Musicals, News & Commentary, Stage

Billy Elliot comes back for more but will Harry Potter let him in?

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Billy Elliot the Musical will return to Australia in 2019 for its “10th anniversary tour”. The first time around the UK stage musical only played Sydney and Melbourne, but the new tour will include those cities as well as Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.

It will open at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre in October 2019 and then will be followed – in the words of the producers – by “planned seasons” in Melbourne at the Regent Theatre from February 2020. The the tour is planned to go to the Crown Theatre, Perth from June 2020, QPAC’s Lyric Theatre in Brisbane from July 2020 and the Festival Theatre at Adelaide Festival Centre from September 2020.

How will the Melbourne season of ‘Billy Elliot’ perform against the magical effect of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’?

Nothing is ever certain in the commercial theatre market, but the reason for the producers’ cautious language might not be just not knowing the audience appetite for more Billy, but also not knowing how the Melbourne return season will perform against the brand new, magical effect (and special effects) of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to open “exclusively” at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre from “early 2019’’. Tickets are not yet on sale, but it’s understood that the Princess Theatre has been booked for a phenomenal five years to accomodate the expected demand for the play from around Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Billy Elliot the Musical is directed by Stephen Daldry, music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreography by Peter Darling. It is based on the film of the same name and is justifiably garnered with awards from its first West End and Broadway seasons. It is set against the backdrop of the 1984/’85 miners’ strike when a small boy, Billy, joins a ballet class that changes him, his family and of course, his small town.

[box]Photo by James D Morgan of Elton John, Lee Hall and the original Australian cast in 2007. [/box]

One response to “Billy Elliot comes back for more but will Harry Potter let him in?

  1. Billy Elliot is a wonderful show which I enjoyed much more in the Australian production,twice, than when I saw the original West End Cast Production. There will always be boys like me who wanted to do ballet and couldn’t, so maybe just seeing Aussie kids realising their dreams on our local stages was part of it, or was it the late and great Lola Nixon playing the Grandmother? I reckon people will see Potter in droves, but Melbourne has always had a much better theatre culture than the rest of the country. I say “bring it on!”

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