Today, 31 March 2015, marks a decade since Billy Elliot the Musical opened for previews at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London's West End.
Opening officially on 12 May 2005, the musical has gone on to win four Olivier Awards (including Best New Musical), ten Tony Awards (including Best Musical, Best Direction and Best Choreography), multiple international productions, a live screening broadcast around the world and has even inspired its own youth theatre.
The show is undoubtedly one of the most successful musicals of recent times and continues to play to packed houses night after night in London. Described by many reviewers ten years ago as one of the best British musicals ever written, the remarkable tale of a young boy who wanted to dance has inspired countless performers and audience members alike, and is still one of the West End's most popular shows for visitors from all around the world.
Based on the 2000 British film of the same name, the show's success can be put down to the strength of the creative team. With original music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall, the writer of the original screenplay, the stage adaptation is an honest yet entertaining portrayal of life in County Durham during the 1984/5 miners strike and one boy's dream of achieving his dream of being a professional dancer. The heart-warming story together with the thrilling musical numbers have ensured that audiences return to the show year after year and continue to be uplifted by Stephen Daldry's impressive direction and Peter Darling's sensational choreography.
To mark the tenth anniversary of the first London preview, we put together a time-line which charts the musical's global success over the past decade:
31 March 2005: Billy Elliot the Musical opens for Previews at the Victoria Palace Theatre
12 May 2005: Billy Elliot the Musical officially opens in London, where it is greeted with a string of five-star reviews.
10 January 2006: The Original Cast Album of the show is released, including bonus tracks by composer Elton John.
26 February 2006: Billy Elliot the Musical wins four Laurence Olivier Awards, including those for Best New Musical, Best Sound Design and Best Choreographer. The award for Best Actor is jointly awarded to the three original 'Billy's': James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower.
13 November 2007: Billy Elliot the Musical opens its first international production at Sydney's Capitol Theatre, where it runs for a year, winning the Helpmann Award for Best New Musical.
1 October 2008: The original Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical opens for previews at the Imperial Theatre, with the original London creative team reprising their roles.
13 November 2008: The Broadway production officially opens to rave reviews and an advance of over $20 million. It is nominated for 15 Tony Awards, tying with 'The Producers' for the most Tony nominations ever received by a show.
13 December 2008: The Australian production transfers to Melbourne's Her Majesty Theatre
7 June 2009: Billy Elliot the Musical wins 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Director and Best Choreographer.
11 April 2010: The first North American tour of the musical kicks off in Chicago at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts.
14 August 2010: The first non-English language production of Billy Elliot opens in Seoul at the LG Arts Center.
1 February 2011: The Canadian premiere of Billy Elliot the Musical opens in Toronto at the Canon Theatre.
8 January 2012: The Broadway production closes after 40 previews and 1,312 regular performances.
2 August 2013: Billy Elliot the Musical opens in Brazil at the Credicard Hall, São Paulo.
18 September 2014: SceneKvelder produces the first Norwegian production of the musical at the Folketeatret in Oslo.
28 September 2014: The matinee performance of the London production is broadcast to UK cinemas and later released on DVD and streamed around the world.
30 November 2014: Billy Elliot the Musical premières in the Netherlands at the AFAS Circustheater in The Hague.
22 January 2015: The first Danish production opens at Det Ny Teater in Copenhagen.
12 May 2015: Billy Elliot the Musical officially celebrates 10 years in London's West End.