There’s a new Michael in town over at London's Billy Elliot, and his name is Zach Atkinson, an 11-year-old Manchester native who has joined the cast of the hit musical as Billy’s best friend Michael.
Billy Elliot is the inspirational story of one boy’s dream to realize 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 from his struggling family.
The musical's current West End cast includes Harris Beattie, Tade Biesinger, Harrison Dowzell and Redmand Rance alternating in the role of Billy. Featured performers include Joe Massey, Thomas Moore, Dayna Dixon, Macy Stasiak, Millie Thornton, Gillian Bevan, Deka Walmsley, Killian Donnelly, Ann Emery, Sean Kearns, Kay Milbourne, Simon Ray Harvey and Barnaby Meredith. The ensemble includes Craig Armstrong, Paul Basleigh, Dawn Buckland, James Butcher, Spencer Cartwright, Lucinda Collins, Matthew Dale, Gillian Elisa, Helen French, Sergio Giacomelli, Nic Greenshields, Ruri James, Ian Gareth Jones, Connor McAllister, Davis Muscat, Steve Paget, Steph Parry, Spencer Stafford and Mike Scott.
Billy Elliot has been running at the Victoria Palace Theatre for eight years, having been seen by almost 4 million people in the West End. The West End production was nominated for nine Olivier Awards, winning four (including Best New Musical). The Broadway production, which opened in 2008 at the Imperial Theatre, went on to win 10 Tony Awards.