Billy extends and welcomes new ballet boy

Reporter: Matthew Amer, first published Mon 23 Nov 2009 11:23

As Billy Elliot - The Musical extends its booking period to December 2010, Dean-Charles Chapman will today become the latest name on the list of boys to have played the show’s title character on stage.

The 12-year-old from Essex already has a long history with the hit musical. He was in the original cast, playing Small Boy when the show opened at the Victoria Palace theatre in 2005, and he returned to the cast just last year to play Billy’s best friend Michael.

“I have been training for Billy for two years now and I am really looking forward to my first performance,” said Chapman. “I am going to dedicate my first performance as Billy to all those who have helped me along the way and Collin’s Performing Arts School where I studied Dance and Drama.”

Chapman joins current cast members Oliver Gardner, Tom Holland and Fox Jackson-Keen who alternate in the role of the young boy from a northern mining town who leaves behind the traditional manly pursuit of boxing in favour of following his dream of becoming a ballet dancer.

The production’s cast also includes Laurence Olivier Award-winner Joanna Riding, Joe Caffrey and Ann Emery, who has been playing Billy’s Grandma since the musical premiered four years ago.

Billy Elliot - The Musical, which has released 450,000 new tickets as part of its booking extension, is based on the hit British movie and is brought to the stage by the film’s writer and director Lee Hall and Stephen Daldry. The musical’s score was created by flamboyant pop star Elton John.

Following its London premiere, Billy Elliot - The Musical won four Laurence Olivier Award including Best New Musical and Best Actor in a Musical for the show’s original Billy Elliot’s, Liam Mower, George Maguire and James Lomas.