Billy Elliot Dances Into Melbourne

Billy Elliot The MusicalUniversal Pictures Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions announced today that the smash-hit Billy Elliot the Musical will open in Melbourne, December 2008.

The critically-acclaimed production will commence performances at Her Majesty’s Theatre December 13 ahead of the Melbourne premiere on December 31.

Billy Elliot the Musical, which opened in London in May 2005 to extraordinary reviews, has broken UK box office records at the Victoria Palace Theatre. The Australian production opened to equal critical acclaim in December last year and the Broadway production will commence performances on October 1 this year.

Based on the film of the same name, Billy Elliot the Musical is the gritty, funny and heart-warming tale of a young boy with a dream, and a celebration of his triumph against the odds.  Set against the historic British miners’ strike of the 1980s, the story follows Billy’s journey as a boy in a small mining town who, after stumbling across a ballet class while on his way to a boxing lesson, realises that his future lies not in the boxing ring but on stage as a dancer.

Producer, Eric Fellner said, “We’ve been thrilled with the way Australian audiences have embraced Billy Elliot the Musical and are delighted to be able to bring this production to Melbourne. Billy has now been seen by nearly 2.2m people worldwide and we are very pleased that Melbourne audiences will now have the opportunity to see it too.”
   
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 was composed by music legend Elton John, the most celebrated UK singer songwriter of the last 30 years. Choreography is by Peter Darling with set design by Ian MacNeil, costumes by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting by Rick Fisher, sound by Paul Arditti and music supervision by Martin Koch.

The search for Melbourne’s Billy Elliots will commence soon with auditions being held in June and July.

Universal Pictures Stage Productions

Universal Pictures Stage Productions is the theatrical production unit of the world famous motion picture studio. Universal’s stage credits include the acclaimed worldwide productions of Wicked and Billy Elliot the Musical, and licenced productions including the Tony Award Best Musical nominees, Cry-Baby and Xanadu.

Working Title Films

Working Title has been co-chaired by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner since 1992.  Between them, the pair has produced over 90 feature films which have amassed more than $4 billion at the box office worldwide. To date, their films have won 6 Academy Awards, 24 BAFTAs and won prestigious prizes at the Cannes and Berlin film festivals. The company's commercial and critical hits include Atonement; Hot Fuzz; Pride & Prejudice; Mr. Bean’s Holiday; About a Boy; Notting Hill; Elizabeth; Fargo; Dead Man Walking; High Fidelity; Johnny English; Billy Elliot; Four Weddings and a Funeral; Bridget Jones’s Diary; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; O Brother  Where Art Thou?; Love Actually; Shaun Of The Dead; Nanny McPhee; and United 93. Forthcoming releases include Burn After Reading directed by the Coen brothers, starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich and Tilda Swinton; Wild Child, starring Emma Roberts; Frost/Nixon directed by Ron Howard, starring Michael Sheen and Frank Langella; Hippie Hippie Shake starring Sienna Miller and Cillian Murphy; State of Play directed by Kevin Macdonald, starring Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren and Ben Affleck; The Soloist directed by Joe Wright, starring Jamie Fox and Robert Downey Jr.; Green Zone directed by Paul Greengrass, starring Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear and Amy Ryan; The Boat That Rocked written and directed by Richard Curtis, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rhys Ifans, Bill Nighy and Kenneth Branagh.

Old Vic Productions

Old Vic Productions was launched in 1993 by Sally Greene.  Under her leadership OVP has produced, co-produced or invested in over 70 productions in the West End and on Broadway.  These include: Cyrano de Bergerac with Antony Sher, The Reduced Shakespeare Company (the longest running comedy in the West End), The Vagina Monologues (New York, London & UK Tour), The Weir,  Dolly West's Kitchen, The Car Man, Medea, Life x 3, Benefactors,  Elaine Stritch at Liberty, Macbeth, Sexual Perversity in Chicago with Matthew Perry and Minnie Driver, and Hamlet, starring Ben Whishaw, directed by Trevor Nunn (Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play 2004).   Old Vic Productions is a major partner in Kevin Spacey’s theatre company that is resident at the Old Vic Theatre. Recent highlights include Moon for the Misbegotten (which transferred to Broadway) and Speed the Plow. Sally appointed Joseph Smith as Executive Producer of Old Vic Productions in 2006 to work alongside her on current and future theatre projects.
 
‘Billy Elliot will knock your socks off sideways’ - The Daily Telegraph

‘Billy Elliot sweeps its audience away. Resistance is useless’
- The Australian

‘Joyously entertaining, Billy Elliot bursts into starry-eyed showbiz magic … A rapturous pinnacle of self-expression and fulfilment’ -The Sydney Morning Herald


BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL

Melbourne season commences December 2008
Her Majesty’s Theatre
Exhibition St, Melbourne
Tickets on sale from September




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