THE producers of Billy Elliot the Musical will play the show's final London performance in support of a charity that helps fight disadvantage in the community where the story is set.
All proceeds from the last performance at Victoria Palace Theatre will go to the Peterlee-based East Durham Trust, which carries out vital work in the former mining town of Easington Colliery – which provides the setting for Billy Elliot’s story.
Eric Fellner, producer and co-chairman, Working Title Films (the outfit behind the film and stage musical), said: “We are delighted to be supporting East Durham Trust, a charity that resonates only too well with Lee Hall’s heart-warming story of Billy and his family.
Loading article content
“Billy’s journey has been something we are extremely proud of and we are delighted that proceeds from our final performance at the Victoria Palace Theatre will go to helping the local communities in County Durham.”
East Durham Trust chief executive Malcolm Fallow said: “I want to thank everyone involved in Billy Elliot the Musical for their incredible support.
“This is a fantastic gesture and it will genuinely be appreciated by the people of east Durham and make a significant difference to our ongoing work in the community.”
East Durham Trust is the flagship voluntary and community sector organisation for the east Durham area.
It was established to counteract the effects of social and economic deprivation through a range of practical, community based programmes.
The trust is also the community engagement partner in the Arts Council-supported East Durham Creates initiative, working to increase arts engagement for local people with little or no access to artistic or cultural activities.
As the Billy Elliot the Musical celebrates its 11th birthday and after 4,600 performances, it will play its final performance at the Victoria Palace Theatre on Wednesday April 9.
Among those in the current West End cast is North-East actor Deka Walmsley who is playing Billy’s dad.
Nathan Jones, 12, of Northumberland, and Hollie Jayne Creighton, 11, of Sunderland, are among those alternating in the roles of Michael (Billy’s best friend) and Debbie (daughter of Billy’s ballet teacher, played in the West End show by Ruthie Henshall).