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Billy Elliot UK 2007

I just had to use that one liner from the show as the title of this post. Billy Elliot Esquire is the address on the letter sent to Billy from the Royal London Ballet, Billy of course uses the one liner in the play and gets enormous laughs from it. Funny, energetic, stirring, sometimes sad, moving, talented. These and many more words can be used to describe this musical based on the movie of the same name. If you have seen the movie, you still need to see the musical as there are moments in it that are not in the musical. Even though I had a seat up in the realms of the Gods it was well worth the lack of oxygen for three hours. The cast were exceptional in the song, dance, dialogue and well deserved the several rounds of standing ovations, particularly the lad playing Billy who delivered an engaging performance.

Looking at the high percentage of young men present I found myself asking what impact this sort of show, and movie, would have on the acceptance of young men in realms like Ballet which still seem to have somewhat of a sense that this is only for girls and as Billy often says, queers. I remember a few years ago meeting up with one of the lads I went to school with and I was surprised to learn that along with a number of other things he had taken Ballet while at school and had gone on to tour with the Royal Ballet (perhaps Australia’s on pre Billy Elliot). I wonder if these kinds of shows begin to open up this world to other young men who exhibit the same outstanding talent as the fellow who played Billy.

I certainly know that a number of young men I have met in schools there does not seem to be the same sense of barriers to young men entering into realms which have been more traditionally seen as “women’s” (the same of course can be said of the opening of traditional males roles to women). Perhaps the world is becoming more accepting of people’s talents and abilities rather than sterotypes. As I said, if you have not seen it, and it is coming to Australia soon, do get a ticket even if you have to pawn grandmother’s wedding rings.

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