Today, 14 July 2014, twelve year old Ollie Jochim
from Chelmsford, Essex gives his first performance in the title role of the internationally award winning Billy Elliot the Musical
. Ollie joins a cast lead by Ruthie Henshall who plays Mrs Wilkinson, Billy’s dance teacher, and becomes the thirty-eighth boy to perform the iconic role at the Victoria Palace Theatre and the seventy-fifth boy to perform the role world-wide.
Ollie Jochim said: “I am twelve years old and from Chelmsford in Essex. I have always loved dancing - when I was younger I used to teach myself to dance from Michael Jackson YouTube videos! I joined Essex Dance Theatre in Chelmsford when I was nine to learn ballet, tap and modern and later joined their performance group. A couple of years ago my mum took me to see Billy Elliot the Musical and when I saw it I knew I wanted to be Billy. I was so overjoyed when I found out I had got the part and now I am living my dream.”
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.
Billy Elliot the Musical has now been seen by over 9.5 million people worldwide, and in May next year the internationally celebrated show will celebrate its 10th birthday. Billy Elliot the Musical features music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall. Stephen Daldry directs with choreography by Peter Darling.
On Sunday 28 September 2014 at 2pm, Billy Elliot the Musical is set to bring cinema goers to their feet when the show is broadcast live from the West End to cinemas across the UK and around the world. Tickets for the live broadcast are on sale at cinemas now, and tickets are also available for this very special performance at the Victoria Palace theatre.
Ollie Jochim (12 years old from Chelmsford, Essex) joins Elliott Hanna (11 years old from Liverpool), Bradley Perret (12 years old from Juan les Pins, France), Mitchell Tobin (14 years old from Florida, USA) and Matteo Zecca (12 years old from Buckinghamshire) to alternate the role of Billy. Tomi Fry (11 years old from Swindon), Zach Atkinson (12 years old from Manchester) and Zak Baker (13 years old from St Albans) play the role of Billy’s best friend Michael, and Kyria Cooper (10 years old from Hartlepool), Dayna Dixon (12 years old from Newcastle upon Tyne) and Demi Lee (11 years old from Middlesbrough) alternates the role of Debbie.
Ruthie Henshall (Mrs Wilkinson), Deka Walmsley (Dad), Chris Grahamson (Tony), Ann Emery (Grandma), Howard Crossley (George) and Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy) lead the adult cast. 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. 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 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 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.