Theatre review: Billy Elliot – Manchester Palace Theatre

There’s nothing like seeing a 13 year old dance his heart out and get a standing ovation to make you feel like you’re useless and have achieved nothing with your life.

Billy Elliot is Manchester’s Christmas musical this year and I was honoured to attend the press night on Tuesday. Guys, it was incredible. After two-and-a-half hours of sublime Geordie accents, I’ve just booked myself a train ticket to Newcastle so I can go on the complete guided tour of Byker Grove. I’m kidding, but seriously, I’m in love. Billy Elliot the Musical is an absolute masterpiece – a triumph of modern theatre!

If you’ve seen the movie Billy Elliot, you’ll already know and love the story. Billy should be going to boxing but instead stumbles into the world of ballet and is exceptionally good at it. Meanwhile, his father and brother are miners and currently enduring the longest workers’ strike in British history. They don’t like the idea of dancing and Billy JUST WANTS TO DANCE, DAMNIT!

Seriously, the show was so good. I had my heart strings tugged so goddamn hard! Three times, I cried! Three! And when I wasn’t crying over the struggle, I was roaring with laughter or in awe and covered in goosebumps. Billy has numerous scenes where he dances with more passion than I’ve ever had and it honestly just pooed on my entire life. I was a mess. Every single person in the audience was with him and feeling every beat and every step that he made. Phenomenal! It’s super hard to write a review when you have no words – if I could post a review for Billy Elliot in photos it would just be ugly selfies of me laughing and crying. I’m still a mess.

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Billy, of course is my MVP. Lewis Smallman blew my mind. Such passion and devotion, and those moves! Holy sh-moley! I want to be hooked onto a wire and swung around by a sexy older version of myself! He was so good – so, so, so, so, good! He’s definitely going on to bigger things – unless he can stay 13 forever and keep being Billy Elliot. Yes, please!

Also shout out to Annette McLaughlin who played Mrs. Wilkinson, Billy’s sassy, no-nonsense ballet teacher. I want to have all of the drinks with her and then when she was all sparkly . . . I groan in adoration. She was fabulous and I’d like her to teach me how to boogie and sparkle!

Honourable mention to the briefs that Scott Garnham wore in his opening scene. Phwoar! Scott’s character, Billy’s big brother Tony, was a total D-bag, but he was pretty and had his legs out a lot, so he can stay at the party. I’ve already tweeted about him and his thique thighs and he responded to my tweet so it’s totally okay to objectify him.

Billy Elliot is at Manchester’s Palace Theatre until the end of January and if you’re looking to get your life and share an incredible evening with a friend or family member, go and see it. Tickets and show times are all on the ATG website so go to it right now and GET ON IT!