Right out of the gate, the show gets off to a bit of a slow start with the ensemble number, “The Stars Look Down”, and the actors clearly struggle with the accents, but steadily the audience settles in with the introduction of the main characters and are soon bouncing along to the tunes.
Billy Elliot the Musical is an insanely demanding show for a twelve-year-old to pull off, regardless of talent, but Drew Minard does just that. Singing is not his forte but when he dances, he does in fact “shine” and his chemistry with the rest of the cast members is undeniable.
Some of the most notable highlights of the show came when he shared the stage with (Jake Kitchin). Both young men have an impeccable sense of comedic timing and had the audience eating out of their hands.
Mr. Braithwaite (the portly Patrick Wetzel) also had a couple of surprises for us near the end of the first act with his humour and agility, such as when he slid into the splits during a dance number with Mrs. Wilkinson (Janet Dickinson) and Billy.
The song, “Dear Billy” (Billy's Reply) seemed a little redundant in the program and lacked the emotional intensity of the heart-wrenching Dear Billy (Mum's Letter) in the first half, that brought tears to the eyes of a large portion of the audience. For some reason it felt out of place in its emotional intensity: too much of the same perhaps? The show isn't perfect but there are some moments that are priceless and make the show a “must see” for the whole family. This show promises to have you jumping to your feet as did the audience tonight, and once again after the encore.
Billy Elliot the Musical is at the QE for five nights only.
click here for tickets!