Billy Elliot musical to donate final show takings to miners’ charity
Ticket sales from the final West End performance of Billy Elliot will be donated to a charity that helps former mining communities in the North East.
The musical will close at the Victoria Palace Theatre in April after 11 years in the West End, to enable a refurbishment of the venue by its owner Cameron Mackintosh.
Working Title Films, which produces the show, has now revealed all box office takings from the final performance on April 9 will be donated to East Durham Trust – a charity based in Easington where the musical is set.
The trust aims to counteract social and economic deprivation in the area through community support, and also works to increase arts participation among local people with little access to arts or culture.
Working Title Films producer Eric Fellman said the charity “resonates only too well with Lee Hall’s heartwarming story of Billy and his family”.
He continued: “Billy’s journey has been something we are extremely proud of and we are delighted that proceeds from our final performance at the Victoria Palace Theatre will go to helping the local communities in County Durham.”
East Durham Trust chief executive Malcolm Fallow thanked the musical for its “incredible support”.
He said: “This is a fantastic gesture and it will genuinely be appreciated by the people of East Durham and make a significant difference to our ongoing work in the community.”
In January, accusations of “elitism” embroiled the musical’s final night in controversy after a number of premium ticket-holders had their seats withdrawn by producers.
Elsewhere, the first UK tour of the musical began at Theatre Royal Plymouth in February, and is currently due to tour until May 2017.