1. Из программки спектакля Billy Elliot The Musical:
Hi my name is Oliver. I was born on the 10th March 1994 in Paignton, Devon. I live with my parents Kathryn and David and my older sister Emily. I started ballet when I was three years old and I am now a mid associate of the Royal Ballet.
Since I started I have done many competitions and have won medals and trophies for my age range. I also competed in the RAD Fonteyn Nureyev Young Dancers Competition for Great Britain and the Channel Islands and came first in my age group. Along with my competitions I have performed in a few theatre productions near where I live. I played the part of the Boy in the Snowman, the Nutcracker in the Nutcracker, and Franz in Coppelia. I have also taken part in a children's BBC programme and have been on Ready Steady Cook.
I would like to dedicate my first performance to my family and my teachers - Pollyanna, Kim, Miss Jacquie and Miss Pam (who got me into ballet in the first place). They have never given up on me!
2. Из сообщения о поездке одноклассников Оливера по Churston Ferrers Grammar School на его спектакль (помещено на сайте школы):
On Thursday 27th September, 47 Year 9 students left Churston at 8a.m. bound for the Victoria Palace Theatre in London, a trip organised by Mrs Mills. Accompanied by Mrs Shaw and Mrs Risdon, the outward journey went smoothly and everyone was excited at the prospect of seeing Ollie Taylor, a Year 9 Churston student playing the lead role in the highly acclaimed musical of “Billy Elliot”. The seats in the Grand Circle of the theatre afforded a perfect view and Ollie's first appearance on stage was greeted with warm applause from the audience. With the rest of the cast, he kept us enthralled for three hours and we were most impressed not only by his dancing, but also his singing, his mastery of the Geordie accent and his overall stage presence.
After the final curtain, the cast received a standing ovation not only from the Churston supporters but from the entire audience. Mrs Mills had arranged for us to meet Ollie at the Stage Door after the performance which was a great treat, because he must have been exhausted after his energetic performance. He is obviously enjoying the experience but it was great to see that fame has not gone to his head: he is still the reflective Churston student that he always was.
Congratulations, Ollie, we are very proud of you and we look forward to welcoming you back to school!
3. Выдержки из статьи "Passion to Dance is a Surge of Electricity":
Mirrors cover two walls in the studio, reflecting the movements of the dancers... The girls - and one boy - all have ambitions to become professional dancers. Buckingham Dance Studios in Paignton is their second home. They come in each day after school or college for training, and each Saturday travel to London for coaching with the Royal Ballet's outreach programme, with a view to going on to a career in dance.
The only boy in the group, Oliver Taylor, is leaping about the room, doing the splits in the air for the photographs, as the girls twirl around him. He is back home with his family in Paignton in a break from appearing as Billy Elliot at the Victoria Palace Theatre in London. Now 13, Oliver started dancing with Pollyanna at the age of two-and-a-half after he came along to watch his older sister Emily at her dance classes. "Oliver was flitting around when he should have been sat watching and the teacher said, 'come and join in'. After that there was no stopping him," recalls Pollyanna. "He has a great natural talent for dance."
For Oliver, winning last year's Fonteyn Nureyev competition led to the invitation to audition for Billy Elliot, a role demanding not just dancing, but acting, singing and acrobatics. In one scene he has to glide across the stage on a wire. "I quite like heights," he says. He is active for most of the three-hour performance.
"You have to have the stamina to get through a three-hour show," he says. "I think what they were most worried about was my stamina, because I wasn't very fit." He gave his first performance in June, and Pollyanna and his colleagues at the dance school travelled to see the show in July. Another appreciative audience member has been American actress and singer Barbra Streisand, who came along with Meryl Streep to watch the show. "She was very nice," says Oliver. "She used to dance. I was like 'who's Barbra Streisand?' and they were explaining to me the many films she had been in. She invited me and my house parent to come and watch her concert around the corner."
