On Thursday 23rd October 2014, I went to see Billy Elliot the musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London. On the route to the theatre I felt overwhelmed with excitement, because I was intrigued to find out how the director (Stephan Daldry) has portrayed the characters through lighting, costumes, movement and speech. When I first entered the theatre I was astonished by the detail and amazing view that was shown before the musical had even started; it felt amazing to be in the auditorium waiting for the play to start. Giving it a long period before it actually started it built up tension and made me feel excited.
The musical was set in County Durham, against the background of the 1984 – 1985 Miner's Strike; which is historically accurate and helps the audience to understand how the miners were treated and how they felt throughout these years. Billy Elliot is an 11 year old boy who has grown up in a poor community and a world of rules and traditions. Billy stumbles out of the boxing ring and onto the ballet floor. Due to Billy discovering a joy in ballet, he finds himself portrayed as gay, by his family and friends. Billy's problem is that he must fight not only against bad obstacles and misunderstanding but also against strong social stereotypes. During this he also faces many trials and triumphs as he strives to conquer his family's set ways and inner conflict. .
Billy Elliot is a social drama as it deals with a variety of social issues such as poverty and class. The musical that I observed suggested the idea that Billy is different from the others who lived in the same neighbourhood, and they do this by highlighting his readiness to take risks and to stand out amongst the other characters. In order for Billy to pursue his journey in dancing, he has to go against his father's rules and deal with all the rage and frustration he is facing in his current world. Billy realises that dancing will open up opportunities.