March 05, 2010
Billie Elliot In the West End
I went to Lodon Yesterday to the Victoria Palace Theatre to see Billy Elliot...it was wonderful, both very funny and very sad at the same time...I remembered the bleak days of the Miners strike in the 80's so well..Mrs Thatcher was successful in destroying entire villages and Towns, and ruining the lives of so many hardworking mining families.. but it was to be her downfall. The show was very forthright and honest and pulled no punches, i do believe there were many ex-miners in the audience... The story centered around the son of a Miner 'Billy'..who instead of attending Boxing club..spent his entrance money on attending ballet lessons..reluctantly at first, however his talent was very soon recognised by his ballet teacher and he eventually was able to attend The Royal Ballet School in London.,..the Dancing was wonderful.. set against the backdrop of some very sad scenes with the Miners and Police, it made for a very real but also political stage production...not like any Show i have ever seen before...but very, very good. One man commented as we were all coming out of the Theatre...'How on earth can you top that ? quite honestly, you cant. The show is at present on Broadway...and a tour starts later in the year, but i wonder if it will have the same impact there ??..the Strong Geordie accent will be very difficult for some Americans to understand (unless they tone it down a little)..even i had to listen carefully to parts of it, and i have a Geordie friend, who lived in Durham until a few years ago.. also i'm not sure if they will understand SOME of the humour & language, coming from the miners. The show portrayed a very British working class time in history, although as has been ponted out to me...everyone can understand the situation of a young boy, who had lost his Mother, and who so wanted to break away from his situation and the problems he faced,.. Longing to dance, yet living in an era when money was scarce, especially for mining families, and Ballet was far from the normal occupation expected of a young boy in a mining community. I do hope it is enjoyed over in the U.S...even if the impact is not quite the same, as if you have lived through it...I personally thought the Music from the film..was better than the stage version (by Elton John)..but the stage show was a real success as a play, and i personally enjoyed it even more than the film, ( i have watched that innumerable times).. I was in tears of laughter (literally)..but also was openly shedding a tear at other times...i think a show has to be good to do that...if you have seen it let me know what you think ??