Following a nationwide search, the producers of Billy Elliot the Musical are delighted to announce the schools and youth organisations that have been chosen to participate in Billy Youth Theatre 2011.
Billy Youth Theatre 2011 offers participants the unique opportunity to stage their own productions of this internationally award-winning show. Following the incredible success of the inaugural Billy Youth Theatre in 2010, the producers of Billy Elliot the Musical announced in September that the scheme would continue for a second year.
Billy Elliot director, Stephen Daldry said: “It is very exciting that we are able to offer young people around the country a chance to pour their energy and creativity into local productions of Billy Elliot. We are looking forward to seeing their ideas brought to life.”
The confirmed Billy Youth Theatre 2011 participants are: ACT 1 Youth Theatre Group, Cardiff; Acts Theatre School/Somerset Music, Somerset; Banbury School, Banbury; Bristol Musical Youth Productions, Bristol; Bromage Theatre Company, Nuneaton; Co-op Juniors Theatre Company, Ispwich; Dacorum Youth Productions, Hemel Hempstead; Falkirk Children’s and Youth Theatre, Falkirk; Fame School of the Arts, Preston; FearWorks Media Productions, Newcastle; Greenshaw High School, Surrey; Happy Feet Dance Company, Stoke on Trent; High Storrs Performing Arts Specialist School, Sheffield; Jago Performers, Worcester; King Edward VII College, Loughborough; Lights Down Theatre School, Ludlow; Liverpool Empire Youth Theatre, Liverpool; Lord Lawson of Beamish School, Durham; Mark Rutherford Upper School, Bedford; Miltoncross Secondary School, Portsmouth; Northern Academy of Performing Arts, Hull; Patcham High School, Brighton; Retro Academy for Performing Arts, Cardiff; Rush Croft School, London; Saturday Stage School, Whitley Bay; Sheffield Stage Productions, Sheffield; Shenley Academy and Sixth Form Centre, Birmingham; Shine Youth Music Theatre, Glasgow; SOTA, Reading; Stagecoach Mitcham/Mording/Tooting, New Malden; Stagecoach Newcastle/Sunderland, Newcastle; Stage Door Theatre Company, Ramsgate; Stage Productions (Staffs) Community Interest Company, Newcastle-under-Lyme; Stamford Theatre Academy, Spalding; STP Musicals, Southampton; Taylorian Productions, Laxey; The Liz Burville Performing Arts Centre, Bexley; Trinity School, Carlisle; Triple Treat Youth, Aberdeen; Upstagers, Ilkely, Bradford; Vocal Performance Academy, Gerrards Cross; Wren School, Wellingborough and Yeovil Youth Theatre, Yeovil.
On 12 December at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London, the directors of each local production will be given a unique opportunity to take part in a masterclass led by the Billy Elliot resident creative team who will share their experience of bringing this demanding show to life on the London stage. In addition, Connor Lawson, a former BYT participant who was recently cast in the West End production as Billy’s best friend, Michael, will share his Billy Youth Theatre experience. Connor was invited to audition for Billy Elliot having performed at the Billy Youth Theatre West End Gala in July this year, and after months of intensive training, Connor is about to make his debut.
Jessica Ronane, Children’s Casting Director said: “The BYT experience offers an opportunity for young people to discover the hard work and discipline it takes to perform in a show like Billy Elliot. We were thrilled to discover our latest Michael, Connor Lawson, who was spotted by our choreographic team in a BYT production. He has been an excellent addition to the cast and his journey highlights the ongoing nature of our search for brilliant children as well as the chance to shine offered through BYT. We will be extremely interested to see the performances that come through BYT 2011.”
Selected groups will be invited to perform excerpts from their productions at showcases to be held at major regional theatres during May and June 2011. Billy Youth Theatre 2011 will culminate in July when a number of groups will be invited to follow in Billy’s footsteps and perform at Victoria Palace Theatre, Billy’s London home, at Billy Youth Theatre West End Gala.
Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall, together with Martin Koch (Musical Supervision and Orchestrations), have adapted their original script and orchestrations to produce a shortened version of the show exclusively for Billy Youth Theatre.
BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL
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.
Billy Elliot the Musical features music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, and 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.
The critically acclaimed, internationally award-winning musical opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005 and has subsequently been seen by over 5 million people worldwide. As well as the current London production, Billy Elliot the Musical has performed in Sydney, Melbourne and Chicago, and is currently playing at the Imperial Theater on Broadway, at the LG Arts Center in Seoul, South Korea and on tour across North America. In February 2011 Billy Elliot the Musical will open at the Canon Theatre, Toronto with a further production due to open in Japan in the same year. Productions are also in the works for Germany and Holland.
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.