Theatre Preview: Billy Elliot: The Musical, Empire Theatre, Liverpool

After a successful press call outside Liverpool’s Empire Theatre, the producers of the multi award-winning smash hit Billy Elliot: The Musical are delighted to announce casting for the show’s run at the Liverpool Empire from May 10-May 27.

Anna-Jane Casey will play Mrs Wilkinson, Martin Walsh will play Dad, Scott Garnham will play Tony, and Andrea Miller will play Grandma. They are joined by Adam Abbou (14 years old from Liverpool), Emile Gooding (12 years old from Reading), Haydn May (12 years old from Bath) and Lewis Smallman (13 years old from West Bromwich), who all play the title role.

Anna-Jane Casey returns to the role of Mrs Wilkinson, having successfully played the role at the Victoria Palace in the West End in 2014. Her many other West End credits include Mavis in Stepping Out, Anita in West Side Story, Velma Kelly in Chicago, Lady of the Lake in Spamalot, Dinah and Pearl in Starlight Express, Rumpleteaser in Cats, and Dot in Sunday in the Park with George at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Anna-Jane has also appeared as the title role in Annie Get Your Gun, Piaf and Sweet Charity, all at the Sheffield Crucible. She appeared as Mabel in Mack and Mabel at the Watermill Theatre, receiving the TMA Award for Best Performance in a Musical.

Martin Walsh’s TV credits include Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, Coronation Street, Rovers for Sky 1, The Trials of Jimmy Rose and Shameless.

Scott Garnham’s many West End credits include Les Misérables and the original casts of I Can’t Sing and Made In Dagenham. His other theatre credits include Titanic at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto, Grand Hotel at Southwark Playhouse and the UK tour of Never Forget.

Andrea Miller has appeared in numerous musicals including Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, Blood Brothers and Annie. She most recently appeared in Sister Act.

Adam Abbou trained at Nazene Danielle’s Dance Dynamix and has competed in various regional and national dance championships. He has previously appeared as Jerome in South Pacific and Nibs in Peter Pan, both at the Liverpool Empire.

Emile Gooding has played Eric in Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre in the West End and has also appeared in English National Ballet’s production of Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall. During his time training, he won awards at a number of local and national dance competitions including the All-England Dance (2013) and Janet Cram Awards (2015).

Haydn May trained at the Dorothy Coleborn School of Dancing and is a member of Tap Attack in Swindon and the Bristol Hawks Gymnastics Club. He has appeared as Chip in Beauty and the Beast, Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz and Michael in Peter Pan, all at the Theatre Royal, Bath.

Lewis Smallman trained at Arabesque Dance Academy and Renaissance Arts. He has appeared in the English Youth Ballet’s Swan Lake and as Kurt in The Sound of Music at Sutton Town Hall. He is also a keen gymnast with Sandwell Flyers Gymnastic Academy.

The company also includes Leo Atkin, Tom Bainbridge, Deborah Bundy, Jack Butterworth, Luke Cinque-White, Donna Combe, Leon de Graaf, Wayne Fitzsimmons, Nikki Gerrard, Abbie Louise Harris, Ruri James, Leon Kay, Kris Manuel, Kiera Marner, Charlie Martin, Barnaby Meredith, Daniel Page, Ben Redfern, Phil Snowden, Rachel Spurrell, Sebastian Sykes, Milan Van Weelden, Amy Rhiannon Worth and Luke Zammit.

Set in a northern mining town, against the background of the 1984/85 miners’ strike, Billy’s journey takes him out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and whole community and changes his life forever.

Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, Billy Elliot: The Musical has now been seen by over 11 million people across five continents and is the recipient of over 80 awards internationally, including ten Tony Awards and five Olivier Awards. In 2006, Liam Mower, James Lomas and George Maguire, the first three boys to play the title role, became the youngest performers ever to have won the Olivier Award for Best Actor with the show also picking up the Best Musical prize.

In total, worldwide, ninety five boys have now played the iconic role of Billy Elliot on stage. September 2014 saw a record breaking twenty-five former and current Billy Elliots come together on stage in a specially choreographed mash-up finale for Billy Elliot: The Musical Live, a unique performance that was broadcast live around the world becoming the widest ever cinema release of a live event and hitting number one at the UK box office. In May 2015, Billy Elliot the Musical celebrated its 10th birthday at the West End’s Victoria Palace Theatre where it played its final performance on April 9 2016 after 4,600 performances when the theatre closed for refurbishment.

Billy Elliot: The Musical is brought to life by the multiple award-winning creative team behind the film including writer Lee Hall (book and lyrics), director Stephen Daldry, and choreographer, Peter Darling, joined by Elton John, who composed the show’s score. 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.

Productions of Billy Elliot: The Musical have previously been staged on Broadway and in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto and Seoul, South Korea. The highly successful North American touring production, which began in 2010, finished its spectacular run in August 2013 with an engagement in São Paulo, Brazil, the first time Billy Elliot played in South America. The first Japanese language production will open at the Akasaka ACT Theater in Tokyo this year, and further international productions are currently planned.

Billy Elliot: The Musical is presented by Universal Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions and is based on the Universal Pictures/Studio Canal film. The show is produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jon Finn and Sally Greene. Angela Morrison and David Furnish are executive producers.

Billy Elliot: The Musical will be performed at the Liverpool Empire Theatre from Wednesday May 10 to Saturday May 27. To book your tickets, click here.

For more information about Billy Elliot: The Musical, click here.