On Thursday 1st December, 30 year 10 students went to watch a performance of Billy Elliot at the Palace Theatre.
This is the story we saw unfold: A poor boy named Billy Elliot discovered his true talent in dancing after attending a lesson. He was the only boy in the class yet he had the most potential by far. After trading his boxing gloves for ballet shoes, Billy went to an audition and was selected to attend a school of dancing, making his widowed father finally realise what talent Billy had. He went to the school leaving his coal mining father and brother behind. This story had elements of laughter and fun, as well as historical aspects that taught us many new things we hadn’t known before.
The story, although centring on Billy, explored the historical context of the era and, alongside jokes and laughter, showed us how hard it could be to survive in that time period. Billy’s father and brother were coal miners on strike.
This was something I hadn’t realised was such a major part of life. It taught me many lessons and I have definitely learnt something new, such as how the lives of coal miners on strike were extremely hard and how children were treated. Throughout the play various miners started to go back to work and the word “scab” started to crop up frequently. I later found out after watching the play some more that the word “scab” is a term for someone who quits striking and goes back to mining, which is something I hadn’t known before. This is what caused the strikes to be a failure. Therefore, this performance has taught the rest of year ten and I a lot and has given us a chance to see what life was like through theatre.
Also, this trip was a chance for people who perhaps have never been to the theatre to experience the wonders and joy at watching live performances. As for me, I have never been to a theatre before and it was amazing to have that opportunity to watch this story unfold. The atmosphere in the room was incredible and the live music being played was such a joy to hear. We all thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon, and without a doubt I can say that many of us will want to go back and watch another one.