The experience has been a challenge, living away from his parents and sister during the week in London and returning to Devon at weekends. He shares a house with the three other "Billys" with whom he also shares performances. They are looked after by a "house parent". "Sometimes you get tired and homesick and you want to come home, but you keep focused on the fact that it is a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity," he says.
Oliver has been able to identify with the character of Billy Elliot, a young lad growing up in a mining community with ambitions to be a ballet dancer. He has been fielding comments about boys and ballet for as long as he's been dancing. "I think people who say that don't really know anything about it," he says. "I would love to see the people who have made comments to me to try and dance. They would find it very demanding. Some people throw up because they are using so much of their energy. It is a really demanding role."
The way he feels about dancing, he says, is summed up in the song Electricity in the musical, when Billy sings of how he "can't explain" his passion for dance. "He sings about how he can't explain it. It is like electricity. It is like that," says Oliver. "I really can't explain it." And he does another leap across the room.
4. Выдержки из отклика на Billy Elliot the Musical - The Complete Forum
(раздел "Reviews- UK") на спектакль 17 ноября (о котором говорилось в моем тексте):
irishjoe: I too was lucky enough to see this brilliant Saturday matinee. I flew in from Dublin in the morning, and back to Dublin in the evening. Worth every penny I can tell you. Sometimes here on the forum, we can speak in terms of superlatives when reviewing shows... Well, this performance well and truly deserved all the superlatives in the world... The sheer emotional breathlessness and the incredible performance from Olly Taylor (where did they find this kid, and why, WHY is he leaving)... He was a brilliant, angry, emotional Billy with a smile that could promote world peace... There was excitement in this crowd... an elderly lady telling her friends this was her 8th show, spontaneous standing ovations in the finale, laughter and gasps... and all along, Oliver beaming when he completed his routines, soaking up all the (well deserved) applause... Now I'm rambling... Angry Dance was just great, great, great... every second of it. Electricity was fluid and masterful. I find myself so pleased that I managed to see him - his dancing, his singing - WOW, and sorry to all of you that didn't get to see him. I suppose this was a trial run for 01 December... that will be a Very F Special show I can tell you.... my God, I would need a box of tissues I think.
5. Отклики (некоторые) на известие о предстоящем последнем шоу (из треда "Oliver Taylor" в разделе "Chat about Billy the Musical - UK").
Elsa: Hi everyone this is Emily, Olly's sister. If you don't already know, his last show is on 1st December (evening). He wants to thank everyone for the support and kind comments throughout his time at Billy and no doubt he will tell you himself when he gets time. It has been a short but fantastic experience but he has to get back to school!
sfo: That is really sad news! I love Olly's portrayal of Billy,I believe he is a young man with remarkable talent and a huge future ahead of him.
ERinVA: Oh dear! I am so sad to hear that we are losing Olly! He is such a wonderful Billy, and I am so grateful that I got to see him twice during my recent visit and thank him for his performance at the stage door. Well done, Olly! I wish you all the best in your academic and artistic pursuits. You are definitely a star!
patc: Olly leaving on 1st Dec? My bones have just frozen solid with the shock! Looks like there might be an overnight queue then could be very cold.
Ilovetravis: I KNEW i should have got a ticket for dec 1st but i didn't, god im stupid, i love olly, he portrays billy so well and out of all the billies I thought he was least likely to leave. Looks like night queue for me now!!! Anyway, well done olly you were amazing, best of luck with all your school work, i guess you have made a sensible decision.
Alan Roger: The news does not surprise me. Olly is very focussed and his prioriities are academic and ballet. Oliver is a very intelligent young man who I have no doubt will do very well academically and with his dancing. Billy was a stepping stone to greater things and he has done very well in his brief run.
wert: I think one of the (many) things Olly should be proud of is how he made his Billy slightly different which created so much discussion on here at first.
bobbyswfla: I get the impression that this extremely talented dancer, actor, singer is very goal-oriented and steadfast in how he want to progress. At his age, my dilemma was what tree to climb. What an amazing young man.
