On 23 April, half a million new tickets go on sale for the hugely popular Billy Elliot The Musical. The extension means that from next week it will be possible to book tickets for the show, which has won 17 major theatre awards including four Laurence Olivier Awards, until 20 December 2008. The extension comes shortly before Billy Elliot The Musical's second birthday in May and shortly after the announcement that Jackie Clune joins the cast in June.
Billy Elliot has been a huge hit since it opened at the Victoria Palace in May 2005. By the time its second birthday rolls around, over 1.25 million theatregoers will have seen the show and over £55 million will have been taken at the Box Office. It is hoped that the success will be emulated around the world as productions are due to open in Sydney, Australia, in December 2007 and on Broadway in 2008.
Billy Elliot was originally developed as a film by writer Lee Hall and director Stephen Daldry. Following the movie's award-winning success, singer/songwriter Elton John joined the production team to write the score for the West End production. John has since made a cameo appearance in the production in November 2006 at a special charity gala performance.
The production currently stars Leon Cooke, Dean McCarthy, Layton Williams and Travis Yates as the boy from an eighties mining community who would rather learn to dance than box. Sally Dexter plays dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson – the role played by Julie Walters in the film – with James Gaddas as Billy's Dad and Ann Emery as his Grandma.