In the best run of weather I can remember for years, this was the most beautiful day yet.
I took my 12 year old ballerina to see a one-off live broadcast of Billy Elliot from London’s West End at our local Odeon.
It was wonderful.
I’ve been really interested to try one of those theatrical telecast experiences and couldn’t quite imagine it being very good. Oh. My. Lord. I was so wrong about that. It was thrilling.
The whole show is fantastic. I liked it so much better than the film, the way the two storylines are woven together is simply masterful. The emotion is so much stronger expressed in dance and song. It’s a real object lesson in the power of live theatre.
Also I didn’t quite believe in the boy in the film – but this Billy, young Elliott Hanna, pictured below, was extraordinary. And so likeable.
Making the whole experience even more special was that not only was this one performance being beamed to cinemas all over the UK – every screen in our branch was full – but also across Europe, into Ukraine, Russia and slightly later to America, Asia and Australia. It really felt like we were part of something very special.
Maybe some of you went to see it too…?
And it got even better. Dancing the pas de deux between grown up Billy and Billy the boy – and I’m getting shivers as I write this – was one of the first three ever stage Billy Elliots, Liam Mower, now a grown up professional ballet dancer.
It was so beautiful I had tears running down my cheeks.
At the end they had a special finale with all of the Billys who’ve played the part from all over the world, so there was a great crowd of wonderful young dancers, back flipping and leaping across the stage. Breathtaking. (Picture courtesy of Simon Mason @LDNcalling).
It had felt wicked going into a dark cinema on such a glorious afternoon, but we came out feeling inspired.
Peggy has been practising her pirouettes all evening.