For one day only, Billy Elliot the Musical will be broadcast from London’s West End to cinemas across Australia.
On Sunday October 5th, South Australians will be able to experience a bit of London’s famous West End at Palace Nova, Rundle Street.
For your chance to WIN tickets, find the link at the bottom of this article.
Ruthie Henshall, who plays Billy’s ballet teacher, Mrs Wilkinson is excited for people to enjoy the West End without the expense.
“What is so wonderful about the screening, is that it’s accessible to people who might not be able to afford to see it at the theatre,” she said.
“Theatre has become so ridiculously expensive. So I hope a bunch of people who haven’t necessarily seen theatre fall in love with this amazing, gritty piece.”
Henshall’s illustrious career spans thirty years and includes roles in musicals like Cats, Crazy for You, Les Misérables, Chicago, A Chorus Line and Miss Saigon.
She is in demand as a concert performer, has toured all over the world, appeared on television, written a book and also dated Prince Edward.
But as a child, Henshall wanted to be a ballet dancer and unfortunately lacked the necessary physique; a situation which now allows her to empathise with Billy Elliot’s plight.
“I identify with Billy’s struggle and I identify with the teacher because I had a teacher who took me under her wing,” she said.
“I love Mrs Wilkinson because she gets to be mother figure to this little boy who’s been broken and she gets to put him back together again and give him a future.”
Billy Elliot the 2000 film, directed by Stephen Daldry, follows the story of Billy, who goes against the grain and follows his dream to be a ballet dancer amidst the unrest during the English coal miners’ strike in 1984-1985.
This was a time Henshall remembers well from her childhood as a time of sadness and struggle.
“This boy’s passion for dance unites his family even through the crisis of the miners’ strike,” she said.
“I remember it vividly as a child. It was heartbreaking. It ripped apart communities and families. In the end it really became a power struggle between the head of the miners and Maggie Thatcher. It was a really dark time.”
With music by Elton John, the musical captures the essence of the film the world fell in love with fourteen years ago.
“We, as a country, fell in love with Billy Elliot the film, and then when I saw the musical, I was blown away by how brilliantly they’d transferred the film to the stage,” Henshall said.
“The choreography is outstanding and Stephen Daldry has directed it in such a way that it is almost filmic on stage.”
And as an extra bonus, the finale at the screened show will feature 27 Billy Elliots past and present, which Henshall said will be as much of a treat for her as the audience.
“I am so looking forward to the 27 Billy Elliots,” she said. “From the first to the last, to have them all together will be so exciting. It will be great to see who they’ve grown into. What are they doing with their lives now? That’s I will be fascinated about!”
Book your ticket for Billy Elliot the Musical’s one day only screening and be a part London’s West End in your own back yard.
We are giving away tickets to this showing on our Facebook page, entry is really easy!