Set in a northern mining town, against the background of the 1984/’85 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dream come true. Follow Billy’s journey as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and whole community and changes his life forever.
When my mum and niece were visiting I really wanted to take them to a show as they’d never been to one in London before. My mums vote was for The Lion King but with a ticket price of around £60 each I couldn’t afford such extravagance so started searching for alternatives and was able to score three tickets to see Billy Elliott for under £100 total. I’d heard wonderful things and believed it to be suitable for children aged 8+, the former was correct while the latter not so much. There is a fuck-tonne (excuse the language) of swearing throughout the show and in retrospect I probably wouldn’t have taken my ten-year old niece to see it had I known this in advance. I think it’s particularly jarring because a lot of the crude words are coming from the mouths of children.
However I think it would be a disservice to the real story to have removed this as it was just part of life at the time. The story itself is almost as beautiful as the dancing and for a cast with so many child stars it really is incredibly just how good they all are and I think it is a great lesson for children to be shown that they can and should follow their dreams just perhaps for teenagers rather than younger children!