Billy Elliot

show_billy_elliot_logoOne of the greatest modern musicals, the scenic design by Ian MacNeil is a major triumph, enhanced by the poetic automation of the main elements (bed and table lift) by AVW Controls and Delstar Engineering.

Production Dates

  • 11 May 2005 to 9 April 2016: West End, London – Victoria Palace Theatre (4600 performances)
    • Reported budget for the show: £5.5million
    • The show closed in 2016 due to the refurbishment of the Victoria Palace theatre, and headed out on a UK tour.
    • Before the show closed, it was filmed for live broadcast to cinemas around the UK. It was subsequently released on DVD and Blu-Ray. At Christmas 2016 it was broadcast on the Sky Arts channel (UK). The end of the show features a finale with all of the Billy’s to date, and Liam Mower, the first actor to play Billy, plays ‘Old Billy’ during the Swan Lake flying sequence. 
  • 13 November 2007 Capitol Theatre, Sydney
  • November 13 2008 to January 8, 2012: Imperial TheatreNew York NY (after 40 previews and 1,304 regular performances.)
    • This production recouped its original investment of $18 million in 14 months and continued to sell strongly until it closed.
  • 2008 Melbourne
  • 2010 US National Tour
  • 2010 Seoul
  • 2010 2nd National Tour

Related Equipment:

Patt.23 (1953 - 1983)
Pirouette (1996 - ?2002)
Source Four Revolution
Mac TW1 (2005-2015)
Impressario

Documents


Mac TW1 on Billy Elliot (May 2008)
[559kb PDF]

Live Design: Billy Elliot Comes to Broadway (January 2009)
[14.44Mb PDF]

Director: Stephen Daldry
Choreographer: Peter Darling
Music: Elton John
Lyrics & Book: Lee Hall
Set Design: Ian MacNeil
Costumes: Nicky Gillibrand
Lighting Design: Rick Fisher
Sound Design: Paul Arditti.
Automation: AVW Controls and Telstar Engineering

Lighting

Many of the spectacular lighting effects (design by Rick Fisher) are due to the flexibility of the ETC Source 4 Revolution moving light, which uses a tungsten light source (like the more subtle generic lanterns used worldwide, instead of the harsher ‘cold’ light produced by regular moving lights).
Martin TW1 instruments are also used, along with Strand Pirouette automated fixtures used on the LX bar featured during Billy’s audition (‘Electricity’).
There’s also a guest appearance by the Strand Pattern 23 profile, which appears in the dance school scenes, and flickers into life at the end of one sequence. One of the 23’s has a colour wheel fitted.

More information about the technical elements of the show can be read at Live Design Online’s article ‘Tiny Dancer’ from 2005.

Sound

The actor playing Billy wears two radio mics (one for backup) on his head, and for certain numbers (e.g. Angry Dance at the end of Act 2) he also wears a radio mic pickup at the bottom of his trouser leg so that the tap sounds are easily amplified.

A ‘reverse radio’ setup (the same technology as an in-ear monitor) is used to send an audio feed to the tape player that features in the flying sequence, which can be seamlessly cross-faded into the main auditorium sound feed.

Scenic Automation

Demonstration of the house, bed and kitchen table lifts and traps at Victoria Palace Theatre. Video by Anton Woodward of AVW Controls, who designed the system.

Show Footage

More videos from Billy Elliot:

Official website: http://www.billyelliotthemusical.com/

Webisode ‘The Story of Billy’ – Broadway production

Webisode ‘Flying’ – Broadway

Webisode ‘Finding Billy’ – Broadway

Webisode ‘On the Road with Billy’ – US Tour

Webisode ‘Family & Community’ – US