Page Index Toggle Pages: 1 [2] 3  Print
Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Billy Elliott (beyond the movie) (Read 23,589 times)
apple
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


BA Member

Posts: 686
Location: the moon
Joined: 02. Aug 2003
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #15 - 11. May 2004 at 08:27
Print Post  
Scottish Billy Elliot takes giant step from Sighthill to stardom

LORNA MacLAREN May 11 2004

IN the bright sunshine of Manhattan, Steven McMahon is taking a leap towards his dreams of stardom.

After three years of hard work, the 19-year-old is celebrating graduating from one of the world's finest dance schools.

It is a long way from the Glasgow housing estate where he grew up and for years endured bullying for carrying ballet shoes and not football boots in his schoolbag.

Steven is now preparing for his first job – a contract with leading company Ballet Memphis, which had scoured America to find new talent.

The teenager from Sighthill, caught the imagination of the public when The Herald first reported his struggle to study modern dance three years ago.

Then just 16, and being raised on income support in a cramped, high-rise flat his choice was certainly unusual.

He had been a successful student at the Dance School of Scotland in Knightswood but could not afford to take up the offer of a course at the Alvin Ailey Dance School in New York.

However, because of the public support and a last-minute change to further education funding policy by Glasgow City Council, Steven was financially able to accept the offer and in 2001 he packed his bags for the Big Apple.

"It has been tough at times but I've grown to love New York and it has given me the chance to fulfil my dreams of being a successful dancer," he said.

"Thank you to the Herald readers, and many people back home who supported me on achieving my dream.

I have managed what at one point seemed impossible and hope to continue my journey and make Scotland proud."

He acknowledged the inevitable comparison to the Billy Elliot movie character who overcomes social prejudice to break free from the constraints of his background to perform on stage.

He said: "I can see the similarities to the movie myself although, in my case, my family came round to the idea eventually and ended up supporting me.

My young sister would save up her baby-sitting money to buy me ballet shoes.

"The bullies who called me a wimp have no idea how physically and mentally demanding dancing is. I think their attitude just made me tougher."

Grace, Steven's mother, has had her health damaged by the nerve condition lupus and cannot work. She admits being initially puzzled by her son's career choice.

His sister, Amy, 17, and brother, Stuart, 10, were teased just for being related to him, but always defended his talent.

His father initially struggled to come to terms with the fact his son wanted to be a dancer before realising his potential.

While Steven has enjoyed a positive experience at Alvin Ailey, the going was hard from the start. The Scot arrived in New York just days before the 9/11 terrorist attacks and found himself caught up in the disaster.

He arrived at the World Trade Center by train on his way to dance school, just after the first tower had been hit.

"Immediately I thought there had been a gas leak," he recalled. "I could see it in the air because it was so thick and people were running in panic up the escalator stairs, so I ran too. The cops were shouting at us to keep moving."

By the time the second plane struck, he was several blocks away. "It wasn't until I got to class that I found out that the buildings had collapsed. I made my way home and I got a message to Glasgow to say I was OK," he added.

In Steven's second year of study he badly injured his leg in class. He had surgery and was laid up for months but went on to make a full recovery.

"Luckily I am fine now and got through some pretty tough auditions for Ballet Memphis. Experience is the key for me now."

He adds that while his life in America is exciting he relishes trips home to Sighthill. "I've a feeling I'll travel the world with my career but it's true that my heart will always be back with the family."

Steven Purcell, Glasgow City Council education services convener, said: "We are delighted, although not surprised, to hear that Steven has done so well.

He is a wonderful ambassador, not just for Glasgow, but also for Scotland. We look forward to having the chance to see him dance in his home city."

Glasgow North, the economic development company, worked to highlight Steven's plight and secure him funding for the New York course. Staff there co-ordinated the collection of donations from Herald readers to Steven's trip – money which topped £5000.

Andrew McNab, youth team co-ordinator, said: "Steven's achievement will undoubtedly give other young people from similar backgrounds the belief they can achieve their goals. We are sure he will continue to achieve great things."

