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West End Live 2011: Love Never Dies and Billy Elliot

June 24, 2011 

West End Live 2011 photos including Ramin Karimloo from Love Never Dies and the cast of Billy Elliot The Musical.

LINKS

More News on West End Live

View West End Live photos of Rock of Ages and Betty Blue Eyes

View West End Live photos of The Wizard of Oz and Crazy For You

View West End Live photos of Ghost The Musical, Wicked and Jersey Boys

View West End Live photos of Legally Blonde and Lend Me A Tenor

Book tickets to Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace

Book tickets to Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre

 

Wicked and Billy Elliot perform at free Summer launch event

June 13, 2011 

It’s a big week to catch free performances of your favourite musicals. Ahead of this weekend’s annual West End Live event in Trafalgar Square, this Wednesday sees an opportunity to catch a free lunchtime concert featuring Victoria-based musicals Wicked and Billy Elliot.

Wicked to perform at Cardinal Place in Victoria

Wicked to perform at Cardinal Place in Victoria

The occasion is the launch of this year’s Great British Summer promotion, held this Wednesday 15 June 2011 at 12.30pm at Cardinal Place roof garden in Victoria, London.

Great British Summer runs big outdoor screens in three London locations, showing key Wimbledon tennis matches and a number of Hollywood movies over the summer. Screens will be placed at Cardinal Place in Victoria, Bankside on the Southbank and New Street Square in Holborn.

The free performance on Wednesday will feature the casts of Wicked and Billy Elliot, supported by The Gleeks and the West End Gospel Choir.

West End Live this weekend (Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June) will see a host of musicals perform a free concert in Trafalgar Square in London.

LINKS

Great British Summer website

West End Production Of Billy Elliot The Musical Extends Booking Until December 2012

June 6, 2011 

Today, 6 June 2011, the multi award-winning Billy Elliot the Musical announces the release of over 630,000 new tickets for sale taking bookings up until 15 December 2012.

Based on the Oscar nominated film, Billy Elliot the Musical is an inspirational story of one boy’s dream to realise his ambitions against the odds. Set in the North East of England against the background of the historic 1984/85 miners’ strike, Billy pursues his passion for dance in secret to avoid disapproval of his struggling family.

Now in its seventh year at the Victoria Palace Theatre, Billy Elliot the Musical, Billy Elliot the Musical has performed in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago and Seoul, South Korea, and is currently performing at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway, on tour across North America and at the Canon Theatre, Toronto. Productions are also in the works for Japan, Germany and Holland.

Billy Elliot the Musical features music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, is directed by Stephen Daldry with choreography by Peter Darling. The production features scenic design by Ian MacNeil, the associate director is Julian Webber, costume design is by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.

The internationally award-winning show, which opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005, has been seen by almost 7 million people worldwide, including 3.3 million in the West End.

In April this year twelve year old Ryan Collinson from Southport, became the twenty-sixth boy to play the title role in the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical. He joined the current cast comprising Josh Baker (13 years old from Rochester), Dean Charles-Chapman (13 years old from Romford, Essex) and Scott McKenzie (13 years old from Dumbarton, Scotland) who alternate the role of Billy.

Reece Barrett (12 years old from Exeter), Connor Kelly (12 years old from Scunthorpe), Connor Lawson (12 years old from Shotton, County Durham) and Joe Massey (11 years old from South Wirrell) who alternate the role of Billy’s best friend Michael; Francesca Mango (11 years old from Northumberland), Emily Smith (11 years old from County Durham) and Emily Williams (9 years old East Wingate, County Durham) who alternate the role of Debbie.

They perform alongside Genevieve Lemon (Mrs. Wilkinson), Martin Marquez (Dad), Tom Lorcan (Tony), Diane Langton (Grandma), Chris McGlade (George), Kay Milbourne (Dead Mum), Kevin Patricks (Mr. Braithwaite), Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy) and ensemble members Ashley Andrews, David Bardsley, Romy Baskerville, Paul Basleigh, Alan Bradshaw, Spencer Cartwright, Caroline Deverill, Helen French, Tim Funnell, Sergio Giacomelli, Shaun Henson, Stevie Hutchinson, Stuart Ramsay, Derek Richards and Russell Wilcox and swings Craig Armstrong, Dawn Buckland, Lucinda Collins, Kieran Jae and Mike Scott.

Billy Elliot the Musical is presented in London by Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions in association with Tiger Aspect and is based on the Universal Pictures/ Studio Canal film.

Release issued by Premier PR

LINKS

SPECIAL OFFER: Book tickets to Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace in London

Alan Titchmarch celebrates West End musicals

May 5, 2011 

All week on ITV1 in the UK, TV host Alan Titchmarsh has been celebrating West End musicals on his daytime show.

Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh

His weekday The Alan Titchmarsh Show, running Mondays to Fridays at 3pm on ITV1, has seen the cast of Wicked (Monday 2 May), Grease (Tuesday), Les Miserables with Gareth Gates (Wednesday), Legally Blonde (today, Thursday 5 May at 3pm) and Billy Elliot (Friday) perform in front of a live studio audience.

LINKS

Watch Wicked perform on the Alan Titchmarsh Show

Watch Grease

Watch Les Miserables

Watch Legally Blonde

Ryan Collinson Becomes The Twenty-Sixth Boy To Play Billy Elliot In The West End

April 13, 2011 

Today, 13 April 2011, twelve year old Ryan Collinson from Southport, becomes the twenty-sixth boy to play the title role in the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical. The internationally award-winning show, which opened a the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005, has been seen by over 6 million people worldwide, including 3 million in the West End. Ryan becomes the 56th boy to play Billy Elliot worldwide since Jamie Bell in the award-winning film.

Ryan Collinson said ‘Before auditioning for Billy I had done very little classical dance training but I had done gymnastics for two years and taught myself street dance in my bedroom. I was given the film of Billy Elliot on DVD one Christmas and I wanted to be just like Billy so I started classical dance classes. I auditioned for Billy after just 8 lessons and after making it through further auditions I found out that I had got the part. It was the best day of my life and now I am living my dream!’

Based on the Oscar® nominated film, Billy Elliot the Musical is an inspirational story of one boy’s dream to realise his ambitions against the odds. Set in the North East of England against the background of the historic 1984/85 miners’ strike, Billy pursues his passion for dance in secret to avoid disapproval of his struggling family.

Billy Elliot the Musical features music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, and is directed by Stephen Daldry with choreography by Peter Darling. The production features scenic design by Ian MacNeil, the associate director is Julian Webber, costume design is by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.

As well as the current London production, Billy Elliot the Musical has performed in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago and Seoul, South Korea, and is currently performing at the Imperial Theatre on Broadway, on tour across North America and at the Canon Theatre, Toronto. Productions are also in the works for Japan, Germany and Holland.

Ryan Collinson joins Josh Baker (12 years old from Rochester), Dean Charles-Chapman (13 years old from Romford, Essex) and Scott McKenzie (13 years old from Dumbarton, Scotland) who alternate the role of Billy; Reece Barrett (12 years old from Exeter), Connor Kelly (12 years old from Scunthorpe), Connor Lawson (12 years old from Shotton, County Durham) and Joe Massey (11 years old from South Wirrell) who alternate the role of Billy’s best friend Michael; Francesca Mango (11 years old from Northumberland), Emily Smith (11 years old from County Durham) and Emily Williams (9 years old East Wingate, County Durham) who alternate the role of Debbie. They perform alongside Genevieve Lemon (Mrs. Wilkinson), Martin Marquez (Dad), Tom Lorcan (Tony), Diane Langton (Grandma), Chris McGlade (George), Kay Milbourne (Dead Mum), Kevin Patricks (Mr. Braithwaite), Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy) and ensemble members Ashley Andrews, David Bardsley, Romy Baskerville, Paul Basleigh, Alan Bradshaw, Spencer Cartwright, Caroline Deverill, Helen French, Tim Funnell, Sergio Giacomelli, Shaun Henson, Stevie Hutchinson, Stuart Ramsay, Derek Richards and Russell Wilcox and swings Craig Armstrong, Dawn Buckland, Lucinda Collins, Kieran Jae and Mike Scott.

Billy Elliot the Musical is presented in London by Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions in association with Tiger Aspect and is based on the Universal Pictures/ Studio Canal film.

Release issued by Premier PR

LINKS

Book tickets to Billy Elliot The Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre

Special ticket offer on Billy Elliot The Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre – Save £23.75

April 8, 2011 

Winner of 10 Tony awards, BILLY ELLIOT is the worldwide smash-hit musical based on the acclaimed film.

SPECIAL OFFER: Save £23.75 on tickets to Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London

Valid Monday to Friday from 2 May to the 24 June 2011 (excluding 27 May – 3 June)

Based on the Oscar nominated film, Billy Elliot the Musical is an inspirational story of one boy’s dream to realise his ambitions against the odds.  A funny, heart-warming and feel-good celebration of one young boy’s dreams, Billy Elliot the Musical features music by Elton John alongside the award-winning creative team behind the film – writer Lee Hall, director Stephen Daldry and choreographer Peter Darling.

This original story captured the hearts and minds of the world when the movie was released in October 2000. Nominated for 3 Oscars and 13 Bafta awards this poignant film broke box office records across the world.

“Billy Boy – this is the greatest musical yet” Daily Telegraph.

“Brit Musical of the decade has arrived” Daily Express.

“Billy’s a whizz! He’ll lift your spirits, make you cry and send you home high with hope” Daily Mail.

