Tom Holland and Tanner Pflueger will become the latest multi-talented child performers to don ballet shoes on the Victoria Palace stage when they take the lead role in Billy Elliot The Musical next month.
Holland, a 12-year-old from Kingston-upon-Thames, and American Pflueger, a 13-year-old from Norfolk, Nebraska, join current Billys Joshua Fedrick, Fox Jackson-Keen and Layton Williams in the hit musical which opened at the Victoria Palace theatre in May 2005.
Based on the Oscar nominated film of the same name, Billy Elliot The Musical tells the tale of Billy, a young boy growing up in a northern mining community in the 1980s. In his town, boys box and then work down the mines, but when young Billy Elliot discovers a natural talent for ballet, his dreams and ambitions upset the status quo.
The team behind the film, writer Lee Hall and director Stephen Daldry, were joined in the creation of the musical by exuberant singer/songwriter Elton John, who composed the show’s songs. The stage production matched the film’s award-winning success, collecting four Laurence Olivier Awards in 2006, including Best New Musical.
Holland, who debuts as Billy on 8 September, was taught to dance by Lynne Paige, who also taught big screen Billy, Jamie Bell. His talent was spotted at a local showcase, where he was asked to audition for the show. Pflueger, who makes his first appearance on 29 September, has been dancing since the age of seven, when he was tempted to join his cousin’s dance class.
Holland and Pflueger join a cast including Jackie Clune (Mrs Wilkinson), Phil Whitchurch (Dad), Chris Lennon (Tony), Ann Emery (Grandma), Trevor Fox (George), Alex Delamere (Mr Braithwaite), Sara Poyzer (Mum) and Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy).
A larger Billy Elliot The Musical cast change is due later in the year, with one of Britain’s most respected musical theatre actresses expected to replace Clune as Mrs Wilkinson.