Meet the Bill...

Meet the Billys – London: Billy Elliot the Musical

Author’s Note: The contents of this article has been replaced in an updated article about the London Billys that can be found here.


  1. I have seen Billy 23 times. I booked the show from Toronto Canada for a performance the third week during the third week of the run. Due to problems during rehearsals my performance was cancelled the day I flew to London. I rebooked the following year, planned another trip and tried again. Sadly the day of my performance I received an e-mail that my father had passed away back in Canada. I saw the show, but it was a sad evening for me. You can imagine my thoughts during Billy’s chats with his dead mother. I offered the financial backing to make the original cast Bdwy recording, but never heard back from the creative team in three tries. It is a loss for Bdwy that Billy is the first Tony winning Best Musical not to have received a cast recording. I saw the show many times in NYC before it closed. It will always be an important part of my life. I will always remember Travis (in London), Kiril (the most sympathetic), David (the angriest), Trent (the spunkiest), Tommy (the quirkiest) and Joseph (the hardest working/most enthusiastic). If I had to pick one, I would take Kiril, an amazingly gifted young man. To Elton, thank you for writing the show, but you should have insisted the Bdwy cast recording be made! if anyone has comments.

    • Wow! 23 times! You’ve been very fortunate and blessed to have been able to so frequently see this great show. I’m very happy for you. But do you know there are actually people who’ve seen it hundreds of times?

      Despite the fact that the show just turned eight years old, it remains fresh and as vibrant as ever. Long may it live!

      Thanks for reading the article and taking the time to comment.

    • Hi Porschesrule – I am off to see Billy in 2 weeks for my 69th, 70th, 71st and 72nd time. It is a fantastic show with tremendously talented young men and girls. And you are correcy there are some who have seen it 100’s of times. The most, as far as I am aware is Spencer who has seen it 600 times. If you go to the show you’ll spat him with his Billy Elliot hoody on and normally sat in seat B15.

    • Hi John. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment on the article. I know you’ve seen the show a great many times and I envy you for that. You’ve been a great supporter. Enjoy your latest “Billython”!

  2. Hi Kaine,

    I saw you playing Billy on my birthday and It made my birthday complete. It also made me realise that I will probably never be as great a dancer as you are. Ever.

  3. To Harris Beattie

    Hi Harris,

    I saw you in Billy today in the afternoon show! you were amazing, simply astonishing and inspirational!You Were Stunning, Your Such A Good Dancer! I was completely blown away And It Is My Favourite Show Now!!! I waited outside the side stage door after the show and was thrilled when you waved at me and my cousin! I was just sad that i didn’t get a chance to ask for your autograph and have my photo taken with you as you looked like you were in a rush and i was too nervous to ask, but just a smile and a wave made my year!!! It was thrilling as it was also my birthday! And afterwards i was shaking! I’d never seen Billy before but i thank you for your magical performance that has drawn my into the world of Billy and it will stay in my heart for the rest of my life, your performance brought me to tears, thank you!

    Lots of love Elena xxx

  4. i went to watch billy elliot with my school and it was amazing it was adam vesperman’s first show as billy and i am going to see it again :D :D :D :D :D :D :D and he was also amazing :D x  

  5. If i have time and get chance to have a ticket by April 2011. i will get it…. I’m almost tired watching billy in youtube, Now i want the real… see you!

  6. I have seen the show 4 times now: Fox , Ollie x2 and Dean. I’ve got to say they were all fantastic, but there was something about Ollie’s performances that really stood out or maybe it was the smile :) They were all fab

    • Hi Sophie. Thanks for your comment. The BETM creative folks have a way of identifying such magnificient talent to play the role of Billy. It constantly amazes me how they do it time after time. You are certainly not unusual in that one particular boy most resonated with you. I think many people have their “favorite” Billy, oft times because it was the first one they saw in the role. Despite that, however, most people will agree they are never disappointed by whichever Billy they happen to see at a given performance. They all have their unique “takes” on the role and bring their own strengths and talents in terms of acting and dance. It’s one of many things people have identified as the reason they go back to see the show again and again.

  7. I was on a 7-week odyssey from San Francisco to NYC, Lo ndon, Rome, Amsterdam, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv..first visits abroad in 20 years, to hometown NYC in 15 years.

    On my last night in London, I happened into the theatre at Victoria. I have been a radio dj, reporter and host since the 60’s and have seen A LOT.

    But seeing Rhys Yeomans as BILLY ELLIOT was the most extraordinary performance I have ever seen…I’m trying to explain it to folks back in California but aside from a few videos and playing part of the original cast album, it’s impossible.

    In February, 2011, when I am back in London..guess where I am heading…same thing when Billy comes to San Francisco in Fall, 2011.

    Can’t get the experience out of my mind–and don’t want to!

    Don Fass

  8. I'm very appreciative of your comment, clubtw. In another article on this site called “Where Do All the Billys Come From?”, I've gotten into why no matter what Billy you see, in any production of the show worldwide, they are universally excellent. The key is first identifying the potential talent and then providing training that is unmatched in the theatre world. Is the portrayal of each Billy a little different? Absolutely. They bring their own personalities and strengths to the show. But there is no doubt that when you leave the theatre, no matter which Billy you've seen, your reaction is going to be a resounding “WOW” as to what you've just witnessed. Glad you enjoyed the show and hopefully this article. Thanks again.