SPECIAL OFFER: Save £23.75 on tickets to Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London

Valid Monday to Friday from 2 May to the 24 June 2011 (excluding 27 May – 3 June)


New Billy Elliot Joins West End Cast As Hit Musical Is Shortlisted For Bbc Radio 2 Olivier Audience Award

February 28, 2011 

Twelve year old Josh Baker from Rochester has just become the twenty-fifth boy to play the title role in the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical as the hit show is shortlisted for the BBC Radio 2 Olivier Audience Award, the only category voted for by the public. Voting is now open and will close on 9 March with the awards ceremony on Sunday 13 March 2011. Now in its sixth year at the Victoria Palace Theatre, the critically acclaimed, internationally award-winning musical has been seen by over 6 million people worldwide, including 3 million in the West End. Since its world premiere in 2005 a total of 53 boys, including Jamie Bell who played Billy Elliot in the award-winning film, have now performed the title role worldwide, making Josh Baker the 54th boy to play Billy.

Based on the Oscar® nominated film, Billy Elliot The Musical is an inspirational story of one boy’s dream to realise his ambitions against the odds. Set in the North East of England against the background of the historic 1984/85 miners’ strike, Billy pursues his passion for dance in secret to avoid disapproval of his struggling family.

Billy Elliot the Musical features music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, and is directed by Stephen Daldry with choreography by Peter Darling. The production features scenic design by Ian MacNeil, the associate director is Julian Webber, costume design is by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.

As well as the current London production, Billy Elliot the Musical has performed in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago and Seoul, South Korea, and is currently performing at the Imperial Theater on Broadway and on tour across North America. Currently in previews, Billy Elliot the Musical will officially open at the Canon Theatre, Toronto on March 1st. Productions are also in the works for Japan, Germany and Holland.

Josh Baker said “My name is Josh Baker and I am 12 years old. I live with my mum, dad and little brother Max in the historic town of Rochester. I started acting when I was 5 years old when I appeared in Holby City and A Complete Guide to Parenting with Peter Davison. I started dancing at the age of 7 learning ballet, tap and jazz at Brooke’s Academy of Dance. I then went on to join Italia Conti Associate School and last year I joined Stage Theatre Society (STS). I was over the moon when I found out I would be playing the role of Billy and am really excited about my first performance. I love being part of such a great musical – the training has been very hard but also great fun! I can’t wait for all my friends from Stage Theatre School to come and see me performing in the West End.”

Josh Baker joins Dean Charles-Chapman (13 years old from Romford, Essex), Scott McKenzie (13 years old from Dumbarton, Scotland) and Rhys Yeomans (13 years old from Oldham, Lancashire) who alternate the role of Billy; Reece Barrett (12 years old from Exeter), Connor Kelly (12 years old from Scunthorpe), Connor Lawson (12 years old from Shotton, County Durham) and Joe Massey (11 years old from South Wirrell) who alternate the role of Billy’s best friend Michael; Francesca Mango (11 years old from Northumberland), Emily Smith (11 years old from County Durham) and Emily Williams (9 years old East Wingate, County Durham) who alternate the role of Debbie. They perform alongside Genevieve Lemon (Mrs. Wilkinson), Martin Marquez (Dad), Tom Lorcan (Tony), Diane Langton (Grandma), Chris McGlade (George), Kay Milbourne (Dead Mum), Kevin Patricks (Mr. Braithwaite),
Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy) and ensemble members Ashley Andrews, David Bardsley, Romy Baskerville, Paul Basleigh, Alan Bradshaw, Spencer Cartwright, Caroline Deverill, Helen French, Tim Funnell, Sergio Giacomelli, Shaun Henson, Stevie Hutchinson, Stuart Ramsay, Derek Richards and Russell Wilcox and swings Craig Armstrong, Dawn Buckland, Lucinda Collins, Kieran Jae and Mike Scott.

Billy Elliot the Musical is presented in London by Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions in association with Tiger Aspect and is based on the Universal Pictures/ Studio Canal film.

Release issued by: Premier PR

LINKS

Book tickets to Billy Elliot The Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London

Royal Mail release Musicals Stamps

February 24, 2011 

The Royal Mail is celebrating seven decades of UK stage musicals with a set of stamps, issued today.

Royal Mail Musicals Stamps set

Royal Mail Musicals Stamps set

Eight shows are featured: Queen’s We Will Rock You, West End classic Oliver!, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Me and My Girl – first produced in 1937, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show, Elton John’s Billy Elliot, and (slightly bizarrely) Return to the Forbidden Planet.

Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen helped launch the stamps at the Dominion Theatre today, and said: “We’re thrilled that We Will Rock You has been immortalised on a Royal Mail stamp. The image on the stamp takes us back to when we were touring as Queen and embodies the rock and roll music that we wanted to celebrate in We Will Rock You the musical.”