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

his name's not on list of dancers yet!

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
apple
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


BA Member

Posts: 686
Location: the moon
Joined: 02. Aug 2003
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #16 - 16. May 2004 at 04:25
Print Post  
(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

£5000 will have ballet boys dancing for joy

A FAMILY of real-life Billy Elliots could see their ballet dancing dreams shattered unless they find a sponsor who can secure their future.

The Clarkes, from Airdrie, could make history by becoming the first family ever to have four brothers enrol at The Royal Ballet School in London, but they desperately need to find £5000.

Robert and Ann Clarke’s eldest son, Ross (21), is already a graduate of the school, Russell (15) has won a three-year residential place starting in September, while Ryan (10) is currently a pupil and attends fortnightly for lessons. Nine-year-old Reece auditioned yesterday. 

Ryan and Reece are desperate to succeed at the Royal Ballet School in London.

Dad Robert says, “We have until the end of July to secure the money. Then some tough decisions will lie ahead.

“Really there are two options facing the family if we can’t raise the money — Ryan and Russell could give their places up, which would break our hearts, or we give up our home and move down south.”

The money is needed for air fares and other ballet-realated expenses when the boys travel to their classes.

A car accident seven years ago left Robert unable to work and that has made the funding issue crucial.

“I rely on Incapacity Benefit, which frustrates me. I went from working seven-day weeks to support the boys to being unable to work at all. I just want to do the best by my sons.”

More financial troubles lie ahead, as free fortnightly flights to London, which Ryan and Ann currently enjoy, will soon come to an end.

“When Ryan was given his place, we rang British Midland explaining our situation and they offered the free flights, but they’ll stop at the end of term.

“If Reece is successful after his audition yesterday, he will need to fly down regularly — we have priced the trips at £5000 a year. It will be up to six weeks until we know if he is awarded a place.

“Russell understands the financial constraints, but the two younger lads just see their achievement in terms of getting a place. As parents you don’t want to worry them about the money.”

Robert had wanted his boys to play football at professional level, but now his dream is to see them all perform on stage together.

The ballet dynasty began when Ross began dancing at the age of three.

Ann says, “He was so full of energy. I wanted him to have a hobby to help him socialise.

I took him along to Janise Ridley’s School of Dance in Coatbridge and he loved it. The other boys followed on.

“Our dream is to see the four of them perform together one day. But it all relies on finding the money first.”

A fund-raising night for the boys is being held in Airdrie’s Moy Hall on Thursday, May 27. Tickets are available from the Monklands Association for Voluntary Services on 01236 764866.
To sponsor the boys call the family on 01236 605687 

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
apple
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


BA Member

Posts: 686
Location: the moon
Joined: 02. Aug 2003
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #17 - 04. Jun 2004 at 09:37
Print Post  
The British film industry is holding its own when it comes to attracting TV audiences, research suggests.

Recent British films accounted for four out of the 10 most watched movies in 2003, despite making up less than 3% of films screened on terrestrial TV.

Billy Elliot was the most popular film, with 12.7 million tuning in, according to the UK Film Council.

It beat Cast Away, The Sixth Sense and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade to the number one spot

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
cal-Q-L8
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


Admin

Posts: 8,002
Location: Australia
Joined: 30. Oct 2001
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #18 - 05. Jun 2004 at 11:50
Print Post  
I wish I could find evidence of similiar support here in Oz for local product. Our film industry has it seems lost it's touch with local audiences and most Aussie films fail at the box office.

Although a lot of hit movies have been made here in recent years they are nearly all 'Hollywood' productions.

I'm glad to see the Brit film industry getting some decent support but I think it's a great pity that essentially 'English' films such as the James Bond and Harry Potter movies are controlled by American interests.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
apple
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


BA Member

Posts: 686
Location: the moon
Joined: 02. Aug 2003
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #19 - 06. Jun 2004 at 05:00
Print Post  
no need to be so self-deprecating, cal.

we love you australians in the uk.

we're studying you intently.

