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Preview performances delayed for Billy Elliot

Story by Jack Foley

PREVIEW performances of Billy Elliot - The Musical have been delayed in order to give child actors a less arduous rehearsal schedule.

They will now be held on April 14, 20 and 27, 2005.

The decision was made by director, Stephen Daldry 'to give our company, with a cast including 45 children, a little extra time so they are as fully prepared as possible'.

This is especially important for the three young actors playing Billy - a demanding role that requires them to sing, dance and act. Not only that, all three will be making their professional stage debut in the West End.

Opening night: May 12, 2005.

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PREVIOUSLY POSTED: HAYDN Gwynne, Tim Healy and Anne Rogers will join the previously announced Billy's - James Lomas (14), George Maguire (13) and Liam Mower (12) - in the world premiere of Stephen Daldry's Billy Elliot - The Musical, which opens at the Victoria Palace on May 11, 2005, with performances from March 24.

Set in the North East, Billy Elliot is a funny, heart-warming and feel-good celebration of one young boy's dreams.

This original story captured the hearts and minds of the world when the movie was released in September 2000. Nominated for three Oscar's and 13 Bafta awards, this poignant film broke box office records across the world.

This new staging of Billy Elliot is an adaptation of one of the most adored British films of the last decade.

The extraordinary movie written by Lee Hall, directed by Stephen Daldry has been developed for the stage by the same multi-award winning creative team. The score has been composed by music legend Elton John, the most celebrated UK singer songwriter of the last 30 years.

The cast is: Joe Caffrey (Tony), Steve Elias (Mr Braithwaite), Trevor Fox (George), Haydn Gwyyne (Mrs Wilkinson), Tim Healy (Dad), Stephanie Putson (Mum) and Anne Rogers (Grandma).

Billy will be performed by James Lomas, from Sheffield, George Maguire, from Essex and Liam Mower, from Hull, who will alternate playing the title role during the run.


Joining them will be Tyneside-born Brooke Havana Bailey, Emma Hudson and Lucy Stephenson, playing Debbie - Mrs Wilkinson's daughter, and Brad Kavanagh from Cumbria, Ashley Lloyd from Blackpool and Ryan Longbottom from Dewsbury, playing Michael - Billy's best friend.

The Company also includes Daniel Coll, Erica Ann Deakin, Alex Delamere, Damien Delaney, Susan Fay, Alan Forrester, Isaac James, Gillian Kirkpatrick, Chris Lennon, David Massey, Michelle McAvoy, Karl Morgan, Daniel Page, Steve Paget, Lee Proud, Mike Scott, Phil Snowden and Tessa Worsley.

Joe Caffrey will play Billy's brother, Tony.

Having grown up in the North East into a mining family, in 1984-85 Joe Caffrey performed as a member of a capella band, The Workey Ticket helping to raise money for the striking miners and their families.

After training at LAMDA, he went on to perform on stage in Lee Hall's Cooking with Elvis at the Whitehall Theatre and on tour. His television credits include Catherine Cookson's Colour Blind, Soldier Soldier and The Last Musketeer. His film work includes Working Title's Bridget Jones - The Edge of Reason.

Steve Elias will play Mr Braithwaite, the Ballet School Pianist. His theatre work includes The Pirates of Penzance and Peter Pan, both at the Savoy Theatre, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, La Cava, The Pyjama Game, The Goodbye Girl and Scrooge all in the West End and Out of this World, Just So and The Master and Margarita for the Chichester Festival Theatre.

As a choreographer, his credits include Dr Faustus and Oliver! for the Chichester Festival Theatre.

Trevor Fox will play Boxing Coach, George. For Live Theatre in Newcastle his work has included Lee Hall's Cooking with Elvis, Close the Coalhouse Door, Oh What a Lovely War, Double Lives and Twelve Tales of Tyneside.

His other theatre work includes All Credit to the Lads for Sheffield Theatres, Bones for Hampstead Theatre and The Cherry Orchard for the Oxford Stage Company.

Haydn Gwynne plays Billy's Dance Teacher, Mrs Wilkinson. Her theatre work includes Peer Gynt, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Cabinet Minister and Bluebird of Unhappiness for the Manchester Royal Exchange, Hedda Gabler for Bolton Octagon and The Memory of Water for Hampstead Theatre.

Tim Healy plays Billy's Dad. His theatre work includes Peter Pan at the Theatre Royal Newcastle, Art at Wyndhams Theatre, Twelve Angry Young Men at the Comedy Theatre and Shooting the Legend and Going Home for Theatre Royal Newcastle.

Billy Elliot - The Musical is produced by Working Title and Old Vic Productions plc.

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