On Thursday the 7th June, the Remove drama sets saw an energetic performance of Billy Elliot at Victoria Palace. Billy Elliot is the heart-warming story of a young boy from a working-class family who discovers his passion for dance. Eleven-year-old miner’s son Billy Elliot is on his way to boxing lessons when he stumbles upon a ballet class. Billy secretly joins the class, knowing that his unsympathetic, narrow-minded family would never understand. Under the guidance of his teacher Mrs. Wilkinson, Billy’s talent shines, though when his father discovers his son’s ambition, Billy must fight for his dreams and his destiny.
Billy’s grandmother was one of my favourite actresses in the show. She brought a very comical side to Billy Elliot. The actress Ann Emery showed a believable performance, with a distinctive personality. She roams around the stage absent-mindedly, which is the complete opposite to Billy’s father who is resolute and confident brings a cold atmosphere throughout the theatre. In the end, Billy’s dad, acted by James Gaddas, realises he cannot be protective over his son, and his sons dreams. So, finally Billy’s father helps his son to get into the Royal Ballet School in glamorous London.
At this point in the play, the audience empathises for Billy’s father, and realises that he is not a dark and cold man, but he can be caring, warm and back his son up no matter what happens. Billy’s dance teacher, Mrs Wilkinson, acted by Jacky Clune, is also strong-minded, but has a very different outlook on life compared to Billy’s father. She believes in pushing her students to their full potential. She has a very negative relationship against Billy’s father. Her irritated facial expressions and her unenthusiastic body language around him, show this. The teacher moves eccentrically around, giving off a sense of authority.
She is fond of Billy and is the only person to really help Billy at the beginning. She has quite a low-pitched voice for a woman, this is because she smokes. Drama Medium Billy Elliot was performed in a Proscenium arched theatre. The stage and set were very clever, and were used specifically to use the most of the space available o n the stage. There was a plane black backdrop and backstage exits to the left and right. The Set was great, and mainly consisted of two trap doors, which contained a dining table and a set of chairs, and the other contained a flight of stairs, with a small kitchen attached, leading to Billy’s bed.
These were only used when a scene was in Billy’s house. For the boxing and ballet area, two sidewalls rolled in, with chairs lined up along the sides. Also the chairs were used for balancing poles for the little ballet girls, and Billy. The costume varied, and depended on the age and the wealth of the character. The time period of the play was in the 1980s, which was an era for bright crazy colours. Though, because Durham is a lower classed mining county not many people can afford fancy clothing. All the miners wore dirty overalls, and jeans underneath.
Billy was mostly in a tracksuit, or his ballet outfit. Though, Mrs Wilkinson was a bit more upper classed, and could afford new clothes. She mainly wore pink legwarmers, black ballet tights, or vibrant dresses. The lighting was generally a bright lit up stage. The most interesting lights used were in the Police raid scene, which had blue tinted lights and a smoke machines were used. Also, when Billy was angry and upset about his father and brother forbidding him from ballet, the lights went red to represent his rage.
There was not many special effect sounds, only in the police raids. The music used in Billy Elliot was mainly during the dancing scenes, and when Billy was practising his dance steps. The space on the stage was used efficiently and so were the levels. The more powerful characters were higher up, like when Billy had finished his dance and performed, he used a harness to fly up high to show he could dance no matter what anyone else says. I really enjoyed Billy Eliot, especially the dancing. It was very interesting how the stage was set and the actors were very good.