Cast for new Australian production of ‘Billy Elliot the Musical’ announced

The producers of the 10th Anniversary Australian Tour of Billy Elliot the Musical have announced the adult cast for the show which opens in Sydney next year.

After a season at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre in October 2019, the show will travel to Melbourne for a season at the Regent Theatre from February 2020, before heading west to Crown Theatre Perth from June 2020. After Perth it will move on to QPAC’s Lyric Theatre in Brisbane from July 2020 and the Festival Theatre at Adelaide Festival Centre from September 2020.

Featuring music by the legendary Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreography by Peter Darling and direction by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot the Musical has been seen by almost 12 million people worldwide. It is the recipient of over 80 awards internationally, including 10 Tony Awards, 5 Olivier Awards and 8 Helpmann Awards.

Starring as the tough but supportive ballet teacher Mrs Wilkinson will be Kelley Abbey, one of Australia’s most accomplished performers. Abbey began her career in the long running TV series E Street before starring on stage in productions including Sweet Charity, Grease the Arena Spectacular and Fame the Musical.

Abbey is not only a successful performer, but an award winning choreographer. Her incredible choreography earnt her a Helpmann Award for The Boy from Oz Arena Spectacular. Abbey has proven herself to be one our country’s most creative and innovative doyens of dance and live performance and producers say it is only fitting that she now steps into the shoes of Mrs Wilkinson to guide Billy through his unique dance journey.

The performer said she was made for this role.

“I am so thrilled to be playing Mrs Wilkinson and returning to the stage in such a heartfelt and moving show as Billy Elliot the Musical. In my career I have been directing, choreographing and mentoring so many dancers, that playing Mrs Wilkinson who teaches and mentors young Billy, seems a perfect fit! There’s nothing more exciting than nurturing young people to transport themselves via dance and really connect with their authentic selves.”Abbey said.

Justin Smith will play role of Dad, Billy’s stoic father. Justin is an acclaimed theatre and screen actor with musical credits including Jesus Christ Superstar and Rent. Most poignantly he also starred as Tony, Billy’s older brother in the original Australian production of Billy Elliot the Musical.

Playing Billy’s eccentric Grandma is actress Vivien Davies. Her extensive career has seen her perform in musicals including Les Misérables, Menopause the Musical, Buddy and Dusty as well in many and varied productions with the Melbourne Theatre Company.

Billy’s hot-headed brother Tony will be played by Drew Livingston. Drew’s stage work has seen him work extensively since graduating from WAAPA in 2010 including productions for the Sydney Theatre Company and in the acclaimed Australian production of the National Theatre’s War Horse.

Award winning actor Robert Grubb will star as George, a miner and the town’s boxing coach.One of Australia’s most versatile actors having worked extensively on stage and screen starring in many and varied television and film roles including Flying Doctors, Mad Max, and Gallipoli. Robert’s musical theatre credits including MAMMA MIA! the Musical, Sunset Boulevard, We Will Rock You, which earned him a Helpmann Award and most recently Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

The show won’t be in Perth until 2020, so if you’re excited by this cast maybe it’s time to book a trip to Sydney!

Source: Media Release


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