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BILLY ELLIOT: A Global Phenomenon Makes its Local Debut

Next week Newcastle will welcome a global phenomenon to the city when Billy Elliot The Musical hits the stage for its season at the Civic Theatre.

Seen by nearly 12 million people worldwide, The Very Popular Theatre Company was hand-selected as one of only four production companies to be given the rights to stage this production outside of an Australian capital city.

“We are ecstatic to finally give audiences in Newcastle and the Hunter region the opportunity to relish in this funny, touching, inspiring, and uplifting night at the theatre.” Producer and Artistic Director of the Very Popular Theatre Company, Daniel Stoddart said.

Stellar Cast Assembled


One of Australia’s most diverse and versatile musical theatre leading ladies, Debora Krizak will be joined by Newcastle Theatre’s brightest stars including Danny Folpp, Marty Worrall, and Felicity Biggins. With young talents Lewis Nicholson and Fergus Paterson double-cast as Billy and will perform alternate shows.

A Dynamic Duo

Joining them in this high-spirited venture are Conway Oakhill-Saarenpaa and Charlie Murphy, who have been double-cast as Billy’s best friend. Charlie Murphy recently returned from an impressive run on the West End in London where he played Michael in Mary Poppins, adding another layer of talent to this already impressive cast.

The Creative Minds Behind the Magic

The musical adaptation of the beloved film comes from a powerhouse of creative talent, featuring music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall. With over 85 international awards, it’s no surprise that the production has enchanted audiences across five continents.

A Tale That Tugs at Heartstrings

Set in a Northern England town amidst the miners’ strike of 1984, the musical tells the story of Billy, a young boy who trades his boxing gloves for ballet shoes. In a community where tradition means everything, Billy’s newfound passion for dance takes him on an extraordinary journey, changing not only his life but also uniting his family and community.

Uniting Local Talent and Institutions


In a collaborative initiative, The Very Popular Theatre Company has teamed up with the National College of Dance (NCD) to train the four young male leads. NCD’s Artistic Director, Brett Morgan, and Creative Director, Jake Burden, are working with the official Billy Elliot choreographer, Lauren Harvey, to ensure world-class performances.

Boost for Local Tourism

In 2022, The Very Popular Theatre Company broke box office records by selling more than 11,000 tickets to their production of Jersey Boys. The company expects Billy to attract thousands of people into the city over its three-week season.

Expectations Sky-High


With such a rich storyline and an assembled cast of both established and up-and-coming talent, expectations for the production are through the roof. The story of a working-class boy fighting for acceptance and recognition is expected to deeply resonate with Newcastle audiences.


Billy Elliot The Musical will play for a strictly limited three-week season at the Civic Theatre from 7 October 2023.