6. Некоторые отклики с Форума (их многие десятки) на "Last Night" шоу 1 декабря (раздел "Reviews- UK")
Mad About Billy: It was an amazing show. Everyone pulled together, the musicians were fantastic, no sound problems, and the acting superb as you would expect. The letter reprise was by far the most emotional ever and it was so sad seeing him cry. The 'Bye Olly, Bye Ryan' was heart rendering, and very sad, its a shame they had to leave, but the fans were out in plenty to say goodbye.
BillyWonder: Express was absolutley great; there was a standing ovation at the end which was VERY well deserved. The Letter Reprise was the BEST i have ever seen, Olly couldn't speak, he was crying so much; the last exchange between Billy & Michael was sooo moving. I'm so glad i made it to this show, has to be the best i've ever seen.
Remi: Olly's Electricity, vocally, was the best I've ever heard. It was absolutely brilliant, so was his ballet. This is just obvious that he loves dancing, you can see it in his gesture, in his eyes ... and again, I'd like to wish him the best for the future. This was a smashing and very emotional last night. Bravo Olly!
TM: I never experienced that before, Olly's sobbing in the Letter Reprise seemed very contagious to the whole audience. And those who could maintain their composure - but not later than the goodby scene. After Olly gave Ryan the kiss and then turned to him before he hopped off stage with his voice still frail and flimsy "see ya Ryan" there was a sudden "ohhh" response from the audience. At last the curtain that uses to come down very slowly at the end - this time extra slow. No I didn't cry - there was a grain or something in my eye.
Eponinechen: Anyway, the electricity was absolutely brilliant! Olly did it very very well, and i could feel he must be very proud of himself! The audience juz stood up and applauded!! However, in the farewell scene to mrs Wilkinson, Leigh gave Olly a big hug with a kiss~and I thought Olly was crying! cuz i could hear he is sobbing from his mic~ and also the last letter scene, Olly couldnt even sing and say a word, he juz kept crying and crying~ i felt so touching and kinda heartache about it, because he looked so sad! The Dead Mum kept holding his hands and trying to make him calm, but i know Olly couldnt help it, as he was going to leave and say good bye to the show~ and at the end, when billy said good bye to michael! Olly "bye ryan!"; and Ryan replied "bye olly" How touching!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gee: I have seen a few farewell shows but none as heartbreaking and emotional as this one, the whole show went well, and Olly got through it very well with a fantastic performance, but by the time the miners went down in the lift it was clear that Olly was crying and when he tried to perform the letter reprise he just could not get a word out, it was very emotional but he carried on like a true star, i felt so sorry for him standing up there crying and trying his best, i know it gave everybody around me tears, and then the goodbye to Billy and Michael scene when they used their real names, in which Ryan was also on his bike crying as he said "yer see ya Olly", so sad, as already mentioned there were no speeches at the end, and i am assuming that this was done because the child cast were clearly very upset because i am sure that some kind of speech had been arranged with all the stars leaving.
Chris: We had expected this show to be an emotional one and it did not disappoint. There was a whole plethora of Billies in the theatre to ensure that the last original child star had a big send off... By the Goodbye scene, Olly's emotions were beginning to get the better of him. As Jackie told Olly he was "very f***ing special", Olly began to cry. He had to wipe away the tears before "Deep Into The Ground". Getting through the reprise of The Letter was clearly an ordeal for Olly. He managed the first couple of lines before he was crying so much that he could barely deliver the song. I think Sara Prozyer as Dead Mum, deserves a special mention for the sympathetic and generous way she supported Olly through this. It was clearly very hard for him. She delivered her final "No, I don't think so, do you" ever so gently, before walking backward slowly to leave a very tearful Olly to leave the stage with his case... The final scene was one of the most emotional moment I've ever seen. The gently placed kiss, with Olly turning round to leave the stage. "See you, Ryan", said Olly, and Ryan replied, "Yeah, see you Olly". There can't have been a dry eye in the house as the curtain descended ever so slowly... I'm pleased to report that Olly had regained his composure for the curtain call and led the dancing with vigour... It will be hard to find anything that will top that last night.
