Going to see Billy Elliot? Be warned!
Hmmm, you’ve reached an older feature - let’s get you up to date! Read our latest Theatre features here.
A quickie post to let you know my thoughts on Billy Elliot, if you haven’t already been to see it (or am I the only person left standing?!)
The most important point being this: it’s not for young kids. This was a bit of a revelation to me, as I thought with it being in the West End, starring children, that it would be more family-oriented. I took my oldest who is just turning 10, and felt pretty uncomfortable and prudy sitting next to him as they f-ed and blinded through the show. Finn looked absolutely delighted, mind you, so I suppose that’s something.
Shit, fanny, wanker and their naughty little friends held centre stage for nearly 3 hours. I felt myself in a Face/Off situation with Mary Whitehouse by the end of the show. Certainly there was a call for some swearing, as it gave the play a social and historical context, but it definitely felt excessive. I had been considering taking my 5 year old – that would have been disastrous.
What else to report? The sets are clever (though the same as the original version according to my friend who was having a re-run with me last night). Billy, played by Kaine Ward – he’s at the performing arts school in Tring doncha know – is superb. The fearlessness and athleticism to hold that central performance is mind-blowing in a 13 year old kid.
The current Mrs Wilkinson (Gillian Bevan) is no Julie Walters and was the weakest link in an otherwise strong chain.
Billy Elliot is definitely worth seeing but in my opinion, either with or without children, Matilda blows it out of the water. Do you agree or think I’m talking a load of f-ing useless b****dy cr**p? Comments below! x