London's Billy Elliot to Welcome New Billy Plus Riding and Caffrey

News   London's Billy Elliot to Welcome New Billy Plus Riding and Caffrey
 
Twelve-year-old Brad Wilson will join the London company of Billy Elliot—The Musical, which plays the Victoria Palace, on Dec. 1, making him the 30th boy to the play the iconic role worldwide.

He will be joined by Joanna Riding, taking over as Mrs. Wilkinson, and Joe Caffrey, who returns to the show to play Billy's dad, Jackie Elliot, after previously playing Billy's older brother Tony. Riding will only do a short stint in the show as she is newly pregnant. She will be temporarily replaced by Kate Graham at the end of December 2008 until summer 2009, when she is expected to return to the hit musical.

Wilson joins Tom Holland (12 years old from Kingston-upon-Thames), Tanner Pflueger (12 years old from Norfolk, Nebraska) and Fox Jackson-Keen (13 years old from Hornsey, London) to alternate in the title role of Billy Elliot.

Riding and Caffrey join existing cast members Craig Gallivan (Tony), Ann Emery (Grandma), Trevor Fox (George), Sean Kingsley (Mr Braithwaite), Stephanie Putson (Dead Mum) and Barnaby Meredith (Older Billy). They are joined by Dean-Charles Chapman (11 years old from Romford, Essex), George Maycock (11 years old from Solihull) and Lewis Cope (13 years old from Hartlepool), who will share the role of Michael, and Annabelle Crosby-Stewart (10 years old from Darlington), Scarlet Embleton (12 years old from Newcastle upon Tyne) and Megan Jossa (12 years old from Eltham), who share the role of Debbie.

In a press statement, Wilson said, "My name is Brad and I am 12 years old and live in Doncaster with my Mum Karen, Dad Jim and two brothers Tom (15) and Keegan (18 months). I started dancing when I was 9 years old. Since then I have studied ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary dance. I have danced in many competitions and won many medals and trophies. I was invited to audition for Billy Elliot over two years ago by my dance teacher, Marilyn Baker, and since then I have been training up in Leeds before moving to the Billy Elliot House in London."

Caffrey has previously appeared in Love's Labour's Lost and We Are the People at Shakespeare's Globe, Lee Hall's Cooking With Elvis at the Whitehall Theatre and on national tour. Riding, who plays Billy's dance teacher Mrs. Wilkinson, has won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical twice: for her performance as Julie Jordan in Nicholas Hytner's National Theatre production of Carousel in 1993, and for playing Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady in 2003. She was also nominated for the Olivier for her performances as Sister Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls at the National Theatre in 1997 and Jane in The Witches of Eastwick at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 2001. Other musical credits include Me and My Girl (West End), A Little Night Music (National Theatre), Lady Be Good (Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park) and Martin Guerre (West Yorkshire Playhouse and tour).

To book tickets contact the box office at 0870 895 5577 or visit www.billyelliotthemusical.com.

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