Rehearsals for Wootton Upper School’s summer production are in full swing and this year is particularly special as the school is celebrating its 40th birthday. The school with a performing arts specialism will mark the important date by staging Billy Elliot the Musical, currently on tour across the UK and Ireland for the first time after 11 years in London’s West End.
In line with this tour, the producers are allowing selected schools across the UK to perform the musical on their own premises and Wootton are delighted to have succeeded in being granted the rights, and tickets are now on sale.
Set in a northern mining town during the miners’ strike of 1984-85, Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of a young boy’s fight to make his dream come true. It follows Billy’s journey from boxing ring to ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that unites his family, inspires his community and changes his life forever. The musical features iconic music by Elton John, phenomenal dance and a powerful story. The cast and production team at Wootton are working hard to ensure the exciting show is ready for opening night on July 13.
The cast includeds a talented and passionate group of young people aged between 13 and 18, with the leading role played by Rory Fraser, a year 10 student who already has a number of showbiz credits under his belt.
Rory starred in the RSC’s production of Matilda in the West End where he played Bruce Bogtrotter. He dances with Myra Tiffin Performing Arts School where he trains in contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap, modern, street dance and gymnastics to name just a few!
He recently competed in Destination Dance competition in London where he came first with his contemporary duet and second overall for the whole competition with a score of 95.5 out of 100.
Rory said: “I’ve always wanted to play Billy Elliott. It’s my dream role really.”
The role of Debbie will be played by Lauren Marler who performed alongside Rory in Matilda. Lauren is an ambitious young performer who dances with the prestigious London Contemporary Dance School. She is well versed in a wide range of dance styles from contemporary to ballet and has competed in the Street Dance World Championships twice.
Kezzie Turner, year 11, will take the role of Mrs Wilkinson and she is managing her time between GCSE exams, rehearsals and her commitments to West End Kids. This specialist programme is highly selective and Kezzie was one of the 20 young people selected out of the 500 who auditioned from all over the country. West End Kids rehearse weekly in London and take their troupe to perform at many national events including the Queen’s birthday and West End Live.
Billy’s grandma will be played by Sophie Martin, year 13, who will be leaving Wootton to study drama and theatre arts at St Mary’s University.
Billy Elliot will be Sophie’s 8th and final show at Wootton and she is delighted to have just been selected to join the National Youth Theatre. Sophie was amongst 5,000 young people to have auditioned for NYT with only 500 places available and was complimented by the panel on her natural comic timing.
Twins Josh and Emily Kirkup will play Billy’s brother and mum and both are hugely committed to the local arts community having written, directed and performed in over 20 plays between them for the school and Wootton Country Players.
Myles Miller will be taking the role of Billy’s best friend Michael. Myles is an experienced musical theatre student and has performed for a range of performing arts companies. He has starred as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Zeke in High School Musical, Bugsy in Bugsy Malone and Tyrone in Fame.
Newcomer Charlie Regolo will play Billy’s dad. Charlie starred in Wootton’s successful summer production of After Juliet last year. His raw talent will ensure that he is guaranteed to bring depth and detail to this key role.
The 32-strong cast boasts a wide range of talent and an ensemble who are determined to make this production a success.
Billy Elliot the Musical runs from Wednesday, July 13 until Saturday, July 16, at 7.30pm at Wootton Upper School.
Tickets are £8 for adults, £5 concessions.
Contact Mrs Terrey at Wootton Upper School email firstname.lastname@example.org