Auckland Theatre Company looking for their next Billy Elliot

By Dionne Christian

Auckland theatre seeks singing, dancing boy lead for debut musical.
Colin McColl says Billy Elliot the Musical is about everything the Auckland Theatre Company aspires to be. Photo / Supplied
Colin McColl says Billy Elliot the Musical is about everything the Auckland Theatre Company aspires to be. Photo / Supplied

It's news likely to get every boy ballerino dancing for joy.

Auckland Theatre Company has announced Billy Elliot the Musical will be the debut production in its new ASB Waterfront Theatre, which opens in October. The company starts its search later this month for a boy to play 11-year-old Billy who prefers ballet to boxing lessons.

Open auditions are on the last weekend in February for boys who want to play Billy or his best friend and partner in crime, Michael. Audition notes specify whoever plays Billy must be able to do ballet, tap dancing and sing well without a broken or changed voice.

Those who make the shortlist will attend a three-day intensive audition recall during the April school holidays. Auditions for all other children's role are in March and the full cast will be announced late April.

ATC Artistic Director Colin McColl said the musical represented everything the ASB Waterfront Theatre aspires to be.

"It's about having big dreams and pursuing your passion. It's about living a life less ordinary and it's about the importance of the arts and creativity in everyday life."

Based on the smash-hit movie, Billy Elliot the Musical is set in a dour northern English mining town against the background of the 1984 miners' strike. The musical's story and lyrics were written by Lee Hall while Sir Elton John wrote the music.

Writing about composing the music, Sir Elton says the story has parallels to his own childhood.

"As a child, I dreamt of a career in music. To see Billy literally dance his way out of the bleak and cruel environment created by the British mining industry's demise was inspirational. To see Billy's family rally behind his artistic gift moved me to tears."

Billy Elliot the Musical opens on Friday, October 7.

For information on auditions, go to asbbillyelliot.co.nz/childrensauditions

- NZ Herald

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