Story by Jack Foley
PROSPECTIVE Billy Elliots are being sought to appear in the West
End version of the critically-acclaimed film.
Stephen Daldry, the director of the movie, who is also set to
adapt a musical version for the stage, is searching for three
boys to follow in the footsteps of film star, Jamie Bell.
In an interview with BBC Breakfast, he announced that he was
seeking exceptional children to appear in the show,
which is due to open in the Autumn, and feature a musical score
from Sir Elton John.
Auditions have already been held, in January, but further have
been planned at venues in London, Glasgow and Nottingham, as Daldry
bids to get the casting absolutely right.
Hence, the ideal candidate will need to demonstrate excellent
tap, ballet and contemporary dance skills, as well as exceptional
singing ability, and a talent for gymnastics.
Daldry maintained that the demands of the stage version are even
more acute than they were for the film.
Three actors are needed at the same time, because one child could
not be made to perform in eight shows a week, he added.
And successful applicants will be replaced after six months,
anyway, which means that the audition process will go on and on.
The show, which marks the latest movie to stage transition (following
in the footsteps of When
Harry Met Sally, in February, and the upcoming The
Producers), has been made possible, thanks to the enthusiastic
support of Sir Elton , who fell in love with the film after seeing
an early screening.
According to Daldry: "He came to see one of the early showings
of the film and his response was so strong, he really came up
with the suggestion 'is there anything we can do on stage?'"
The film version has become one of the most successful British
flicks of recent years, since its release in 2000, and won three
Baftas, as well as being nominated for three Oscars. It has also
made the career of its child star, Bell, who has since appeared
in Nicholas Nickleby
and Deathwatch on the