THIRTY-THIRD WEST END BILLY JOINS CAST OF FIVE TIMES OLIVIER AWARD-WINNING BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL
Today, 13 May 2013, 12 year old Ali Rasul from Hartlepool, will become the thirty-third boy to play Billy Elliot in the West End
. Now in its ninth year at the Victoria Palace Theatre
where the show is currently booking to 21 December 2013, Billy Elliot the Musical last month was awarded its fifth Laurence Olivier Award – the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award voted for by the theatregoing public. Also in April Billy Elliot the Musical welcomed its 4 millionth patron to 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.
Ali Rasul joins a cast led by Anna-Jane Casey who plays Billy’s dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson, Deka Walmsley who plays Billy’s Dad and Kevin Wathen as Billy’s brother Tony, with Howard Crossley as George, Alexander Loxton as Older Billy, 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.
Ali Rasul said: “I am 12 years old and I live in Hartlepool in the North East of England, close to where Billy Elliot is from! I got into dancing when I was 5 years old and since then it has become my passion in life. Before Billy Elliot I was a member of a hip hop crew and we won many awards nationally and internationally including the Alesha Dixon Street Dance Stars. My hobbies are football, free running and playing on my games console when I get the time. After many auditions and lots of training I was finally picked to play the part of Billy Elliot. I was so surprised and excited to have been cast and I just can’t wait until my first performance on stage.
Harris Beattie (14 years old from Aberdeen, Scotland), Tade Biesinger (13 years old from Utah, USA), Harrison Dowzell (13 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), Francesca Mango (14 years old from Northumberland) and Millie Thornton (10 years old from Sunderland) play Debbie.
Ensemble members are Craig Armstrong, David Bardsley, Paul Basleigh, Claudia Bradley, Spencer Cartwright, Lucinda Collins, Matthew Dale, Gillian Elisa, Helen French, Lee Hoy, Ruri James, Dean Maynard, Alan Mehdizadeh, David Muscat, Ryan O’Gorman, Steve Paget, Charlotte Riby, Edmund Shaw, Spencer Stafford and Mike Scott.
Productions of Billy Elliot the Musical have been staged on Broadway, as well as in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto and Seoul, South Korea and the show has now been seen by over 9 million people. The touring production, which began in 2010, continues to play across North America and will travel to São Paulo, Brazil, for a three week engagement in August, the first time Billy Elliot will have played in South America. Further international productions are planned including Holland and Germany.
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 is presented in London by Universal Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions in association with Tiger Aspect and is based on the Universal Pictures/ Studio Canal film.