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

however - back to the billy elliot thread :

from friday's daily express.

<i>jamie's raunchy role.

his pirouetting days are fast becoming a dim and distant memory for jamie bell.

the child actor is now all grown up and is shortly to film his first sex scene.

jamie who was a mere pipsqueak in his early teens when he starred as the ballet-loving miner's son in the award-winning film, celebrated his 18th birthday in march and is now set for a raunchy part in the forthcoming film <u>driving lessons</u>.

the picture written and directed by jeremy brock - who wrote <u>mrs brown</u> and adapted <u>charlotte grey</u> - will see jamie play a 17-year-old north london mother's boy who becomes the driver to an ageing actress, to be played by veteran star eileen atkins.

thankfully, the love scene is not with 69-year-old atkins but with a young actress who has yet to be cast.

emma thompson has agreed to play jamie's mother in the flick and <u>love actually</u> star bill nighy is in talks to play jamie's father.

"bell's character loses his virginity. it's a raunchy scene", says our film mole.

"jamie is using it as an excuse to go out and do some serious `research`."</i>

and from an investment column in friday's scotsman :

<i>...For the present generation of parents set to ignore the sage advice that Noel Coward once gave to Mrs Worthington and insist on trying to turn their children into stars, Stagecoach Theatre Arts is probably the best place to send them.

Stagecoach is the company that has launched such stars as Billy Elliot’s Jamie Bell. While this in itself is impressive, the company has an equally impressive investment record.

New franchise openings helped to increase network turnover to £8.6 million from £7.5m and while such investments and developments have eaten into profits, the outlook for future profitability appears good.

Investment in the United States and Germany and into SportsCoach and MiniStage formats continues apace while, more recently, Stagecoach has created three franchises in New York. These are scheduled to open to students in September. With its strong niche offering, overseas expansion, high levels of occupancy and long waiting lists for most of its schools, Stagecoach is an attractive smaller company buy.</i>

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)



  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
cal-Q-L8
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


Admin

Posts: 8,002
Location: Australia
Joined: 30. Oct 2001
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #20 - 06. Jun 2004 at 09:49
Print Post  
I particularly like this bit:

"jamie is using it as an excuse to go out and do some serious `research."


  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
apple
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


BA Member

Posts: 686
Location: the moon
Joined: 02. Aug 2003
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #21 - 03. Jul 2004 at 06:38
Print Post  
(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

dancing of a different kind - photographed by morten nilsson, : exhibiting in london this month at tom blau gallery.

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
cal-Q-L8
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


Admin

Posts: 8,002
Location: Australia
Joined: 30. Oct 2001
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #22 - 03. Jul 2004 at 08:49
Print Post  
They look VERY serious.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
apple
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


BA Member

Posts: 686
Location: the moon
Joined: 02. Aug 2003
Gender: Male
16-year-old boy - premièr danseur
Reply #23 - 09. Jul 2004 at 04:26
Print Post  
(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

Flora McGuigan, 7, is thrilled to be asked to dance with 16-year-old Alistair Ogilvy.

The pair are practising their moves at Scottish Ballet's Summer School in Glasgow.

The school, based in the west end, caters for all levels of dance experience from beginners to more experienced dancers who already attend classes.

During the week-long Summer School, Flora and Alistair joined scores of others to brush up on their technique and gain valuable experience under the direction of top choreographers.

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
apple
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


BA Member

Posts: 686
Location: the moon
Joined: 02. Aug 2003
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #24 - 20. Jul 2004 at 08:23
Print Post  
(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

`billy elliot`'s been hired to front this winter's miu miu fashion promotions.
-------------
Miu Miu have hired hot and hip actors Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jamie Bell to model in its fall womenswear and menswear ad campaigns, and the pair have rarely looked better.

Shot by risqué photographer Thierry Richardson the women’s ads have a sophisticatedly carnal quality, with Gyllenhaal shown attired in silky underwear and a come hither smile. Holding a black kitten, her mood is not a million miles away from the school slut Giselle Levy she played in Mona Lisa Smile.

