Accento (Arts News)

Billy Elliot the Musical opens in Adelaide tonight

One way to see out the final hours of 2019 is to attend the opening of Billy Elliot the Musical at the Adelaide Festival Theatre. Produced by Universal Theatrical Group, Working Title Films, Greene Light Stage, Michael Coppel Entertainments and Louise Withers Presents the show officially opens in Adelaide tonight, December 31.

The stars of Billy Elliot (L to R) Jamie, River, Omar, and Wade | photo by James D. Morgan

The lead role will be shared by four talented young Australians who are each making their professional debut. They are Omar Abiad (12, from Brisbane), River Mardesic (11, from Melbourne), Wade Neilsen (13, from Newcastle) and Jamie Rogers (13, from Canberra). The boys were cast following extensive auditions and footage from the casting process can be viewed herein.

Billy Elliot the Musical is the recipient of 85 awards internationally, including 10 Tony Awards, 5 Olivier Awards and 8 Helpmann Awards, and has been seen by over 12 million people across the globe. The legendary Elton John composed the score, with book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreography by Peter Darling, and direction by Stephen Daldry. 

The production features scenic design by Ian MacNeil, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.

This brilliant, heart-warming musical takes the audience on an unforgettable journey and leaves you feeling on top of the world. We are so happy that Adelaide can finally experience and fall in love with Billy Elliot the Musical

– Louise Withers, Producer

Based on the film of the same name, Billy Elliot the Musical follows the journey of a young boy raised in a small British mining town. Set in the context of 1984 miners’ strike, Billy discovers a passion for dance that inspires his whole community and changes his life forever.

Some of Australia’s most accomplished performers star in this production. Namely, Lisa Sontag, as ballet teacher Mrs Wilkinson; theatre and screen actor Justin Smith as Billy’s stoic father; Vivien Davies as Billy’s Grandma; Drew Livingston as Billy’s brother; and Robert Grubb as Georgea miner and the town’s boxing coach.

Lisa Sontag as Mrs Wilkinson and Jamie Rogers as Billy Elliot | photo by James D. Morgan

Cast members forming this outstanding company include Adelaide’s own Zoë Komazec, Paul Whiteley and Caroline Kaspar along with Dean Vince (Mr Braithwaite), Danielle Everett (Dead Mum), Aaron Smyth (Older Billy), Damien Bermingham (Big Davy) and (in alphabetical order) Justin Anderson, Jordana Beatty, Damien Bermingham, Dion Bilios, Rachel Cole, Josh Gardiner, Isabel Hawthorne, Matt Heyward, Barbara Hughes, Alexander ‘Zan’ Kermond, , Sarah Kate Landy, Michael Lindner, Jayme-Jo Massoud, Joe Miller, Joshua Russell, David Sirianni, Lisa Sontag, Tahlia Traecey and Darren Tyler.

“It’s great to finally be able to bring Billy Elliot to Adelaide. The massive under-floor structure required for the initial production has been redesigned to allow the production to be staged in arts centres such as the Adelaide Festival Centre.”

– Louise Withers, Producer

The cast of children includes Mason Kidd, Hamish Monger, Oscar Mulcahy, James Sonnemann (Michael), Chanel Charles, Gabrielle Daggar, Ella Tebbutt (Debbie) and in alphabetical order Sienna Balewai, Tiarne Evans, Mia Jonson, Jamie Kelly, Melody Kurniawan, Tahlia McGregor, Sienna Miroforidis, Mica Santos, Indianna Thompson and Zoe Tsang.

Billy Elliot will run in Adelaide until 26 January 2020. Tickets are available via bass.net.au / 131 246

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