Anna-Jane Casey and Howard Crossley join the new cast of West end hit Billy Elliot the musical as the production welcomed its 4 milionth patron
From 13 May 2013 Anna-Jane Casey will join the West End cast of Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre to play Billy’s dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson. Also joining the cast are Kevin Wathen as Billy’s brother, Tony, Howard Crossley as George and Alexander Loxton as Older Billy. They join current cast members Deka Walmsley who plays Billy’s Dad, Kay Milbourne as Dead Mum. Simon Ray Harvey as Mr. Braithwaite and Ann Emery who created the role of Grandma on stage when the show premiered in 2005. Now in its eighth year the internationally award-winning Billy Elliot the Musical is currently booking at the Victoria Palace Theatre to 21 December 2013 and last night welcomed its 4 millionth patron at the Victoria Palace Theatre.
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.
Harris Beattie (14 years old from Aberdeen, Scotland), Tade Biesinger (13 years old from Utah, USA), Harrison Dowzell (12 years old from Nottinghamshire) and Redmand Rance (12 years old from Fareham, Hampshire) will continue to alternate the role of Billy. Zach Atkinson (11 years old from Manchester), Joe Massey (13 years old from South Wirrell) and Thomas Moore (11 years old from Armthorpe, Doncaster) also continue to alternate the role of Billy’s best friend Michael and Dayna Dixon (10 years old from Newcastle upon Tyne), Macy Stasiak (11 years old from Darlington) and Millie Thornton (10 years old from Sunderland) play Debbie.
New ensemble members Claudia Bradley, Lee Hoy, Dean Maynard, Alan Mehdizadeh, Ryan O’Gorman, Charlotte Riby and Edmund Shaw will join current ensemble Craig Armstrong, David Bardsley, Paul Basleigh, Spencer Cartwright, Lucinda Collins, Matthew Dale, Gillian Elisa, Helen French, Ruri James, David Muscat, Steve Paget, Spencer Stafford and Mike Scott.
Award-winning Anna-Jane Casey was last on stage in Spamalot at the Playhouse Theatre. Her other extensive theatre credits include Company, Piaf and the title role of Sweet Charity for Sheffield Crucible, The Comedy of Errors at Regent Park’s Open Air Theatre, the Olivier Award winning production of Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Mack and Mabel for the Watermill Theatre, Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre and the West End productions of Cats, Children of Eden, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Out of the Blue, Starlight Express and West Side Story. Her television credits include The Royal, Doctors, EastEnders, Heartbeat and Holby City. On film she has been seen in Beyond The Sea.
Kevin Wathen’s theatre credits include Quadrophenia for Plymouth Theatre, Breakfast with Johnny Wilkinson at the Menier Chocolate Factory, Hair at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for Bristol Old Vic, Hamlet for the Old Vic and Skellig at the Young Vic. His extensive television credits include Judge John Deed, Silent Witness, Holby City and Inspector George Gently, The Bill and Blue Murder.
Howard Crossley has worked extensively for the Royal Shakespeare Company where his many credits include Camino Real, The Virtuoso, A Woman Killed with Kindness, Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, Hamlet as well as A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Broadway. His other stage credits include Comedians, Can’t Pay Won’t Pay and Waiting for Godot all for the Young Vic. He played the role of Pumbaa in The Lion King from 2001-2007. His television credits include Bob in Prisoners Wives, as well as roles in Grease Monkey’s, Casualty, Dinnerladies and Dalziel and Pascoe, Kingdom, Messiah, Where the Heart Is and A Touch of Frost.
Alexander Loxton, who trained at Elmhurst School for Dance and the Royal Ballet Upper School, has performed extensively with the Dutch National Ballet in productions including Sylvia, Sleeping Beauty, Sheherezade and Giselle. For the Royal Ballet his work includes Sleeping Beauty, Onegin, Bayadere and Swan Lake. In 2012 Loxton performed Void for BalletBoyz in New York.
Productions of Billy Elliot the Musical have been staged on Broadway, as well as in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto and Seoul, South Korea and has now been seen by over 8 million people. The touring production, which began in 2010, continues to play across North America and further international productions are planned.
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 London is presented 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.
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