JW: I couldn't help but look back at Oliver's first performance and marvel at just how far he had come. His interpretation of Billy as the tortured, neurotic boy remains, but he has built on that adding even more depth and texture. His confidence on stage and general ease with which he owns the stage has grown in leaps and bounds... I suppose the real heartbreak moments of this performance came towards the end (although I must admit to being teary eyed from the Letter scene in Act 1 onwards!).... Olly was very visibly affected from the "Goodbye scene with Mrs Wilkinson" onwards, having to take deep breaths and pauses to compose himself. He started to properly cry at the 'very fxxxing special' point and the sniffles were clearly audible... Try as hard as he might, he could not get the words out. Sara was a real heroine in this one - she bent down, held both his hands in hers and looked at him and they ended the song like that... For a split second, the world stopped and nothing else seemed to exist, except those two on stage looking at each other in silence. My heart must have broken into a million pieces at that point... And just when I thought that I could not bear it any longer - there we go again with the Billy/Michael goodbye... He turns and whispers forlonly, See ya Ryan. The entire theatre breathed a collective Aww as Ryan responded, See ya Olly... Seeing Oliver this kid who was so immensely into the role, whose discipline and determination never once saw him step out of character during the show - seeing him permit himself this one moment to say farewell was incredibly, incredibly touching.
My final few words are for Olly. I cannot tell you how much I am going to miss your Billy. You have been such an incredible, incredible star and I am completely devastated that you are leaving so soon! I guess it's true what they say about how the best things in life never last! Your fragile, vulnerable, and eminently relatable portrayal has really struck a chord with me. Over the last weeks, I've tried to nail down exactly why I've become so attached to this particular interpretation of the role, and I don't think I've quite managed to do that. In other words, I don't know why. What I do know is this though - your Billy doesn't just sing to my soul - nay it's found it, gripped it, and imprinted itself into it's very fabric. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the loss of this Billy, will for me, be loss on a very personal level... Watching Oliver on stage gives meaning to those immortal words of Oscar Wilde - "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." Oliver is such an immense star. May this particular star shine forever bright.
Chloe: Wow. Fantastic review, Justin. It brought all the memories of last night back to me and i'm still crying now! I wont write a review but will just say i'm really mad at myself for not seeing Olly earlier. Last night was my first time and i was amazed. That boy is seriously talented and i can't believe he's gone. I think the goodbye scenes (especially letter reprise) will be the things that most people will remember, i know i definitely will. As soon as Olly started crying, i was off and did not stop until well into the finale.
JJF: I still cry thinking of last night. Here is the letter reprise (as it is in the audio record):
Billy: Bye mum, see you soon?
Dead Mum: No, I don't think so, do you?
Billy: I've written you a letter
Dead Mum: A letter
Billy: Me reply. (Pause) (sniff) Its' a bit crumpled.
Billy: Dear mum,
(crying) and please mummy, know that I will always be
proud to have known y...
proud (sniff sniff) proud (sob)
and I promise (voice becomes almost inaudible) you this
Dead Mum: in everything you do, always be yourself
Billy: mum..y (although more like a squeak from a mouse rather than as a word)
(sob sob) and I (sniff) all (sobs).... (in an almost inaudible whisper) t...
Dead Mum: love you forever
Billy: love you fore.... (sniff)
Dead Mum: love you forever
Dead Mum: Billy
Billy: mam (barely said as through a sob)
Sobbing continues as he leaves the stage.
Now I've listened to it again, I'm crying again. Pass me a sniffly kit or two or even a crate load.
Elsa: To all those of who gave Olly cards or gifts, thank you so much for your kindness and generosity. He will reply - have patience!!