We know they can’t include everything but they have left out some biggies: Andrew Lloyd Webber doesn’t feature, which is odd given that he is probably Britain’s most successful living musicals composer. And the world’s longest running musical, Les Miserables, is strangely absent (yes, it was written by two French men, but the production is most definitely British). And no Leslie Bricusse, Noel Coward, Ivor Novello or Sandy Wilson work?

Click here to see the full set of Musicals stamps

LINKS

Royal Mail website

People to Watch: Interview with Tom Lorcan, star of Billy Elliot

January 25, 2011 

Interview: People to Watch

Westendtheatre.com catches up with uber-talented young actor Tom Lorcan, who is currently playing Billy’s brother Tony in Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London.

Tom Lorcan

Tom Lorcan

What was your first professional theatre experience?

I watched a play at the West Yorkshire Playhouse called Dealers Choice when I was about 16 with my Dad. It was the first time I had been to the theatre because I wasn’t really interested as I was growing up. I’ve still got the programme.

If someone could only see one musical or play before they die, what should it be?

Well, I would have to say Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre of course…! But other than that I would say War Horse would be a good choice. It’s really something special and ticks all the boxes.

What’s your favourite West End theatre and why?

I love the Prince Edward Theatre. I was in the original Jersey Boys cast and made some life-long friends on that job. I’ve got loads of happy memories from the place.

What would be your profession if you hadn’t chosen the theatre and entertainment industry?

I wanted to play for Leeds United but I was just never good enough. And for a little while I thought about being a journalist. I found my way into acting quite lazily because I couldn’t think of anything else to do!

Tom Lorcan as Tony (right) and Martin Marquez as Dad in Billy Elliot. Photo: Alistair Muir

Tom Lorcan as Tony (right) and Martin Marquez as Dad in Billy Elliot. Photo: Alistair Muir

What dream acting job would make you feel like you’d made it to the very top?

I don’t really define success by how big the job or the role is. My goal is just to keep working and to have as varied and interesting a career as I can. I wouldn’t say no to a season or two at the RSC though… but I’m happy as long as I’m busy.

Which do you love best? The first day of rehearsals, the first night of the show or the last night?

Definitely the first night… You work so hard in rehearsal for weeks and weeks to create something for an audience, and then suddenly you are on stage and they are sat there watching you, and you are filled with nerves and adrenaline, and it all goes by in a flash and you are taking a bow. It’s a blur but it’s an amazing feeling.

What’s your favourite iPhone app?

At the moment it’s a close call between the game Flight Control or my Twitter App – I’ve become addicted to both recently.

What do you think is the secret to Billy Elliot the Musical’s success around the world?

We all have a fantasy of achieving our dreams as we grow up, and Billy is a boy who battles against the odds whilst surrounded by such a tragic and desperate situation. It’s a show full of heart and it tells people that they can succeed no matter what their background. Anyone can relate to it.

Book tickets to Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre

Free Hotel Rooms in London

January 10, 2011 

Free Hotel Rooms in London

Celebrate winter with our great new hotel and theatre promotion, with blockbuster shows including Love Never Dies, Legally Blonde, Priscilla, Jersey Boys and Billy Elliot.

Westendtheatre.com has partnered with 18 top London shows and a range of Central London hotels to offers visitors to the city a fabulous winter treat.

Running until the end of March 2011, you can book a free room in a central London hotel when buying a top-price theatre ticket to one of a selection of shows.

Prices start at just £45 ($70 USD / €55 Euros) per person for a three star hotel, continental breakfast and a best seat to a major West End show, based on two people sharing.

An amazing selection of big-budget West End musicals are featured in the promotion including: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to the Phantom of the Opera – Love Never Dies; Legally Blonde, based on the smash-hit movie; Tony award-winning Elton John musical Billy Elliot; a new musical adaptation of Love Story; fabulous, spectacular show Priscilla Queen of the Desert; Jersey Boys featuring the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons; Dirty Dancing; sexy, sassy Kander and Ebb show Chicago; joyous 1960s musical Dreamboats and Petticoats; Grease The Musical; Willy Russell’s powerful musical Blood Brothers; theatre, dance and percussion show Stomp; and Michael Jackson tribute show Thriller Live.

Comedy and drama included in the promotion ranges from a riotously funny adaptation of The 39 Steps, to Samantha Bond in Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, terrifying thriller The Woman in Black, and classic comedy When We Are Married.

BOOK NOW

See all shows in the promotion and book now

Terms and conditions of the promotion:

Prices are per person and based on two people sharing a twin or double room in one of our chosen Central London 3* hotels. Valid for select performances and subject to availability. Once booked, the package is non transferable and cannot be exchanged or refunded. All prices include VAT and all other transaction and booking fees. Selected shows are subject to a £5 supplement. For full terms and conditions visit www.westendtheatre.com/theatre-breaks

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