"Billy Elliot : The Musical" announces the three young actors to play the title role

"Billy Elliot : The Musical" announces the three young actors to play the title role

Billy Elliot : The Musical announces the three young actors who are to play the title role in the stage premiere at the Victoria Palace in May 2004, following previews in March 2004.

Picked from over 3000 hopefuls, James Lomas (14 years old) from Sheffield, George McGuire (13 years old) from Stanford-Le-Hope and Liam Mower (12 years old) from Hull will follow in the footsteps of Jamie Bell who created the role of Billy Elliot on film.

Billy Elliot : The Musical is produced by Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan co-Chairmen of Working Title Films and theatre impresario Sally Greene, from Old Vic Productions along with Jon Finn.

The show has Book & Lyrics by Lee Hall & Music by Elton John. It is directed by Stephen Daldry, designed by Ian MacNeil, costumes by Sue Blane and choreography by Peter Darling .

Billy Elliot is the story of a boy from a humble Tyneside background, whose mother is dead, and whose father and brother are caught up in the bitterly fought community-splitting miner's strike of 1984. Billy's father wants his son to learn to box, like him and his father before him. But instead Billy becomes fascinated by the grace and magic of ballet. BILLY ELLIOT is about Billy's gritty and determined struggle, at first in secret, but then with the wholehearted backing of his family, to dance his way to the brightest of futures by winning a place at the Royal Ballet School.


JAMES LOMAS -14 years old
My Mum and Dad have always encouraged my Brother Adam and me to join in lots of out of school activities. Some of these things have helped me with Billy Elliot. I have done gymnastics and karate since I was six. When I was ten I achieved south Yorkshire champion in gymnastics and a brown belt in karate. I started football when I was eleven for our local team. Music has always been a part of our life, my mum and her family have always sung, and I play the keyboard. I first got interested in the stage when I was eleven. A neighbour told my mum about our local operatics needing boys for the musical Oliver! So I joined and loved it, which was where I met my best mate Oliver. I started comprehensive about the same time, where I joined the drama club and I did a couple of school plays. I was always encouraged at school.

I then joined Sheffield youth theatre as they were doing Shakespeare's Pericles at the Sheffield Crucible which I found challenging. I continued to do other musicals with the operatics, which I loved. I told a friend of mine in the drama club at school that my ambition was to be in a West End musical in London. He told me that I would have to learn to dance. That night I told my mum I wanted to learn. She found a dance school not too far away. Sharon Berry the dance teacher told my mum that I would be the only boy in the class, but I didn't care. I was nearly thirteen and started doing modern jazz and I later joined in with tap. I really took to dancing; it was also great working with all the girls!

My dance teacher took some of us to do some backing dancing for an Argos advert; it was a fantastic working with a film crew. It was Mrs Berry that saw the advert for the Billy Elliot auditions and she phoned my mum to tell her. I had never been to an audition before, I really wanted to go and my mum said it would be a good experience for me. My family was very excited when I got called back.

Billy Elliot has opened new doors for me. I have been learning ballet, break dancing and body popping, which I have loved. I have also made some fantastic friends, and met some brilliant people.


GEORGE MAGUIRE - 13 years old
I have always had a natural sense of rhythm. I just loved to dance, street and hip hop, that kind of stuff. Every time we went on holiday I always went into talent competitions. When I was six I started playing the drums, Mum and Dad brought me a proper kit for Christmas, I loved it and I would play for ages, luckily in a sound proof room. I think I am following in my uncle's footsteps as he was the drummer for Doctor and the Medics (Spirit in the Sky).

I have always been very sporty. Lucky for me Mum and Dad have let me try everything to find out what I really like. I started out doing Karate, but I couldn't keep quiet for a whole hour so it wasn't for me. I also play football, which I love, because all my friends play and one thing that is really important to me is my friends. I then tried gymnastics, swimming, horse riding, skateboarding, golf and then I found trampolining. I had to train four times a week with no end of competitions all over the country.

I started singing lessons when I was eleven with a local teacher and did a few shows for charity which I loved. I decided that I also wanted to act, so I joined Colin's Performing Arts agency, so I could be in adverts and stuff. My Mum wanted me to join the school of dancing but there was no way I was doing Ballet, I eventually joined six months after.

I had been going to the school a year before I was sent up for the audition for Billy Elliot. On my first audition, by mistake, I left with a group of boys that were asked to leave, I thought it was all over, I was devastated. The next day we had a phone call to say "Where did George go, We want to see him again!". I'd had never thought I would be her now.


LIAM MOWER -12 years old
My name is Liam Mower and I'm 12 years old. I live in Hull with my mum and dad, and brothers Luke, Lewis and Leighton. My hobbies are dancing, acting, singing and gymnastics. My love for music started when I was a baby. Listening to music always made me want to dance.

When I was 8 years old I started my first dance school doing disco, rock and roll and also ballroom and latin. There I became a champion at disco and rock and roll.

Two years later at the age of 10, I felt something was missing, I wanted more so I joined gymnastics but 3 months later I left wanting to dance. I was encouraged by my mum's friend to join the Northern Theatre Company where my interests grew for modern and tap, which I loved. A year later my dance teacher Julie, after much persuasion, introduced me to ballet, that's when everything changed.

I then successfully auditioned at the Urdang Academy, and later gained a place at the Royal Ballet mid Associates. While dancing at the Northern Theatre Co and the Royal Ballet Associates, ballet became my favourite. Yet again I was encouraged by Julie to audition for Billy Elliot which has opened new doors in acting and singing, there I found inspiration and excitement within training. Whilst auditioning for Billy Elliot I gained a full time place at the Royal Ballet School "White Lodge", where I am at the present moment. My ambition in life I feel has started to get the part of Billy and the chance to perform in the west end is as if all my dreams are coming true.

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