THIS year’s production at Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Billy Elliot, played to packed houses. The talented cast and band raised the roof with barnstorming performance, which elicited great praise from their audience and were ably supported by a team of students working backstage, on lighting and sound and in front of house.

Billy Elliot tells the story of young Billy and his family as they navigate the miner’s strike of 1984/5 and follow Billy’s journey from boxing ring to ballet class, where he discovers a passion for dance which unites his family, inspires his community and changes his life forever.

Audience members took to social media to show their appreciation, after a standing ovation on the last night.

“What an incredible performance of Billy Elliot by the students of @PrinceHenrysGS. It felt like we were in the West End! Absolutely spectacular! Congratulations to all of the staff and students involved.”

“I absolutely loved the Billy Elliot performance. Superb acting, singling by all. A real joy to watch! I laughed, I cried, I did need the tissues! Congratulations to all. Such talent! The musicians were incredible too. Well done!”

“This was one of the best school productions I’ve ever seen. Bravo. Outstanding performances, incredible live band and brilliant set design. An unshakeable commitment to the arts led by a talented group of teachers. Beyond impressive.”

“Still speechless following last night’s performance of Billy Elliot! What an amazing group of talented people, who clearly loved every second of what they were doing! Wow!”

“So impressed with how nurturing the older guys are to the younger ones…. What a great bunch!”

“Outstanding production, Huge well done to all involved. Tears and laughter! Such a joy to watch.”

“Last night we had the pleasure of watching our granddaughter in the performance of Billy Elliott. With 4 children and 7 Grandchildren we have been to many, many school productions over the years and I have to say this is the best we have ever seen. Obviously, a lot of hard work has gone in and we wish to congratulate the performers, the band, those behind the scenes, and especially the teachers, on the quality of the production.”

Nearly 900 people saw the show, including an invited audience of Year 6 students from local primary schools, who attend a matinee as part of their transition activities.

Headteacher Sally Bishop said: “Every year we are hugely impressed by the amount of talent we have here at Prince Henry’s and this year’s production was no exception, with over 120 students involved. From the standout performances across the cast, to the fantastic students in the band and the brilliant support from students behind the scenes and in front of house – this really was a whole school production. I am truly grateful for the huge amount of work our Performing Arts Faculty put into rehearsals and the large number of other staff who helped with the show. I am so proud of everyone involved and delighted that the audience clearly enjoyed it so much.”

Billy Elliot the Musical: Book and lyrics by Lee Hall; Music by Elton John; originally directed by Stephen Daldry; Orchestrations by Martin Koch; Executive producers (original production) Angela Morrison, David Furnish; Producers (original production) Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jon Finn, Sally Greene. Originally presented in London by Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions, in association with Tiger Aspect. Based on Universal Pictures/Studio Canal Film.