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Billy Elliot Review

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We have a treat for all you theatre lovers today with a review of Billy Elliot: The Musical from our Marketing Executive Lisa ...

Billy Elliot: The Musical

I was given tickets for Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London for my birthday this year, and what a treat it was!

I’ve watched the film many times so was very aware of the politics and culture of Billy’s upbringing, both of which make the Billy Elliot story even more poignant. The story is based in north east of England during the bleak times of the coal miners' strikes in the 1980s. Privatisation by the new Conservative Government had a major impact on rural industries, particularly mining. Men were tough and generations of males were expected to follow their families down the coal pit. Billy Elliot had other ideas. After spying a ballet class after his boxing class, he slowly started to realise that he wanted to be a ballet dancer. However, he knew that this would be met with tough opposition from his father and elder brother, both striking coal miners. Billy defied the odds with determination and was accepted for a prestigious ballet school. His chosen career was finally accepted by his father and brother.

Seeing the story translated from film to stage was captivating and songs had to be created to turn the story into a musical, a major difference from the film. The costume and set design was brilliant and captured the era perfectly. I remember the strikes as a child as generations of my family were coal miners and the story is a brilliant representation of the hard times they experienced.

There are four boys who take turns to play Billy at different shows. Josh Baker, Ryan Collinson, Adam Vesperman and Kaine Ward - superb in the one we saw - and I have no doubt the the acting and dancing is sensational in every performance. How these young people can dance and act on stage in front of these packed audiences night after night is nothing short of brilliant. There were more laughs than I remember from the film but it was very much in keeping with the characters of the north east.

A definite recommend – and it’s right beside Victoria train and tube station!


What's on in London - February 2015

WHAT’S ON IN LONDON IN FEBRUARY 2015   VALENTINE’S DAY | APEX HOTEL’S | 14 FEBRUARY London has it all when it comes to romance. You can take a stroll across Tower Bridge, whisper sweet nothings at St. Paul’s or take in the striking view of the city from the viewing platform at The Shard. Whether you’re trying to woo new hearts or are looking to spice up the old, our London Apex Hotels offer the perfect haven for all love birds.  Website: CHINESE NEW YEAR | 19 FEBRUARY Chinese New Year is a spectacle that you should not be miss. It is falls on 19 February and this year the Chinese community will be participating in force all across London. The Chinese New Year’s Parade will be coupled with dragons dancing to traditional Chinese music, adorning an array of colourful and striking decorations. This event will be very impressive and will be celebrated all over the city with the main focus on London’s China Town. Add in what animal it will be this year Website: MARLENE DUMAS: THE IMAGE AS BURDEN | FEBRUARY 15 – MAY 10 Marlene Dumas always creates something for the eye and mind. Featuring mostly people that have experienced tragedy, there is always something meaningful to take home from her stunning exhibitions. Marlene Dumas is world famous for the free flow that her paintings display and is considered to be one of the most prominent painters in the world. Website: LONDON FASHION WEEKEND | 26 FEBRUARY – 1 March 2015 London Fashion Week is one of the highest profile fashion events in the world and luckily for our guests, it's less than a 2 minute walk from the Apex Temple Court Hotel  Attracting designers and fashion enthusiasts from all over the world, London Fashion Week is the hub of all new and exciting trends. It's not just Somerset house that will bring fashion fever to the city, many bars and restaurants will be hosting fashion themed events for you to check out. Make sure to enjoy a delicious cocktail or two at the Cambers Bar to help you feel like a true style icon.   Website: MASLENITSA RUSSIAN FESTIVAL | 15 FEBRUARY This February Trafalgar Square features a Russian festival that welcomes the arrival of spring and an orthodox religious celebration. Many people gather and entertainment is guaranteed, making it a must see event in London this February. Everything from dance shows over music to traditional food will be present making this a perfect Sunday activity – especially if you want to bring the whole family. Website:

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