Billy Elliot audience votes to include Thatcher song

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Producers of Billy Elliot the Musical held an audience vote to decide whether to include the song ‘Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher’ in last night’s performance of the London show.

A spokeswoman for the show confirmed that audience members voted “overwhelmingly” on the evening of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s death to retain the song – which references the imagined death of Thatcher.

Earlier in the day, producers announced the show would go ahead as scheduled, but at that time they had not decided on whether to include the number or not.

Stephen Daldry, director of Billy Elliot The Musical, said: “Following yesterday’s announcement about the passing of Baroness Thatcher and after much discussion amongst the company of Billy Elliot The Musical, it was decided to open up the decision whether to perform ‘Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher’ to the audience who attended the show last night.

“After an explanation of the song’s content and historical context from the stage, the audience voted overwhelmingly for its inclusion in the second act.”

Billy Elliot The Musical is currently running at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London and is booking until December 21, 2013.