The electrifying touring production of Billy Elliot The Musical leapt onto the stage of the Palace Theatre, Manchester last night.
After 11 years in the West End, the award winning production is travelling around the UK and Ireland as part of an 18 month tour.
The boundary-pushing show, set to the back drop of the 1980s coal miners’ strike, tells the story of a boy who wants to dance, much to the disgust of his father and the wider community.
The tantalising dance routines, choreographed by Peter Darling, coupled with the incredibly powerful songs written by Elton John, leave the audience overwhelmed by the enormous sense of emotion and passion coming from the stage. Whether you’re laughing or crying, you’re sure to shed a few tears during this 3 hour foot-tapper.
As for Mr Twinkle-toes himself, Emile Gooding, who played Billy on Tuesday night, was simply outstanding. He may be small but he is bursting with talent beyond comprehension. A highlight was the show’s signature number, ‘Electricity’, that left the audience roaring with applause. Even Emile seemed to be slightly overwhelmed by the audience’s cheers and he let a cheeky smile break through his final pose.
The beauty of the show is how it is still relevant today. The issues of self-expression and individuality are tackled with such creativity that they have a lasting impact on you.
Although there is an incredible amount of swearing (and that’s just the children!) it adds to character and authenticity of the piece.
Sat in the stalls was self-confessed ‘super-fan’, Juergn Buesselberg, who had come from Berlin to watch the show.
Having seen Billy Elliot over 40 times he continues to be mesmerised: “To see the young talent on stage and to see all the people dancing like that, it gets you so excited.
“This show will never, ever bore you. It’s great!”
This piece can touch you and move you ways that make you want to go back and see it again and again. And there’s no wonder why it is such a hit and it still plays to sell out audiences all around the world.
The show allows you to be free. It says it’s ok to express yourself in which ever way you like. And it well and truly puts two-fingers up to the oppressive ideologies that prevent people like Billy from being who they want to be.
Until 28th January 2017.
By Charlie Holt