COUNTY Durham’s first-ever production of the West End and Broadway smash hit show, Billy Elliot the Musical, will open next month courtesy of talented pupils from Durham School.

Tickets are already dancing out of the door for the school’s ambitious production of Lee Hall and Elton John’s musical, which will open for a five-show run in March.

The cast of over 40 children from one of England’s oldest independent schools, will offer North-East audiences the first chance to see the musical in the county where the inspiring story of the boy who hangs up his boxing gloves for ballet shoes was set.

Year 7 pupil, Adam Sangster is delighted to be taking the lead role and can’t wait for opening night. A former pupil of St Margaret’s Primary School in Durham, Adam joined Durham School on a music and drama scholarship in September 2019.

With ambitions to make his career in the performing arts, the 12-year-old has already garnered interest from the West End and said he cannot wait to step onto stage as Billy in Durham School’s on-site theatre, The Luce.

Adam said: “I saw the Billy Elliot when it was in Sunderland a few years ago and loved it. I really like the storyline; the songs and the dancing – everything about it really.

“When the auditions took place in September, I really wanted the part of Billy, so I was so pleased when I got it. Being part of the production has also really helped me settle into the school quickly. I’ve loved it and can’t wait for opening night.”

Based on Newcastle writer Lee Hall’s blockbuster starring Billingham-born Jamie Bell as Billy, the musical adaptation – named Time Magazine’s Best Musical of the Decade – has been hailed an unforgettable show, filled with heart, humour and passion and boasting stunning choreography and a score by music legend, Elton John.

Set in a County Durham town against the backdrop of the 1984 Miners’ Strike, the story follows Billy’s struggle against the odds to make his dancing dreams come true.

Head of drama at Durham School, Amy Brownlee, said: “Billy Elliot is absolutely our most ambitious production yet. We have a huge cast of 43.

“You’ve got to be really brave to take on a show like this as it’s not a classic school production musical. Apparently, we’re the first company to perform it in County Durham, which feels really special.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming audiences into The Luce to enjoy all of the children’s hard work.”

The production opens on Wednesday March 18 and runs until Saturday, March 21.

For tickets, visit the website at https://friendsofdurhamschool.org.uk/#billyelliot or call 0191-731 9270.

Durham School’s first Open Morning of 2020 will be held on Saturday March 7, from 9.15am-12.30pm.