Billy Elliot Live On Screen

Readers of The Drama Teacher may be aware the multi-award winning stage musical Billy Elliot will be streamed live from London’s West End to cinemas around the world on Sunday September 28.

Well … sort of live. I suppose that depends on where you live. A special 2pm show has been added at the Victoria Palace Theatre to film the live screening throughout the UK and several European countries. But time differences around the world may determine whether certain audiences will see a live performance.

So what constitutes ‘live’? Apparently, ‘live’ for Australia means a week later. Granted, actually ‘live’ would mean 11pm Sunday here on the east coast of Australia, but surely Village Cinemas in Australia cannot advertise this show as ‘live’ when they are screening the show on Sunday October 5 (France screening is November 5, other countries to follow). While it is certainly a filmed version of a live show, on this occasion ‘live’ means streaming the show at the time of the dedicated West End performance on Sunday September 28.

Nevertheless, Billy Elliot The Musical Live represents a rare opportunity to see a West End theatre show on the big screen. I am not aware of a big theatrical production streaming live to cinemas in the past. Is the Billy Elliot example the first of its kind?

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Nicky. Thanks for your comment. I have found it for you in Perth, though it was a tricky search because we have different cinema franchises in Perth and Melbourne. Grand Cinemas are showing Billy Elliot The Musical ‘Live’ on Sunday October 5 at Bunbury, Currambine, Joondalup, Warwick and Whitford, though this far out it seems the screening times(s) have not been confirmed. See http://www.grandcinemas.com.au > Coming Soon > left menu pane. Hope one of those cinemas is near you!

    – Justin

  2. Nicky Garside says:

    No – this isn’t the first of its kind. The National Theatre in London and RSC both run programmes that stream ‘live’ shows around the world. Luna cinemas have a special event programme and show them in Australia. I think various Opera and Ballet companies from around Australia also do this.

    Please could you let me know where you got your info from – I’d love to see it but I live in Perth.

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