Critical Review of Billy Elliot the musical at the Victoria Palace 30th September 2015 by Aurora Brovold.
When my boyfriend surprised me with tickets to Billy Elliot the morning of my birthday, I was very excited. You see, I had already seen the film about the young talented boy reaching for his dreams during the miners’ strike in the 1980s, and really enjoyed it, as it is a gripping, entertaining and inspiring movie. This, in addition to the fact that over 10 million people (http://london.billyelliotthemusical.com 12/10/2015) already saw the musical I had quite big expectations.
Lee Hall writes the film Billy Elliot in year 2000, with direction by Stephen Daldry, whom made it a West End musical eight years later. This could have been a result of Broadways’ trend of converting films to musicals during the last part of the 1900s. The show makers of this period implied that “If you liked the movie, now you can also see it live” (Stempel, Larry. Showtime – A history of the Broadway musical theatre. W.W. Northon & Company, inc. 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110).
Now, I must say that I was nearly shocked by the talented children in the show, thus especially Brodie Donougher whom played Billy that night, as one of four boys (http://london.billyelliotthemusical.com 12/10/2015). This also counts for Billy’s gay best friend who truly engaged the audience with his funny character. The acting was truly natural and believable, expect for some moments where Billy was very upset, and the screaming and crying into the air was a bit too dramatically and unnatural. Further, Billy’s athletic dancing was extraordinary with all his leaps, flips and pirouettes. In addition, the ballet girls, and the adults had such good control of their bodies, and hit jackpot when mixed with their gorgeous singing.
Although my enthusiasm for the talented children, the adult actors were brilliant as well. One could relax because of their confidence on stage, and one could sense they all had long careers in dancing, singing and acting. However, there was moments during the ensemble songs one could hear a few slightly bitter tones, although it was not enough to ruin the joy for the ears.
Lastly, the costumes was perhaps a bit over the top, if one could say such thing about a West End Musical. It seems like there has not been given enough thought about both the matching in colours or have they appeared together. Nevertheless, that might be exactly the point in two of the scenes; the ballet girls-scene and when Billy and his friend dresses up in dresses. This gives a humoristic effect, and it is a joy for the eye.
In conclusion, Billy Elliot was, is and always will be a successful musical because it is timeless and people can always relate in many of the themes. I give it my warm recommendations. Lastly, I must say it has been challenging to me to look at negative aspects on this musical because I was so excited and impressed that the critical part of my brain took a nap.
Stempel, Larry. Showtime – A history of the broadway musical theater. W.W. Northon & Company, inc. 500 fifth avenue, New York, NY 10110