The first time I saw Billy Elliot was in the movies with my mother. Our local movie theater had a dance movie week, and my mother took me to see Save the Last Dance and Billy Elliot. I was probably about nine years old at the time, and it was a pretty big deal to go to the movie together with her and without my siblings. So, when I heard that Helsinki City Theatre was going to have Billy Elliot in their repertoire this year, I was super-excited.
This time it wasn't just me and my mother, though. We gave a ticket for my grandmother for her 80th birthday, and my aunt, cousin and sister also came with us to see the musical. It was nice to have almost all of the women in our family together for once (apart from my other aunt, who was out of the country).
The show itself was a-ma-zing. There are a lot of kids in the cast, and they were all really talented and invested in what they were doing. You could see they enjoyed being on stage and performing to an audience. They aren't professionals or child wonders who have taken acting, singing and dancing classes since the age of two, but in my opinion that's what made Billy Elliot even more appealing: it was more believable, in a way.
This version of Billy Elliot was funnier than I had anticipated. When it comes to comedy, Billy's gran and Michael (Billy's best friend) were the highlights of the show. Michael is a young, flamboyant, gay kid living in Northern England in the 1980s (not the easiest character for a tween to take on!). Michael seems to be so fine with who he is that you can only admire him. Such a good role model for everyone of us, I should think. When it comes to Billy's gran, I believe my grandmother especially enjoyed her wittiness and could relate to some of her opinions, too.
I highly recommend you go see Billy Elliot for yourself! Oh, and if you do decide to get tickets, remember that the actual Helsinki City Theatre building is being renovated this year, so you'll need to headto Peacock Theatre in Linnanmäki amusement park.