Top 100 Greatest Musicals Poll – Number 7 – Billy Elliot

Top 100 Musicals - Number 7 - Billy Elliot
London’s first three Billy’s – James, George and Liam

It’s not often that a British film captures the imagination of the world but Billy Elliot did just that. Released in 2000 the film was a sensation worldwide thanks to its honesty, sincerity and humour.  The story of a boy who favoured ballet shoes over boxing gloves, it was set against the background of the UK Miner’s strike.

Billy Elliot features music by Elton John with book and lyrics by Lee Hall who had also written the film’s screenplay. The production was directed by Stephen Daldry and choreographed by Peter Darling.

Billy Elliot premiered at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre in May 2005, having abandoned plans to open in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Billy Elliot played 4600 performances in London and is now undergoing its first UK national tour.

Billy Elliot Closes at London's Victoria Palace Theatre
The final curtain call for Billy Elliot at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre.

Further productions opened in Australia in 2007 and on Broadway in 2008. In Australia, the show won seven Helpmann Awards including Best Musical whilst on Broadway Billy picked up ten Tony Awards in 2009 including Best Musical.

In 2014, the London production was filmed for screening around the world and has subsequently been released on DVD.

Productions of Billy Elliot have since been opened in Seoul, Norway, The Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, Rome, Sweden, Israel, and Budapest.


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