My friend Dorothy, who was in London for 5 weeks, is a big theatre fan. In total during her time here she made it to 5 or 6 musicals. Unfortunately my budget is not that generous. But we did go to watch Billy Elliot a few days after her birthday in celebration!
The plot (if you haven’t watched the film) is of a young boy, Billie, growing up in Yorkshire during the violent 1984 miners’ strikes. He goes to boxing classes, but is less than enthusiastic about them. One day however he dawdles after class, and from then on he ends up in the ballet class that follows. The teacher spots his talent and encourages him to try out for the Royal Ballet School. However, when his family gets to know they are less than enthusiastic. It is only after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing that they finally get turned round to support Billie in going for the audition.
As can be expected, there is quite a bit of dancing going on. I wouldn’t say that it was all remarkable, but there were some very good bits. The singing, on the other hand, I found a bit shaky, particularly for some of the adults doing solos. I didn’t feel the voices were as strong as in other shows I have seen, often wavering and fading in a shaky way. The acting though was good, and they successfully managed to bring the story across.
This hasn’t been my favourite musical I must admit. I had high hopes for it as I had heard from quite a number of people that it is really good. Maybe it was the night we went on, but there wasn’t anything too memorable. Would I suggest it? Sure. It’s a decent show, but nothing too exciting I found. So an OK show. Glad I saw it, but won’t see it again probably.