Today, 5 March 2013, 11 year old Zach Atkinson from Manchester joins the cast of Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre to play Billy Elliot's best friend Michael. He alternates the role with current Michaels, Joe Massey and Thomas Moore.
Zach Atkinson said "I am 11 years old from Manchester and I live with my mum Paula, dad Karl and sister Lauren and attend Cheadle Hulme School. Since I was six years old and after performing in one of our school productions, my ambition has been to perform on the stage. I attended the Billy Elliot auditions in Manchester and each time I was recalled I was so surprised and excited. During the audition process and as I got a one step nearer to realising my dream, I worked really hard with a great teacher called Emma Turner. I am a member of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and I also play the piano and attend The Lowry Young Actors, in Salford Quays. I feel extremely privileged to have been chosen to play the part of Michael and feel so proud to be a part of the fantastic cast of Billy Elliot the Musical. I am having the most amazing experience and can't wait for my first performance tonight."
Now in its eighth year Billy Elliot the Musical is currently booking at the Victoria Palace Theatre to 21 December 2013. Billy Elliot the Musical has now been seen by over 8 million people worldwide, and by almost 4 million in the West End.
Productions of Billy Elliot the Musical have also been staged on Broadway, as well as in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago, Toronto and Seoul, South Korea. The touring production, which began in 2010, continues to play across North America and further international productions are planned.
Based on the Oscar nominated film, Billy Elliot the Musical is an inspirational story of one boy's dream to realise his ambitions against the odds. Set in the North East of England against the background of the historic 1984/85 miners' strike, Billy pursues his passion for dance in secret to avoid disapproval of his struggling family.
Billy Elliot the Musical features music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, is directed by Stephen Daldry with choreography by Peter Darling. The production features scenic design by Ian MacNeil, the associate director is Julian Webber, costume design is by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.
Harris Beattie (14 years old from Aberdeen, Scotland), Tade Biesinger (13 years old from Utah), Harrison Dowzell (12 years old from Nottinghamshire) and Redmand Rance (12 years old from Fareham, Hampshire) alternate the role of Billy. Zach Atkinson joins Joe Massey (13 years old from South Wirrell) and Thomas Moore (11 years old from Armthorpe, Doncaster) who alternate the role of Billy's best friend Michael and Dayna Dixon (10 years old from Newcastle upon Tyne), Macy Stasiak (10 years old from Darlington) and Millie Thornton (10 years old from Sunderland) alternate the role of Debbie.