For some reason, I find that this musical version (based on the Oscar nominated 2000 movie) packs a far greater emotional punch. Perhaps it's because it's live or that they're able to expand a little bit more on the story but I found every scene involving Billy and his late mother just ripped my heart apart. Ruthie Henshall is a national treasure and was fantastic playing Mrs. Wilkinson as was Deka Walmsley who played the father. Credit must go to Elliott Hanna who was an incredible Billy who was (at the time) the youngest to assume the titular role. The stamina required to be a stage performer still blows me away and seeing all these actors literally caked in sweat while performing immensely difficult dance routines while singing persistently for 3 hours makes me appreciate just how incredible these performers are.
I'm sad I was never able to watch this in the theatre before it came to an end but I'm thankful they released an edition on DVD. The acting, cinematography, the script, the clever lighting and tricks, the costumes, the music all make this one of the best musical stage productions ever to be made.
Oh and the Tom Holland cameo at the end where all the past and present Billys performed a specially choreographed routine was brilliant. People often forget that this was where he started his career and I'm thrilled he took the time to return to the role for this special occasion.
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