Thomas Hazelby will become the 40th talented youngster to play the title role in Billy Elliot The Musical when he takes to the stage of London’s Victoria Palace Theatre later today.
The incredible milestone comes in a landmark year for the West End show, which prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary in the capital in May.
If that weren’t reason enough to celebrate, Monday also saw the iconic musical announced as one of the four shows to make the This Morning Audience Award shortlist for this year’s Olivier Awards with MasterCard.
10-year-old Hazelby from Doncaster joins 11-year-old Nathan Jones, who takes on the role of Billy’s best friend Michael, in the production alongside current cast members Ruthie Henshall, Deka Walmsley, Chris Grahamson and Gillian Elisa.
Talking about his West End debut, Hazelby said: “The best day of my life was when I was offered the role of Billy Elliot. I would like to thank the fantastic team at Billy Elliot who have supported me and helped me to achieve my dream.”
Based on the Oscar nominated film, Billy Elliot The Musical charts Billy’s story as he goes against his father’s wishes, swapping his boxing gloves for ballet shoes to follow his dream of becoming a dancer.
Brought to the stage by a stellar creative team including director Stephen Daldry, writer Lee Hall and music icon Elton John, the touching musical tale has been seen by more than 10 million theatregoers worldwide.
Theatre fans who would like to see Billy Elliot The Musical take home this year’s This Morning Audience Award, who haven’t already cast their vote for one of the quartet of productions, can show their support by visiting the Olivier Awards website.
The production is currently booking at the Victoria Palace Theatre until 19 December.