Universal Pictures, Working Title and Old Vic Productions have announced that the multi-award-winning Billy Elliot the Musical will open at Sydneys Capitol Theatre in January 2008 and that the search for Australias Billy Elliot has begun.
Billy Elliot the Musical, which opened in London in May 2005 to rave reviews, has broken UK box office records and is still playing to capacity houses at the Victoria Palace Theatre.
Based on the film of the same name, Billy Elliot is set in the North East of England and is a celebration of one young boy’s dreams set against the decline of a community in Margaret Thatchers England.
Billy Elliot the Musical is uniquely staged around the particular talents of each individual Billy. When fully trained, each youngster will perform across a range of disciplines including tap, ballet, singing and acting for a full two and a half hour show to over two thousand people a night.
The audition process for the London production involved scouring the whole of the UK and over three thousand boys were auditioned to find the three boys who opened the London show.
Eric Fellner, producer, said, Were very excited to be bringing Stephen Daldry‘s full West End production to Australia, only the second country in the world to get the chance to experience this astonishing theatrical event.
Louise Withers, Executive Producer (Australia) said that a wide search is commencing next month, and that ”auditions are being held in major centres and an exhaustive search for young talent in every town and city throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Producer Jon Finn said, The boys dont have to come to the auditions with a knowledge of every discipline. We are not looking for stage school kids. Just children with the raw talent, energy and enthusiasm to be Billy Elliot.
Directed by Stephen Daldry with book and lyrics by Lee Hall, Billy Elliot was developed for the stage by the same multi-award winning creative team responsible for the film. The score has been composed by Elton, and choreography is by Peter Darling. Ian MacNeil did the set design, while costumes are by Nicky Gillibrand.
Rick Fisher is responsible for lighting; sound is by Paul Arditti and music supervision is by Martin Koch.
There are also plans for an American production of the show, due to open on Broadway in the Fall of 2008.