Saturday 8th July 2016, back at the fabulous Millenium centre here in Cardiff for two more performances of Billy Elliot. As you can see I very rarely see just the one performance of a show. So looking forward to seeing this show all over again. It’s so good and worth watching many,many times.
With the matinee we have Billy (Matthew Lyons), Michael (Bradley Mayfield) Debbie (Evie Martin) and ‘small boy’ (Isobelle charmers). I now will have seen all of the alternate child actors playing these roles. All of them are just brilliant (as I’ve always said).
Let’s talk about the music today. As Maggie Thatchers voice starts it all off we open with ‘The stars look down’ a way of introducing us to the story ahead, wonderfully sung be the whole cast. Moving on to ‘Shine’ where we find Mrs Wilkinson (Annette McLaughlin) and the girls of the ballet school.A great song with humour and wild choreography bringing this to life. Annette is just magnificent in this role,(as I’ve been saying for weeks). Next is Grandma’s song, with Andrea Miller, a funny and poignant song well performed with great background choreography. As Billy decides he wants to dance, we move to ‘Solidarity’ another fabulous tune performed by most of the cast. As Police, Miners and the ballet school come together on this vast stage, the voices soar out into the vast auditorium, making this an unforgettable part of the show.
One of the funniest scenes is with Michael and Billy dressing up in women’s clothes. ‘Expressing yourself’ is so good and performed well by the duo, along with a set of giant dancing clothes (has to be seen). Next ‘The letter’ a moving song with Billy’s dead mam, as centre stage. A definite crying song and one which brought a tear to my eye.
‘Born to boogie’ is a great song that shows us the first proper hint at what Billy can achieve. Sung by Mrs Wilkinson and Mr Braithwaite along with Billy. I get tired just watching it, to dance and sing together, wow. This leads nicely into the final scene of the first act ‘Angry dance’ when Billy gets angry and frustrated at being banned from dancing by his dad. Great music played wonderfully and loudly from a brilliant band.
Act two starts with a bang ‘Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher’ is a great send up of the struggles of the strike with a spitting image rendition by the whole cast again. Which leads nicely into another mascara moment, with ‘Deep into the ground’ sung by Billy’s dad and Billy himself. Performed brilliantly by Martin Walsh, I was again in tears (as usual).
The ballet scene with music from Swan Lake is so beautiful and a delight to watch . Moving on to ‘He could be a star’ again sung by Billy’s dad and ensemble. Two amazing sections of the show which lead onto my favourite scenes at the Royal Ballet auditions. ‘Electricity’.music beautifully written for a great dance extravaganza by Billy himself to rapturous applause from an enthusiastic audience.
‘Once we were Kings’ another great song performed by the whole cast as the miners go back to work, which again brought tears to my eyes followed by Billy’s letter to his mam, continuing the tears, again. The finale is a chance to get your breath back and compose yourself for 10 mins of serious clappin (no G), in recognition of a fabulous show.
For the evening show we have Billy (Adam Abbou), Michael (Samuel Torpey), Debbie (Lilly Cadwallender) and ‘Small Boy'(Isobelle Chalmers). As usual the standard is phenomenal you could hardly notice the difference between all these young actors (as I’ve been saying since the show began). A really magnificent show which just awakens the emotions each time. Don’t want this to end its so good.
I know this blog is long, but when the show is that good sometimes you have to indulge yourself in the finer points of this 3 hour musical to tell everyone just how brilliant it is. More to come next week as this is definitely not my last.