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?