Bell, who leapt to prominence at the age of 14 in the lead role in Billy Eliott, appears for Miu Miu as a pensive seducer. Like the ads, his latest film "Dear Wendy" comes out this fall.

It is not the first time that Prada has used well-known actors to pose in their advertising, such as Chloe Sevigny who starred in a Juergen Teller shot campaign.

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬

also news from print edition of uk daily mail - magazine section :

<i><b>bye bye baby bell</i></b>

you'll remember him as the endearing child of <u>billy elliot</u> but jamie bell is now 18 - and his shocking new film is a far cry from the feel good hit that hurried him into a star.

the actor has just finished filming <u>dear wendy</u>, a chiller with overtones of <u>a clockwork orange</u>, stanley kubrick's long-banned video-nasty.

bell who had to master an american accent for <u>dear wendy</u>, said filming was an "intense" experience.

the film was written by controversial danish director, lars von trier, who made his name with <u>the idiots</u>, in which a group of adults pretend to be mentally disabled and wreak havoc wherever they go.

bell plays the role of dick, a disenfranchised teenager who becomes so obsessed by a gun that he actully gives it a name, wendy.

he forms a gang of similarly gun-obsessed youngsters, who find new meaning in their lives through their common and dangerous infatuation.

at first they rule that their weapons can only be fired in the mines near the small american town where they live.

but things don't go acording to plan - and horrifying bloodshed ensues.

this film, due for release next year, proves that bell's career didn't end with <u>billy elliot</u>, but it may be a step too far for fans of his earlier work.

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
cal-Q-L8
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


Admin

Posts: 8,002
Location: Australia
Joined: 30. Oct 2001
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #25 - 21. Jul 2004 at 07:46
Print Post  
Sounds interesting.

I see the film is listed as being a Danish movie. It also stars another recent former boy actor, Michael Angarano.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
apple
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


BA Member

Posts: 686
Location: the moon
Joined: 02. Aug 2003
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #26 - 19. Aug 2004 at 06:59
Print Post  
from (uk) mail on sunday.
------
it's king billy.

jamie bell flies to wellington, new zealand, in two weeks to begin rehearsing peter jackson's new movie version of king kong.

the actor will work alongside naomi watts and andy serkis on the thriller, which is based on the thirties classic.

jackson and his team will set their movie in the thirties, but will use 21st-century movie making techniques to ensure kong is as realistic as possible.

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
apple
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


BA Member

Posts: 686
Location: the moon
Joined: 02. Aug 2003
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #27 - 05. Oct 2004 at 08:47
Print Post  
20 sept -

All the Billy Elliots step into battle

By Rod McPhee

THEY travelled from across the country full of hope and fear with just one single aim – to become the next Billy Elliot.

The directors of a new musical based on the hit Brit flick came to Leeds looking for talent and found it queuing outside The Civic Theatre on Saturday morning.

Mums, dads and their sons arrived from across the north of England to grab their chance of becoming the ballet dancing schoolboy when the show opens in the West End next year.

The lads were tested on their personality, acting and dancing skills and their ability to sing before an audience.

Associate director Julian Webber said: "We don't want kids that have been pushed into this by their parents, and we don't want lads that are natural showbiz boys.

"The whole point of Billy Elliot is that he is an unassuming schoolboy who suddenly shows this tremendous talent, and that's the kind of person we are looking for.

"We are not just looking for performers who have that instant 'wow factor' – we're also keeping an eye out for those with a kind of quiet potential.

Fortunately there's both kinds here today."

The producers have already picked a series of Billies as well as young stars to fill the role of his best friend, Michael.

They will be on stage for the first six months before, in accordance with the law, they swap with a second round of Billies and Michaels. It was the group that the selectors were auditioning for.

They have already travelled the country stopping in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Manchester in their search for talent.

Dozens of young boys arrived on Saturday, but just a handful will be going on to the next round of auditions in London. If they are selected from there, they go straight into training for the musical.

