Billy Elliot – UK Tour

Walking into a theatre waiting for the unknown, there was a sense of anticipation around the Liverpool Empire that I hadn’t previously felt. From the moment the curtain was raised the audience was mesmerised – from start to finish.

This was a roller-coaster of emotions: from Grandma eating a pastie she had hidden in a cupboard, to billy talking to his late mother (in song) through a letter she left for him (which he wasn’t meant to open till he was 18).

Scene after scene brought new emotions. The miners on the picket line struggling to live as they refused to give in to thatcher is brilliantly portrayed. During the scene solidarity, you see the miners clashing with police officers on the picket line in a very powerful scene. This part of the production showing such solidarity and togetherness that it makes you want to jump on the stage and unite with them to fight the cause.

The music, choreography, staging, sets, lighting and just about everything is perfectly on point. I actually forgot I was in a theatre at one point – which is probably the biggest compliment I can give this show. I felt like it was just me and them in a room. The beautiful ballet scene with just Elliot and his future self on a blacked out stage with two spotlights had a few people looking for tissues.

Performance highlights include Anna Jane Casey who’s witty (and foul mouth!) performance as Mrs Wilkinson was so enjoyable. Also Martin Walsh (Billy’s dad) perfectly presented the ‘tough geordie persona’ of a man trying to do right by his family. The role of Grandma (Andrea Miller) and the pianist Mr Braithwaite (Daniel Page) who provides a stunning performance that we couldn’t possibly spoil.

However the last word needs to go to billy Adam Abbou, who was just unbelievable from start to finish. You would think his acting might let him down because of ALL that choreography but he has you perplexed with his emotional and quite brilliant performance.

I thought nothing could top Blood Brothers! This is the best thing I have seen on a theatre stage.

The perfect musical.

Review by Rob Freeman, At The Theatre reader and regular Liverpool Empire theatre-goer.

BILLY ELLIOT plays the Liverpool Empire until Saturday 27th May 2017. You have until 17th June to see it in the UK when it ends with a 3 week run in Milton Keynes. Highly Recommended: To Book Tickets Click Here…

About Author /

Rob Stanway is the Founder of At The Theatre. He has reviewed the UK's best touring theatre (and much of the west end) for this website since 2005.

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