By Mark Shenton
23 May 2014
This news follows the announcement that Cameron Mackintosh's Delfont Mackintosh Theatres has acquired ownership of Billy Elliot's West home, the Victoria Palace, with plans for a major refurbishment that will see the theatre close in late 2016 for about a year.
In a press statement, Mackintosh said, "I am delighted to have the opportunity to take over stewardship of the Victoria Palace Theatre from Sir Stephen Waley-Cohen. I consider its auditorium one of Matcham’s finest, with a remarkable fusion of intimacy and scale, a gloriously rich décor and perfect sight lines from every seat. Despite hosting many long running hits including Buddy, Annie and the current Billy Elliot, the theatre’s shallow stage has meant that it can’t accommodate many of the big shows that might have played there."
He continued, "What really made the Victoria Palace irresistible to me is that Stephen has imaginatively seized the opportunity arising from the major building development taking place all around the theatre to obtain planning consent to extend the stage and front of house areas. This means that the full potential of the theatre can be realised with one of the best stages in the West End, ensuring it will become one of London’s most desirable and, thanks to the Victoria Station expansion scheme, strategically sited musical houses. With planning already approved in principle, we intend to close the theatre for about a year from late 2016, in order to tie the work into the rest of the exterior development."
Billy Elliot is currently booking through May 16, 2015, and a new booking period, through October 2015, will go on sale in June. The production has just welcomed its 37th Billy Elliot and a new cast led by Ruthie Henshall, and in May next year will celebrate its 10th birthday.
Productions of Billy Elliot the Musical have been staged on Broadway, as well as in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto and Seoul, South Korea. The North American touring production, which began in 2010, finished its run in August last year with an engagement in São Paulo, Brazil, the first time Billy Elliot has played in South America. The show will open in the Netherlands in late 2014, and further international productions are currently planned.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 248 5000 or visit www.billyelliotthemusical.com for more details.