The producers of Billy Elliot the Musical are thrilled to announce they have found the four incredible young actors who will play the title role in the multi award-winning smash hit’s 10th Anniversary Australian Tour.
Sharing the celebrated lead role are Omar Abiad (12, from Brisbane), River Mardesic (10, from Melbourne), Wade Neilsen (12, from Newcastle) and Jamie Rogers (12, from Canberra). The boys were cast following extensive auditions, and after months of intensive rehearsals will alternate in the role of Billy in the Australian tour of Billy Elliot the Musical. All four boys are making their professional debut playing this most extraordinary and inspiring role.
The 10th Anniversary Australian Tour is presented by Universal Theatrical Group, Working Title Films, Greene Light Stage, Michael Coppel Entertainments and Louise Withers Presents.
“On behalf of the International and Australian Producers, it is a delight to announce these four amazing young actors,” said Louise Withers. “The rigorous training they have already undertaken, to be successful in becoming Billy, is astounding to watch and it is a delight to have these boys join the company, and to watch them embark on a journey which will provide a life experience and a performance experience which cannot be equalled. Australia will be amazed.”
Featuring music by the legendary Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreography by Peter Darling and direction by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot the Musical has been seen by over 12 million people worldwide. Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, it is the recipient of 85 awards internationally, including 10 Tony Awards, 5 Olivier Awards and 8 Helpmann Awards.
Starring alongside these talented boys is one of Australia’s most accomplished performers, internationally renowned choreographers and award-winning creative directors, Kelley Abbey, as the tough but supportive ballet teacher Mrs Wilkinson.
Acclaimed theatre and screen actor Justin Smith is cast as Billy’s stoic father Dad, Vivien Davies is playing Billy’s eccentric Grandma and Billy’s hot-headed brother Tony is being played by Drew Livingston. Award winning actor Robert Grubb stars as George, a miner and the town’s boxing coach.
Other adult cast members forming this outstanding company include Dean Vince (Mr Braithwaite), Danielle Everett (Dead Mum), Aaron Smyth (Older Billy), Damien Bermingham (Big Davy) and (in alphabetical order) Justin Anderson, Jordana Beatty, Dion Bilios, Josh Gardiner, Isabel Hawthorne, Matt Heyward, Barbara Hughes, Caroline Kaspar, Alexander ‘Zan’ Kermond, Zoë Komazec, Sarah Kate Landy, Michael Lindner, Jayme-Jo Massoud, Joe Miller, Joshua Russell, David Sirianni, Lisa Sontag, Tahlia Traecey, Darren Tyler and Paul Whiteley.
The incredible childrens cast includes Mason Kidd, Hamish Monger, Oscar Mulcahy, James Sonnemann (Michael), Chanel Charles, Gabrielle Daggar, Ella Tebbutt (Debbie) and in alphabetical order Sienna Balewai, Tiarne Evans, Mia Jonson, Jamie Kelly, Melody Kurniawan, Tahlia McGregor, Sienna Miroforidis, Mica Santos, Indianna Thompson and Zoe Tsang.
The hugely successful West End musical premiered in Australia in 2007 as the first international production outside of the UK, prior to its Broadway premiere. With the first Australian tour concluding in Melbourne in 2009, this new 10th Anniversary Tour kicks off in 2019, ten years after the curtain came down in Australia.
Billy enjoyed huge critical acclaim with Sydney and Melbourne audiences flocking to the theatre, however the physical design was so complex at the time, that touring beyond those two cities was not possible. Now with some clever adjustments, the Producers are delighted that this incredible stage production is able to tour to other capital cities. Now all of Australia can experience the magic and fall in love with Billy Elliot the Musical.
Based on the film of the same name, Billy Elliot the Musical is a funny, gritty, heart-warming and feel- good celebration following the journey of a young boy raised in a small British mining town. Set against the backdrop 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, the whole community and changes his life forever.
The Musical premiered in London in 2005 and since then has been seen across five continents, winning numerous awards and millions of fans along the way. After winning five Olivier Awards including Best Actor in a Musical for the three Billys and Best Musical, the first international production opened in Sydney in 2007 which garnered eight Helpmann Awards including Best Musical and Best Actor in a Musical for the four boys who shared the role of Billy in 2008.
This was followed by an incredibly successful Broadway run which had the extraordinary honour of winning ten Tony Awards in 2009, including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Male Actor in a Musical for the three boys that shared the role of Billy. Productions have been staged all over the world including the West End, Australia, Broadway, North American tour, Chicago, Toronto, The Netherlands, UK & Ireland Tour, Hamburg, Tokyo and Seoul.
Billy Elliot the Musical was brought to the stage 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, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.
The Australian tour will premiere at Sydney Lyric Theatre from October 10 2019, followed by seasons at the Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre from December 2019, Melbourne at the Regent Theatre from February 2020, Crown Theatre Perth from June 2020 and QPAC’s Lyric Theatre in Brisbane from July 2020. For more information, visit: www.billyelliotthemusical.com.au for details.
Image: Jamie Rogers, River Mardesic, Omar-Abiad and Wade Neilsen to star in Billy Elliot the Musical – photo by James D. Morgan