Preview of Billy Elliot
Ahead of Leeds West Academy’s most demanding production to date, Mr Paylor shares how rehearsals are going so far and why Billy Elliot is a must-see show.
The latest Leeds West Academy production of Billy Elliot is really starting to take shape, with students taking part in two rehearsals a week and staying until 6pm, to learn the complex dances, songs and acting parts. This is without a doubt the most challenging production we have seen at the Academy and students are working incredibly hard, not only in the cast but also behind the scenes working with a team of teachers building the set, props, costumes and make up.
Billy Elliot sees young Billy striving to follow his dreams of becoming a dancer, set against the hugely emotive context of the mining strike of 1984, and his battle against the pre-conceived views of the community he lives in.
One of the main reasons we chose to do Billy Elliot was to take on a more challenging production, exploring topics that resonate with our local area. Aside from getting the students involved in performing this wonderful production, it has also opened their eyes to the events of the strike, and the history of mining in Yorkshire and the political landscape of the 19870s/80s. In the first week of rehearsals we were lucky enough to have a talk delivered by local ex-miner Richard Teesdale, who took part in the strike, and shared his experiences with the cast, and continues to help out with the production, with the loan of equipment and his expertise.
This promises to be one of the most ambitious and exciting performances our students have been involved in and we hope to see you there. If you wish to join us in Leeds West Academy’s theatre, the first performance is on Monday 29th January and you can click here to buy tickets.
WARNING! Please be advised that the production may not be suitable for younger children due to the content of some of the language used in the production.