01 Aug 2016
Auckland Theatre Company and ASB have announced the adult leads in Auckland Theatre Company’s production of Billy Elliot the Musical, presented by ASB.
Alongside the six boys playing Billy and Michael, the spectacular show will be lead by Stephen Lovatt (Once on Chunuk Bair, Rupert, Fallen Angels) who is playing Billy’s father Jackie, Rima Te Wiata (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Book of Everything) playing Billy’s Grandma, and Jodie Dorday (Burying Brian, Blue Heelers, Take a Chance on Me) who is coming home to New Zealand from overseas to play Billy’s beloved dance teacher, Mrs Wilkinson.
Other cast members include recent Toi Whakaari graduate Jack Barry (Making Of The Mob: Chicago, Pike River: The Long Wait, Balls) who is playing Billy’s brother Tony and Black Grace dancer Daniel Cooper is playing the older Billy Elliot.
The ensemble of miners and policemen includes Andy Grainger (Lysistrata, Chicago, Once on Chunuk Bair), Jason Te Mete (You Can Always Hand Them Back, Guys and Dolls, K’ Rd Strip), Kyle Chuen (That Bloody Woman, Jesus Christ Superstar), Jeremy Birchall (The Pirates of Penzance, Oliver, Cabaret), Andy Manning (That Bloody Woman, Avenue Q) and James Luck (So You Think You Can Dance, Australia).
The young female roles will be announced shortly.
The show is the premiere production in Auckland’s new ASB Waterfront Theatre, located in the innovation hub of Wynyard Quarter. Comprising a 660-seat theatre, bar, café and gallery space, the ASB Waterfront Theatre is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built performing arts venue and the new home of Auckland Theatre Company.
ATC Artistic Director Colin McColl says, “We are delighted to have found this outstanding team of performers to help us bring New Zealand’s first production of this this globally renowned show to life. It is a superb cast and an extraordinary opportunity for our young performers to work alongside such incredible musical theatre talent.”
ASB Head of Community, Sponsorship and Events Mark Graham agrees, saying, “We’ve been watching the construction of the new ASB Waterfront Theatre with interest over the last year and are eagerly awaiting the doors being open for Billy Elliot the Musical. We are thrilled to see such a talented line up of actors headlining the theatre’s premiere show.”
Set in a northern mining town against the background of the 1984 miners' strike, Billy Elliot the Musical is the inspirational story of a boy's struggle against the odds to make his dream come true.
Regular eleven-year-old lad, Billy, discovers he prefers ballet classes to his usual boxing lesson. While boys doing ballet is an issue for his macho father and brother, with the support of his beloved teacher, Billy’s passion for dance eventually wins over his family and the entire community.
Based on the smash-hit movie, Billy Elliot the Musical is a funny, uplifting and heartfelt story, with book and lyrics written by Lee Hall and music written by the legendary Elton John.
Throughout the recent school holidays, the boys playing Billy Elliot and his best friend Michael gathered in Auckland for a two-week intensive training period in which they were required to dance, sing, act and practise acrobatics every day.
They include the Billys, Jaxson Cook (11, Wellington), Harry Sills (10, Auckland) and Ben Shieff (14, Auckland), and the Michaels, Bridgman (10, Christchurch), Stanley Reedy (14, Westport) and Christian Swan (14, Auckland). The parts are being played interchangeably by the three boys each, in order to give each of the young performers some down time in what will be an intensive season.
Please direct all interview requests to Siobhan Waterhouse, Publicist, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 022 126 4149.