Most people know the story of Billy Elliot. Set in the 80s during the decline of the coal mining industry, it follows a young boy called Billy who finds a love for ballet and a way to make a better life for himself away from the repression and dreary life as a miner’s son.
As one of my favourite films and stories, I felt it was only right that I go along and review the musical live at Southampton’s Mayflower.
On this specific night’s performance, Billy was played by cheeky chappie, Emile Gooding. I expected great things from the show and I most definitely wasn’t disappointed!
The sets were impressive and I love the fact that they had the ability to move, spin and open up into even more creative sets. I was especially blown away by the sets of the worker’s hall, Billy’s house, Billy and Michael’s clothes dance and the dance school.
As for the music, well we all love a classic and Elton John’s lyrics were brought to life with the impressive voices of all of the cast. Even the song featuring all of the miners sounded great! Then of course there was the song that I love the most, ‘Electricity’ that Emile (Billy) performed with the right amount of accent, feeling and innocence.
The costumes fit with the era and added to the look and feel of the whole show. During Billy and Michael’s dance with giant dancing clothing, wardrobe definitely paid off and added a much needed touch of glitter, glam and humour to the scene!
Last but not least, the dancers! Each character really did come into their own and guide you through every emotion, thought and part of the show.
The following performers deserve a praise worthy mention:
Mrs Wilkinson (Annettte Mclaughlin) brought the stage to life with her moody persona and an under-current of love, sass and humour. The way she was with her students, gave you an interesting insight into the way she worked.
Grandma (Andrea Miller) added class, sass and one of the best songs to the show. Her witty performance put all eyes on her and made everyone watching find a place in their hearts for her.
Mr Braithwaite (Daniel Page) was the sunshine of the scene. He brought the funny to all of the scenes he featured in. Especially the famous scene with Mrs Wilkinson where he shows off some hilarious but impressive dancing.
Michael (Bradley Mayfield) is an extremely underappreciated character who actually deserves far more recognition. His performance was always super camp, witty and glamorous. This is one little actor that will go onto big things for sure. Thanks for the laughs Bradley!
For everyone else who I haven’t mentioned that worked behind the scenes in making the magic happen, thanks for a great show!
Even if you’re not a ballet fan, I think Billy Elliot promises a little something for everyone. Don’t miss out!
Words by Michelle Stannard