Wilkinson), Deka Walmsley (Dad), Ann Emery (Grandma), Sean Kearns (George), Kay Milbourne (Dead Mum), Simon Ray Harvey (Mr. Braithwaite), Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy) and new ensemble members Matthew Dale, David Muscat, Nic Greenshields, Ruri James and Spencer Stafford who join Craig Armstrong, David Bardsley, Paul Basleigh, Dawn Buckland, James Butcher, Spencer Cartwright, Lucinda Collins, Gillian Elisa, Helen French, Sergio Giacomelli, Ian Gareth Jones, Connor McAllister, Steve Paget, Steph Parry and Mike Scott.
Last month 12 year old Redmand Rance from Fareham, Hampshire joined 14 year old Harris Beattie from Aberdeen, Scotland, 12 years old Harrison Dowzell from Nottinghamshire and 13 year old Kaine Ward from Hertfordshire, who alternate the role of Billy. Ten year old Thomas Moore from Armthorpe, Doncaster, 10 year old Jack Bromage-Eccles from Nuneaton and 12 year old Joe Massey from South Wirrell alternate the role of Billy’s best friend Michael. Ten year old Millie Thornton from Grangetown, Sunderland, 10 year old Dayna Dixon from Newcastle upon Tyne and 10 year old Macy Stasiak from Darlington alternate the role of Debbie.
Based on the Oscar nominated film, Billy Elliot the Musical is an inspirational story of one boy’s dream to realise his ambitions against the odds. Set in the North East of England against the background of the historic 1984/85 miners’ strike, Billy pursues his passion for dance in secret to avoid disapproval of his struggling family.
Killian Donnelly, who is currently playing Raoul in the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera, joins the cast to play Tony. His previous theatre credits include the title role in Michael Collins for Cork Opera House and the 25th Anniversary concerts for both The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall and Les Miserables at the O2 Arena. Donnelly has recently wrapped production on Tom Hooper’s feature film version of Les Misérables, in which he will play Combeferre. His other screen credits include Showbands II, The Last Furlong and The Tudors.
Gillian Bevan continues as Mrs Wilkinson. Her theatre credits include Road Show at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Relatively Speaking at the Watermill Theatre, Billy Liar at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Grand Hotel at the Donmar Warehouse, In the Midnight Hour at the Young Vic, The Boys From Sycracuse at Regents Park Open Air Theatre. Bevan was in the original London cast of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Her work for the Royal Shakespeare Company includes As You Like It andThe Wizard of Oz. On television she is best known for her roles as Gina Hope in BBC 1’s Holby City and Claire Hunter in the award winning Channel 4 series Teachers, her other television credits include The Innocents, Lewis and Lost Empires.
Ann Emery created the role of Grandma in Billy Elliot The Musical when it opened in London in 2005. In 2010 she took a break from production to play Mother Dear in Betty Blue Eyes at the Novello Theatre, Ann then returned to the Victoria Palace Theatre last November to resume the role of Billy’s Grandma. Her extensive theatre credits include Hard Times at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, Martin Guerre at the Prince Edward Theatre and Cats at the New London Theatre. On television her credits include Rentaghost, Julia Jekyll and Harriet Hyde and Radio Roo all for the BBC, Emery has also made guest appearances in her late brother’s BBC hit comedy The Dick Emery Show.
Deka Walmsley continues in the role of Dad. He was previously on stage in Lee Hall’s The Pitmen Painters playing George Brown, a role he created in the original production at Live Theatre, Newcastle and subsequent runs at the National Theatre, UK tour and on Broadway. His other theatre credits include Cyrano De Bergerac at the Bristol Old Vic, Enemies at the Almeida Theatre and Playing with Fire at the National Theatre. His television credits include EastEnders, Doctors, Dalziel and Pascoe, Inspector George Gently and Holby City.
Billy Elliot the Musical features music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, is directed by Stephen Daldry with choreography by Peter Darling. 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 opened in the West End at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005. Productions have also been staged on Broadway, as well as Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto and Seoul, South Korea. A US tour continues across North America, with further international productions planned.
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 and is based on the Universal Pictures/ Studio Canal film.