With music supplied by Elton John, Billy Elliot is being produced by Stephen Daldry who brought the story to the silver screen in 2000.

Among the lads taking part in Saturday's auditions were Garforth brothers William and Edward Addison, aged 13 and 11 respectively, and 10-year-old Joe Butler from Tadcaster.
****
'Billy Elliot' Musical Stars Unveiled - 5 october.

By Anita Singh, Showbusiness Editor, PA News

The three boys who will share the starring role in the new Billy Elliot musical were unveiled today.

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

Liam Mower, 12, from Hull, George Maguire, 13, from Essex, and James Lomas, 14, from Sheffield, were chosen from more than 3,000 hopefuls.

They will take turns to play the lead role in the £5 million production which opens in the West End next May.

The show, with music by Sir Elton John, is based on director Stephen Daldry’s hit film about a boy from a North East mining village who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer.

The boys will play the part made famous by Jamie Bell.

“It’s just unreal because I didn’t think I would get this far,” said George, from Stanford-le-Hope, Essex.

“When I saw the film I thought, ‘I want to do that’, but I never thought I would.”

George joined a performing arts school 18 months ago and initially told his parents there was “no way” he was doing ballet.

But he changed his mind and showed sufficient talent for his school to put him forward for the auditions.

His first audition almost ended in disaster.

“He came out a bit upset because he thought they had put him in the group of boys who had been asked to leave,” said mother Dawn, an aerobics instructor.

“We were on our way home when they rang up and said, ‘Where’s George?’ It turned out he had joined the wrong group and they wanted him to come back.”

The boys spent eight weeks living together in London over the summer while they took part in dance workshops.

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

For the six months they are in the show, they will also live apart from their parents and be cared for by chaperones.

George’s father Glen, a company director, admitted: “The first couple of weeks he was away were really hard. You’re always looking out for them and worrying about them crossing roads and things. But he is really enjoying himself and that’s what matters most.”

James, the son of a steelworker from the Chapeltown area of Sheffield, started out in an amateur production of Oliver! put on by his local operatic society.

He caught the acting bug and joined a drama club, where he was advised to take up dance lessons if he wanted to fulfil his ambition of appearing in a West End show.

“I was surprised because he’s a real lad,” said his mother Catherine, a hairdresser. “I didn’t have a clue about dance but I picked up the Yellow Pages and found him a teacher. There were no boys in his class but that didn’t bother him.

“He bought his own tap shoes and he was so set on coming to the auditions that he paid his own train fare. We queued all day in the rain to get in but it was worth it.”

James’ father, Peter, said he was “immensely proud” of his son.

The sports-mad teenager has been forced to put his other interests – football, gymnastics and karate – on hold to concentrate on rehearsals for the show.

“I’ve had to give up a lot but I’m not sure that I’ll miss it because I really want to do what I’m doing now,” he said. “Playing Billy has been my dream for ages.”

Asked if he had been teased by his schoolmates over his love of ballet, James shrugged: “There are some idiots but that’s life, isn’t it.”

Of the three boys, it is Liam’s life which has changed the most since the auditions.
He was offered a place at the Royal Ballet’s White Lodge School in Richmond Park, south-west London, and started there four weeks ago.

He has left his mum Jo, a sandwich shop worker, dad Paul, an engineer, and three brothers at home in Hull.

“It’s early days but he loves it there. He’s only 12 and it’s a bit of an adventure for him,” said Jo. “Obviously we miss him.”

A champion dancer at disco and rock’n’roll, Liam had never sung in public before his first audition.

His mother said: “When he auditioned for Billy Elliot he had never sung a note in his life. He came out and said, ‘I’m not doing singing’. It totally freaked him out. But he has come on fantastically.”

Liam said: “My love for music started when I was a baby. Listening to music always made me want to dance. Getting the part of Billy and performing in the West End is as if all my dreams are coming true.”

George, James and Liam will be replaced by three new boys after six months.

