West End's Billy Elliot The Musical Did Not Omit Song Celebrating Thatcher's Death on the Day She Died
09 Apr 2013
Following the announcement of the death of former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher April 8, that evening's performance of the musical Billy Elliot went ahead in full, complete with the song that opens the second act in which her death is anticipated with some joy.
In the song "Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher," which has lyrics by Lee Hall set to music by Elton John, the striking Northern miners sing, "Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher/ May God's love be with you/ We all sing together in one breath/ Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher/ We all celebrate today /'Cause it's one day closer to your death."
According to a press statement issued by director Stephen Daldry, the audience was asked to vote as to whether it should be included before the show was performed. "Following yesterday's announcement about the passing of Baroness Thatcher, and after much discussion amongst the company of Billy Elliot - the Musical, it was decided to open up the decision whether to perform 'Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher' to the audience who attended the show last night. After an explanation of the song's content and historical context from the stage, the audience voted overwhelmingly for its inclusion in the second act."
According to reports, only three audience members voted against its inclusion.