Billy Elliot The Musical celebrated its fourth birthday in the West End on 11 May by welcoming 12-year-old Oliver Gardner into the cast.
Gardner, from Bath, becomes the 32nd young actor to play the role of Billy worldwide since the show premiered in London in 2005.
Based on the BAFTA-winning film in which Jamie Bell played the title role, Billy Elliot The Musical tells the story of one young boy’s dreams of joining the Royal Ballet School, set against the backdrop of the 1980s miners’ strikes.
Directed by Stephen Daldry, who also directed the film, Billy Elliot The Musical has a book by Lee Hall and a score by Elton John.
In joining the cast at the Victoria Palace theatre Gardner alternates with four other boys in the role of Billy – Brad Wilson, Fox Jackson-Keen, Tom Holland and Tanner Pfleuger. The cast also includes Joe Caffrey as Billy’s dad and Kate Graham as his dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson.
Since its London premiere, the musical has spawned several international productions, including a Broadway show which was last week nominated for 15 Tony Awards, an unprecedented number for a British production.