Billy Elliot the Musical is a musical based on the 2000 film Billy Elliot. The music is by Sir Elton John, and book and lyrics are by Lee Hall (who wrote the film’s screenplay). The musical revolves around motherless Billy, who trades boxing gloves for ballet shoes. The story of his personal struggle and fulfillment are balanced against a counter-story of family and community strife caused by the UK miners’ strike (1984–1985) in County Durham. Hall’s screenplay was inspired in part by A. J. Cronin‘s novel, The Stars Look Down, and the musical’s opening song is an homage.
The musical opened in London’s West End in 2005 and was nominated for nine Laurence Olivier Awards, winning four including Best New Musical. The success of Billy Elliot the Musical has led to productions in Australia, on Broadway and elsewhere. In New York, it won ten Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk Awards, including, in each case, best musical. It has also won numerous awards in Australia including a record-tying seven Helpmann Awards.