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 Post subject: Re: April 2016 Reviews - London
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:04 pm 
Tall Boy
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Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:27 am
Posts: 140
Thanks Patc.... That was brilliant, and well worth the wait!

 Post subject: Re: April 2016 Reviews - London
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:52 pm
Posts: 583
Cheers Pat, for your last review for the London Production, certainly not easy to do, after such an emotional evening.
“ I always knew you would do one”

 Post subject: Re: April 2016 Reviews - London
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:20 pm 
Gallery Admin
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:26 pm
Posts: 5530
Location: England
Oh my word. You, like Billy Elliot the Musical, have gone out on a high.

What a fantastic review Pat. Thank you also for remembering Romy, Charlotte and Alan.

Billy Whiz is the Gallery Admin. Please send your photos, articles etc to[at] Please replace [at] with @

In the email can you also please let me know the date where and when the photo(s) was taken, who is in the photo(s) as well as your forum name.

When you send photos to the gallery can you also please PM me to let me know that you have sent them. If I don't receive them after a couple of days I can then chase them up.

 Post subject: Re: April 2016 Reviews - London
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:38 pm 
Tall Boy
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Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:40 am
Posts: 216
Location: Bucks
Thanks Pat for another gem. Really going to miss them.

 Post subject: Re: April 2016 Reviews - London
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:05 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:05 am
Posts: 1648
Location: Kansas City, USA
Very nicely written, Pat. Can't think of a more accurate set of thoughts and feelings to describe the highs and lows of the recent weeks.

The thought has crossed my mind as well, of wondering if the cast realizes how much pleasure they've brought to so many people over the years with their performances. Seeing how excited they were at reuniting at the Victoria Palace Theater - some having traveled from as far as the U.S. - makes you see once again how much like family they are to one another after all the experiences they've shared: living together at the Billy house, rehearsing, socializing, and performing. They've had a unique experience that most of us will never quite be able to relate to, but one that they'll always be able to share with each other - long after another show moves in to the VPT.

I won't attempt to write a proper review, since several others have already nicely summarized the last few shows in accurate detail. Just a few thoughts:

- I thought the tag-team performance at the final Broadway show would never be topped, but they took it a step further in its creativity with the final London show. The goodbye scene - if it's not sad enough in its usual form - was quadrupled in emotion by having all 4 of the Billys on stage together for Ruthie and them to say goodbye to each other. It was the perfect way of combining the story of Billy thanking Mrs. Wilkinson with the real-life farewell of the actors playing out on stage. I'm glad they broke with the norm and used the boys' real names. Really made it more personal, and seemed appropriate for a "special occasion" performance. Up to that point it had been a surprisingly lighthearted, fun, and laugh-filled evening. But when Brodie began wiping away tears on stage and Ruthie began crying as well, all attempts at my keeping a stiff upper lip went out the window.

- I had read about Nat Sweeney's amazing "Electricity" and was sorry I never did get to see him perform a full show. Needless to say, I was glad when he was awarded this particular number in the final show, as it was everything people had described it to be and more. I don't know if a performance can ever be considered perfection, but all I know is that I don't ever remember seeing a better version of this dance in my 11 years of seeing the show. Professional, polished, ease, smooth . . . . all come to mind to describe it. He did what few Billys do - raising his arms during the final pirouettes - giving it a true ballet flourish. It always brings back memories of Kiril Kulish on Broadway, as he did that as well.

- I always come away from the London show thinking that they have the market cornered on consistently excellent versions of "Angry Dance." This trip was no exception, as Thomas Hazelby's performance of it on Friday night was one of the best I've seen - and Brodie Donougher's was right up there with it on Saturday afternoon. I was really glad to get to see Brodie, as I was afraid I'd missed him when I saw he had done his "final performance" several days earlier. Giving him an encore opportunity at the final "regular" show - as well as getting to do the final walk off the stage on Saturday night - was a fitting tribute to the senior Billy. He exuded a fun personality and the ease of a veteran performer throughout the show. I loved seeing his true personality creep in - such as during the curtain scene at the beginning of Act 2 when George had some fun with an audience member who yelled out a guess at the raffle ticket. Brodie laughed heartily, enjoying the moment with the rest of the audience who laughed loudly as well.

Maybe I'm a naive optimist, but I'll be very surprised if the show doesn't come back to London in not too many years from now. It seems to have ingrained itself into the culture there, being a very British show that has captured the imagination of the country. One has to look no further than the increase in the enrollment of boys in ballet schools to see what kind of effect it's had. Ideally, it will be back at some point at the Victoria Palace Theatre, which - to me - will always be its real home. The former Billys have to have somewhere to reunite, right ? Until that happens, I will continue to enjoy an occasional regional performance and cherish great memories of the times I've seen the show in London. "Billy Elliot" was a perfect storm for me - a stage version of one of my all-time favorite movies with music by one of my all-time favorite songwriters, and a theme I never get tired of as a teacher: helping a child to achieve his dreams.

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