The musical version of the award-winning British film was due to premiere at the Tyne Theatre this Christmas, but the venue has been beset by financial problems and was closed last June. Despite plans to reopen the theatre this autumn, the show's co-producers, which include Working Title, have decided to premiere the production at London's Victoria Palace March 28, 2005. The London run was originally intended to start two weeks earlier after transferring from the Tyne Theatre, better known as the Newcastle Opera House.
The story of Billy Elliot is set in the North East of England during the miner's strike of the 1980's. The eponymous hero is a sensitive young boy who discovers a talent for ballet. Billy is the only child of a single parent, a macho father who believes that dancing is for girls and that boys are better suited to boxing.
The movie was the cinematic debut of theatre director Stephen Daldry, who will also direct the musical for which Hall will write the book and Elton John the score. The film made a star of child actor Jamie Bell, who was just 14 when the film was released in 2000. Casting for the show is due to be announced in September.