    • I got a bit flamed once for saying on Broadwayworld that theres been no bad Billys…I stand by my statement, the selection and training is WAY more intensive then for any other part I can think of, there have been NO bad Billys.

    • Amen to that, S King! I said in another of my BETM articles on this site: “But the good news is no matter which Billy you get, you are guaranteed a wonderful theatrical experience. Every Billy, in every production of the show, has been carefully selected based on their talent and each has undergone months of training and rehearsals before they make their stage debuts. Will there be differences in how they portray the character? Yes. Will each boy bring different strengths to the role? Yes. But they are universally excellent.” Thanks for your comment, S King.

  9. I have seen Billy Elliot thrice. The first time in Australia, second in London with Aaron Watson and third with Dean Charles Chapman. I have to say they were ALL equally amazing in their different ways.

  10. Thanks for your comment. Everything I'm reading about Aaron is that he's an amazing performer and just keeps getting better and better as he grows into the role. In fact, right now all four Billys in the West End appear to really be at the top of their games. You can go to the Victoria Palace for any performance and see a mindboggling young man portraying Billy supported by a superb support cast.

  11. I saw Aaron Watson as billy elliot. He was amazing. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo tallented. I actually started dancing when I was 18 months. BTW This comment is posted by the real Paris Jackson. MJ's daughter. Seriously!

  12. Seen Billy Elliot twice now
    6th October 09- Fox Jackson Keen and Jake Pratt
    18th February 10- Ollie Gardner and George Maycock
    17 June 10- ?

  13. Some exclusive content coming in soon ! Than you for sticking around we hope to exceed any expectations you may have had about the content of this blog especially with regards to BETM.

  14. Richard,

    I'm glad you enjoyed reading the articles. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It is much appreciated.

  15. Thank you, Gina, for your comments. I'm always trying to provide the most up-to-date information on the Billys in these profiles. As a family member, if there's any information you'd care to share about Rhys that you think would enhance his profile, especially pictures/videos, please forward them to me and I'll be happy to include them here. The sole purpose of these profiles is to bring before the readers the wonderful talents these young actors bring to the stage — and the marvelous support from their families they all receive in order to achieve their dreams. Emails may be send to

  16. I went to see my nephew rhys yeomans debut of his role as billy elliot on friday 26 march 2010,and was amazed and mesmerised by his performance,although i may be bias as hes a family member,,i loved his performance and i am so proud as he was proffessional,relaxed and effortless as the role of billy and all his hard work as finally paid WELL DONE and CONGRATULATIONS! you were awesome rhys and we love you sooo much love from aunty gina,dannika and taylor,your a star!!xxxxxxxxxx

  17. GREAT article!!

    Thanks for the link to the latest performance on March 11: had not seen that before. And the pic with the PM at Downing Street 10.

    Billy's the best musical EVER!! Seen it 11 x in London and 10 x on Broadway.

  18. I've seen Billy Elliot many times. I really enjoyed the concert. Last year I got a cheap ticket and I went, I really had a great time there. Recently I got my ticket from the same place to see it againSo I'll be analyzing as well as enjoying the show.

  19. What an amazing article. I really enjoyed reading it. Have seen the show in London, 14 times to date and I am much in love with it. Best show ever! And that is thanks to all these extremely talented youngsters in the cast. It is a joy to watch the show and because it brings so many different kinds of emotion to the audience you forget that they are acting. It is brought so lively and true. Very well done boys!

    I have made a fan page for Fox Jackson-Keen on Facebook:

  20. I've had the musical and have seen it at London few months ago. I am not a poet and can't express my thoughts as colourful as you've done before me, so I'll be short.

    All I can say in few words is that nothing can match the real experience from seeing it there at the theatre; being inside! Billy Elliot is one remarkable musical and a true masterpiece.

  21. Glad you finally got to see this amazing production. I saw Trent Kowalik do the show in New York… breathtaking! The memory of the production will be with me all my life.

  22. Saturday 28th of November – Victoria Palace Theater in London – 14.30 pm – My first attendance of Billy Elliot the Musical.

    I wanted to do this ever since I first discover the musical back in 2006 – then I wrote a post to introduce it, hoping that someday I would be able to see it . Since that date I have watched hundreds of videos about the musical at YouTube and similar sites – but you know as much as one reads about it , as many times one listens to the Billy Elliot Original Cast Recording or watch clips on the Internet – being there at the Victoria Palace Theater in London…nothing really can prepare you enough for that magical experience . Many people told me that its a musical that can make you cry and laugh – but to be there in the audience watching the show and being totally captured by the emotions …I just could not imagine what words can be used to describe that.

    On that date Tom Holland was playing the role the Billy – he did such an amazing job. And not just him – all the actors were so talented ! And the ballet …before learning about the musicale I did not know much about it. But seeing it there – not only Tom , but also the older ballet dancers – its an unforgettable experience.

    The musicale sends a wonderful message – that one has to be himself /herself and believe that a dream can be achieved . Seeing the sparkles in the eyes of the children in the audience after the show , and hearing they commentaries about how great it was and how they want to find out more about the ballet …you know such an inspiration …I just think that its a wonderful, wonderful thing.

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