REVIEW: Billy Elliot at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Billy Elliott. Picture by Alastair Muir.
Billy Elliott. Picture by Alastair Muir.
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This multi-award winning musical made its transition from screen to stage in 2005. It embarked on it’s first UK tour a year ago.

Set in a northern town amidst the powerful backdrop of the miners’ strike in 1984; the use of music and silence, light and shadows, laughter and tears sends us on a rollercoaster of emotions as we follow Billy into his first ballet class where he discovers his love of dance.

This is a musical of two acts. The first beginning on the eve of the miners’ strike, introduces us to the exceptional actors playing Billy and Michael (Emile Godding and Bradley Mayfield). Their rapport on stage has the audience laughing out loud as well as wiping tears of emotion from our eyes.

Act two – six months later – shows us the changing relationships within families and communities as well as the developing talents of Billy. The glimpse we get of Billy’s older self is simply stunning and it is at this point we realise just how talented the young Emile is.

The portrayal of the miners’ strike is incredibly compelling. The live orchestra, sounds effects and lighting make us feel part of the lives of those affected.

With music by Elton John, the director Stephen Daldry has created a masterpiece. This is simply stunning musical theatre that thoroughly deserves the standing ovation it received.

Until March 4.