West End's Billy Elliot to close in April 2016

The West End production of Billy Elliot - The Musical, which will celebrate its eleventh year at Victoria Palace Theatre in March of next year, has announced that it will end it's run at the venue on 9 April 2016, ahead of the theatre's refurbishment programme.

The London show has been seen by over 5.25 million people and nearly 11 million people worldwide, has grossed over $800 million worldwide and is the winner of over 80 theatre awards internationally.

Elton John said of the announcement: “I’ve said it before and it still remains true, Billy Elliot has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life. The talented young performers who have become part of our Billy Elliot family have amazed me with their achievements from the very start. Each time I have revisited the show I have been moved by Billy’s heart-warming story and his determination to achieve his dreams. I am so delighted that new audiences around the country will now have the opportunity to experience this extraordinary piece of work.”

Billy Elliot - The Musical has book & lyrics by Lee Hall, with music by Elton John and is based on the film of the same name. It originally opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre on 12 May 2005, following previews from 31 March 2005 and has been seen by over 10.5 million people world wide. The show has been presented on Broadway, where it won the Tony Award for Best New Musical, as well as productions in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto, Seoul, the Netherlands and São Paulo in Brazil.

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, and choreography by Peter Darling.

The cast currently includes Ruthie Henshall (Mrs Wilkinson), Deka Walmsley (Dad), Matthew Seadon-Young (Tony), Gillian Elisa (Grandma), Howard Crossley (George), James Butcher (Older Billy), Claudia Bradley (Dead Mum) and Phil Snowdon (Mr Braithwaite).

Synopsis: "Billy Elliot is the tale of a motherless boy whose father wants him to take up boxing. Instead, the boy discovers a love for ballet that leads him from secret lessons to a place at the Royal Ballet School."

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

Tickets for the first UK and Ireland tour of Billy Elliot - The Musical went on sale in June this year. The tour is due to open at the Theatre Royal Plymouth in February 2016, when the touring and West End productions will be playing concurrently. Further dates for Sunderland, Bradford, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester, Southampton and Birmingham have also been announced, and the tour is currently booking to May 2017.

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