Billy’s Best of British birthday

Reporter: Matthew Amer, first published Thu 31 May 2012 13:33
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Billy Elliot The Musical celebrated its seventh birthday and 3,000th performance with a gala night for a special patriotic audience.

Olympic gold medallists James Cracknell (rowing) and Kelly Holmes (athletics) joined rugby world cup winner Ben Cohen, England cricketer Steven Davis, modern pentathlete Mhaira Spence, Paralympian Nikki Emerson and members of the British Ladies Hockey Team to celebrate the successful show alongside writer Lee Hall, director Stephen Daldry and composer Elton John.

Since opening at the Victoria Palace theatre in 2005, the stirring tale of a boy from a Northern mining family who discovers an incredible talent for dance has been seen by nearly 8 million people worldwide. Between them the 500 cast members who have appeared in the London production have worn out 8,000 ballet shoes and 5,000 boxing gloves, and eaten 3,000 pasties.

The lucky birthday audience, which also included English National Ballet Artistic Director Tamara Rojo, choreographer Matthew Bourne and original Billys Liam Mower, George Maguire and Leon Cooke, enjoyed a special finale featuring the eight boys currently playing Billy and best friend Michael in the hugely successful London production. 

Photographer Dan Wooller was at the party at the Victoria Palace to capture the celebrations.