saltash.net’s performance of ‘Billy Elliot’ produced four fantastic evenings of entertainment, with tremendous performances from all cast members.
Set against the backdrop of the 1984/85 Miners’ Strike in North Eastern England, the play tells the story of young Billy, who pursues his dream of becoming a ballet dancer, despite the obstacles he faces.
Assuming the role of Billy was Year 7’s Spencer Dunne, who performed with skill and talent beyond his years. Performing central roles were Bradley Sweet, who played Billy’s best friend Michael, and Richard Tolman, playing Billy’s Dad.
Performing other key roles were Tommy Williams, as Billy’s brother Tony, Emily Lambert as Billy’s supportive dance teacher Mrs Wilkinson, Chloe Lynch as Grandma, and Sophie Watson as Debbie.
Also deserving of mention are the two understudies, who shadowed the parts of Billy and Michael – Jack Mills and George Edge, as well as Megan Kelly who performed as Mother and Drew Brett who took on the role of George.
The full cast together numbered 65 students, with 10 students helping to work behind the scenes to ensure the production was a success.
One of the huge challenges facing the Performing Arts department was the iconic dream ballet scene, which required a huge degree of work and was performed fantastically.
Refreshments at the performances were provided in the canteen by the Friends of Saltash and World Challenge team.
With the performing rights for ‘Billy Elliot’ only released in January 2016, saltash.net’s Performing Arts department lost little time securing a license, becoming one of the first schools to gain performing rights.
saltash.net’s links with ‘Billy Elliot’ go back many years, as ex-student, Josh Fedrick, performed the lead role of Billy in the West End production during 2008-9.
Head of Performing Arts, Matt Oakes, expressed his delight at the success of the performance.
He said: “It’s been a long project but worth every minute. It’s taken about 8 months to get the show ready due to the high level of technical demand in choreography and allowing our young talented actors to absorb themselves in the show. The whole company have been fantastic to work with and we’ve had a lot of fun.
“We were overwhelmed with the number of people who came to watch the shows with record numbers each night, in fact, we had to have a standby queue each night to try and fit them all in. Thank you to everyone who has supported the production, including members of our community, we honestly couldn’t have done it without your support.”