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
« Last Edit: 05. Oct 2004 at 11:30 by apple »  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
cal-Q-L8
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


Admin

Posts: 8,002
Location: Australia
Joined: 30. Oct 2001
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #28 - 06. Oct 2004 at 00:14
Print Post  
Drat!!

The pics aren't showing up at all.

apple, if you still have the pics, perhaps it would be better to post them directly into the thread using the 'upload images' paper clip.  Smiley
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
apple
Platinum Member
*****
Offline


BA Member

Posts: 686
Location: the moon
Joined: 02. Aug 2003
Gender: Male
Re: My fav Billy Elliott pics
Reply #29 - 06. Oct 2004 at 02:23
Print Post  
the pix are showing ok at my end - so i'll assume it's your browser temporarily at fault unless a lot of other people report the same problem.

i don't know if it's possible for me to upload.

i've tried before; the procedure failed abysmally.

because i'm in an internet cafe?

so what i do - i ascertain the properties of pix and put them into a photobucket album.

then i insert the photobucket image(s) into my post.

here's another pic  : lads a'leaping, variant shot - from today's daily telegraph + related article.

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

<i>Three 'Billy Elliots' win star roles in stage show
By Nigel Reynolds, Arts Correspondent
(Filed: 06/10/2004)

Three small boys, more angelic than impish in their looks, were unveiled yesterday as next year's West End stars.

They fought their way through a field of 3,000 hopefuls to share the title role in Billy Elliot, a musical stage version of the hit British film which won hearts, Oscar nominations and more than £100 million at the box office in 2001.

Like Billy Elliot, the boy from a broken family in a Durham pit village who learns to dance and wins a place at the Royal Ballet School, the three young actors whose names will go up in lights in London come from modest backgrounds.

Greasepaint does not run in their family genes and though all the boys took up singing or dancing or both at a very young age, none has appeared in a professional production.

The boys, stepping into the shoes of Jamie Bell who played the film role when he was 13, are: James Lomas, 14, from Sheffield; George Maguire, 13, from Stanford-Le-Hope, Essex; and Liam Mower, 12, from Hull.

For Mower, who became a local disco and rock and roll dance champion when he was eight, art is imitating life. Though he only started ballet two years ago, he won a scholarship at the Royal Ballet School in Richmond, west London, and left his comprehensive school to move there as a boarder last month.

His parents, Paul, a pipe-fitter, and mother, Jo, who works in a sandwich shop, pay only £250 towards the school's annual £28,000 fees.

"We're very proud," said Mr Mower yesterday. "I can't really believe it."

The boys must share the lead because Equity rules do not allow minors to appear on stage more than three times a week.

Even then, they have to be replaced after six months and Stephen Daldry, who directed the film and is also in charge of the musical, said he had already identified two of the next batch of Billys.

The £5 million stage show has music by Elton John, who reported that he wept when he first saw the film.

The musical opens at the Victoria Palace in May and is expected to be a long-running success despite suffering one early blow. Julie Walters, who played Billy's inspiring ballet teacher in the film, has turned down the same stage part.

Daldry yesterday called the boys "fantastic talents" but warned that their role was exceptionally demanding.

He said: "It has taken a year to find the right boys because the role is incredible. Billy must be able to sing, and to act, and to dance, and not just ballet but tap and modern as well.

"He is on stage almost the whole time and by force of character he must hold the whole thing together."

Once Lomas, Maguire and Mower were picked from Daldry's longlist, they had to take acting, singing and dancing lessons almost every day after school, and travel to Leeds every weekend and in holidays to a "Billy Elliot academy" for more intensive training.

When the show opens, they will leave their families and live together, with some of the other 39 children required for the musical, in a rented house in London to be supervised by tutors, a house mother, and minders.

"We are all very close," said Lomas, whose father is a steel worker and mother is a hairdresser. "We've been getting used to working with each other and so far things have gone brilliantly."

Maguire, whose father runs a building firm and mother teaches aerobics, was less certain about this. He said: "There have been some ups and downs though, a few little arguments, but that is natural."</i>

(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: 1 [2] 3 
Print