New musical confirmed: Billy Elliot

Image shows a theatre with a sign for Billy Elliot outside.
Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre – Image credit

ORA are excited to announce that we’ve added another musical trip to our line-up for this summer. Students from St Catherine’s College will get a chance to go and see Billy Elliot, the award-winning musical adapted from a 2000 film, with music by Elton John. The story concerns Billy, a miner’s son, who instead of going to the boxing classes his father has sent him to, takes up ballet.

Billy Elliot is particularly enjoyable for anyone interested in recent British social history. It’s set in County Durham, during the 1984-5 coal miners’ strike. The strikes came about as a result of the Thatcher government’s decision to close 20 coal mines in order to make the heavily subsidized industry profitable, leading to a loss of around 20,000 jobs. The strike resulted in several violent clashes between police and miners, most famously the Battle of Orgreave in which 51 picketers and 72 police officers were injured.

Image shows striking miners in Port Talbot in 1984.
Miners on strike in 1984 – Image credit

The strike is the background to much of the film; the ballet class, for instance, is only using the gym where the boxers meet because their usual studio has been turned into a soup kitchen for the striking miners. Billy’s father and brother are both miners on strike, and their struggle and loss of income is a significant factor in the plot. The central storyline of chasing dreams and overcoming prejudices is nonetheless a universal one, making this a spellbinding show to see.
See the rest of our exciting musicals for 2014.
There’s still time to sign up for this year’s summer school and see Billy Eliot alongside a host of other exciting treats! Click here to choose your course ➙