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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Musicals: Billy Elliot

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Dance Scholar -- can these tickets be purchased only the day of the performance? I have looked on the website and it doesn't say (or at least, not so I could find). Thanks so much!

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I think you should just go to the ROH and see if you can get a return (stand on the queue), if not something could turn up if you linger around. We did last summer for the Bolshoi ( no returns so we lingered) and although I stood in a obstructed area it was still worth seeing just a bit of a great thing rather than nothing at all--and the cost was minimal. My daughter was able to get a much better full view actual seat. I don't know what the ROH's policy is on resale of tickets (and I don't want to encourage anything illegal), but ours were face value and cheap to begin with so we took the chance...good luck! Oh also if you go to www. ballet.co.uk there are sometimes people selling tickets they can't use.

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Dazed, yes you can get them on the same day only. For certain performances, there are also 10GBP tickets avaible, but one has to register online (I haven't tried that yet)

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Now back to Billy Elliot. Check out this article in today's NY Times: For 'Billy Elliot' It Takes Three to Tango

...When it came to retelling this tale as a stage musical, however, the production team found things far more torturous than when making the movie... "If we'd known what we know now, who knows if we'd have gone ahead," said Mr. Daldry, an experienced theater director whose first film was "Billy Elliot" and who later directed "The Hours."


..."This is a different kind of show, where the dynamic of the child is crucial," Mr. Daldry said between matinee and evening previews at the Victoria Palace Theater here. "You have to gear the show to the child as you might to any leading actor. In that sense, the show is child-dependent."


To judge by audience response to date, the gamble may pay off, with the boys - and the rest of the cast - earning standing ovations at many previews. One recent evening, Billy was played by Liam Mower, 12, arguably the best, or at least the most classical, dancer of the three boys. In an echo of Billy Elliot's story, Liam gained entrance to the Royal Ballet School outside London shortly after being cast in the show.

You can read more by clicking on the link and for the parents of boys you'll find that there's definitely a few plugs for the cool or "wicked" factor for today's young men in dance. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
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Yes, I thought the article was timely! We get the Times at our home and DD is now so jealous and fuming I'm having to get creative with what I'm going to need to bring back to appease her! :P Wonder if the dialect will be as strong in the theater production as it was in the movie?

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I am sure that the performers have Northern UK accent. At least this was one casting criteria :-)

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With regard to tickets for the Royal Ballet, it may be worthwhile to go to the Opera House and queue for returned tickets if you really want to see something. I think you have to get there an hour or so before the performance. You might find it easier to get tickets for the mid-week matinee if there is one. The standing places are usually with pretty good vision and you can sit down during the intervals!


By the way the Swan Lake that the Royal Ballet are doing is not the Matthew Bourne version. The Royal Opera House site states the following - "The production, from 1987, is by Anthony Dowell - one of Ashton's own dancers and a former Director of the Company Ashton did so much to shape - and uses the classic choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, set to one of Tchaikovsky's most memorable scores. Yolanda Sonnabend's designs suggest the Fabergé world of imperial Russia and enhance its romantic tale of frustrated love".


I hope to see Billy Elliott in the summer, when I will be in London. I thought the film was brilliant and the stage musical sounds really good. Incidentally, I don't know why it should be funnier for there to be a play with Northern English accents on Broadway, than for there to be plays with a deep Southern American accent on the West End of London stage.

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Couldn't agree with you more about the accents! :D People in general just within the US have such a variety of accents we can sometimes barely understand each other. :yes::grinning:


I had wondered about the Matthew Bourne Swan Lake. :wink: Thank you for your helpful reply on all fronts. B)

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When we saw it a few weeks ago, we found we really had to concentrate, especially at the beginning, to understand some of the Northern accents. It got easier after awhile. It's like when I watch some Irish movies, for the first 5 to 10 minutes I wish they had subtitles until my ears adjust! :blushing:

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The point you made about ears adjusting to accents is interesting - I took two foreign children to see Blood Brothers two years ago. This is also performed with strong Northern accents. It took me a while to adjust to this, but surprisingly enough they had no trouble understanding - I'm wondering now if it's because they speak English with an accent and aren't fluent enough to differentiate between the different accents?????? I mean - I expect a word to be pronounced a certain way and when it's not I notice - they don't.

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:blushing: I am a university lecturer and foreign students ususally understand my (German) accent better then the native English speakers. I assume the reason behind is the a foreign student is more 'trained' to listen to a language (with accent of without) and understanding - they are constantly exposed to a foreign culture. On the other hand, many British students have not been abroad, hence their cultural awareness is not as strongly developed.
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  • 2 weeks later...

We're back and I'm still buzzing about the musical. It was completely fabulous. There were so many fabulous reviews and pictures the following day, it was unreal. Some reviewers were saying it is the best English musical to come out in decades.


Liam Mower played Billy the first night. He was so adorable and such a great dancer. I wish I were more educated about the dance terms so I could describe what he did more learnedly. But I'll just say he nailed it. All. And so did the other actors. There were several bring-down-the-house scenes -- one where the grandmother sang about her drunken bum of a husband, one where Billy's hurling himself against rows of police shields across the stage, one where Michael is dressing them both up and hamming it up so well, and my favorite, the one where Billy dances a duet with his future self (played by an incredibly beautiful man -- check out the photos!) to the music of Swan Lake. In the movie, it was where Billy and Mrs. Wilkinson were going across the lake in the crane-like ferry. There were many tearful moments with Billy singing with his "ghost" mom who made several appearances. Elton John (who was supposedly in the audience ) wrote the music and said those scenes really moved him. And if I read the article right, Jamie Bell was also in attendance that first night. Wish I'd have known! DD would've wanted a photo for sure!


Anyway, it was fabulous. I enjoyed the scenes that were different from the movie the most. If I have one minor comment about something I didn't like more than the movie, it would've been the music. I read somewhere that they tasked Elton John with composing music that would be just like the movie music. What a bummer! He's so talented! I'm surprised he agreed to that, if it's true. I found the music to be a tad less inspiring than the acting and dancing. But only a tad. :blushing:


The Brits are going wild about this musical. Get tickets and go now, if you can. I'm lucky. Hubby travels to London a lot and when it's possible (and can get a frequent flier ticket), I go along.

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Thank you dazedandconfused for that enthusiastic review! :thumbsup: I'm so glad you were able to attend the musical and really appreciate your taking the time to post about it.


Really hoping it will be heading over this way in the not too distant future. :wub:


If anyone has any up-to-date links to London reviews - please post them! B)

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If you go here:


and go to 'advanced search' (if you are not already on that page) and type in "Billy Elliot" for the production, you'll get the reviews of the musical. The most recent ones are from earlier this week!

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