7. Update: Для полноты картины приведу несколько откликов на действительно последний спектакль Оливера - как я указывал в основном тексте, после той экстраординарной Last Night его попросили сыграть еще два спектакля. Просто невозможно не привести эти очень личные, переполненные чувствами и просто кровью написанные слова прощания с любимым исполнителем после спектакля, состоявшегося 15 декабря:
MusicalAddict: Wicked Show this afternoon, it was absolutely fab!... Olly gave a performance to match his "final show". As certain Olly fans were there I am sure they will review more elequantly than I ever could... And to top that today Olly performed Solidarity with his microphone box dangling out of his shorts. The pirouettes across the stage brought gasps and could have been painful. He eventually managed to put it in his pocket.
Mike Newman: Oliver gave an absolutely outstandingly superb performance at Saturday's Matinee. It must have been his visit home to all that glorious Devonshire cream and cider. Oliver has 'class' stamped all over him, so come back anytime, and as much as you wish Oliver.
jabka: All I can say is WOW! Olly gave a stunning performance as Billy for his last show, which I am so glad I didn’t miss. From the moment Olly stepped onto the stage I knew this was going to be a special, and very emotional show, and it was. Olly is such an expressive Billy using every part of his body, face and persona that he seems so natural on stage, with his subtle gestures and instinctive reactions, you really feel the emotions deeply from his performance. His Dream Ballet was beautiful; Angry Dance very powerful and by Electricity I was in tears – that’s the first time I have cried at Electricity but it was so beautiful, and moving – the applause and ovation lasted for a long time. I always find an Olly show very emotional and this was from start to finish. I think this show will stay with me for a long time as one of the most memorable.
The technical hitch with the microphone pack during Solidarity, was a shame, but Olly remained professional and carried on regardless, until he could secure it, as others have said I think we were more worried about him injuring himself with it, the speed it was swinging around during his dancing. I for one was glad when he got it sorted out. It was good to see a lot of forum members there to support Olly on his last show, and the standing ovations were more than well deserved. Well done Olly and thanks for a fabulous last show. A big thanks to Olly and his parents for spending time with us at the stage door, both between shows and after the evening show in the cold.
PerformingArtsFan: I was fortunate and priveleged to see the Saturday matinee. It was quite simply a superb show from the entire cast and the best ever Billy performance that I have seen. Olly was in a class of his own.
Malcolm: Some shows are just simply mega-outstanding and Saturday's matinee was arguably one of the most memorable I have seen. I felt extremely priveleged to have seen Oliver's stupendous - I can only call it that - performance on Saturday. It was simply mind blowing and probably has to rank as the best show there I have ever seen. And I have seen a lot! I was priveleged to have seen him perform eleven times in all, no where near as many as some folks on this Forum I know, but to see him growing in stature during that time (dancing, acting, singing) and culminating with such pure quintessence on Saturday was simply unforgettable.
The whole performance was beautifully crisp and Olly was simply brilliant. It has lived in my consciousness strongly since Saturday. He had the ability to bring all the cast to an amazing high. His sheer professionalism and how he dealt with the microphone problem showed the most amazing presence of mind. As someone else has mentioned I also appreciate all the time and the unhurried way that his parents spent with us talking after the show, on a bitterly cold London afternoon.
Good luck Oliver - I am sure you will have an amazing future ahead of you.
Irishboi: I don't want to review Olly's performance, quite simply because I can't find the right words to use. Anything that I would try to say would either come across as cheesy or cliched and I don't want that. All I know is that for some reason since I walked out of that Theatre on Saturday I didn't have the same intensity or love for the show that I had when I walked in. It's hard to explain but in someway knowing that I would never be able to witness that boy's grace and let's be honest genious again leaves me with an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach that I really never saw coming. I have a hard time putting into words what I am feeling... I watched the show on Saturday with tears in my eyes the entire time. My friend was with me and I couldn't even talk to him. He tried to make conversation but I wasn't interested.
I didn't even want to hang around afterwards. I just went back to my friend's place and lay down and watched X Factor. It's weird I was watching these 3 acts in the final of this huge competition with all the adulation and indeed money that is coming there and all I could think was that none of them has the X Factor, but that young man from Devon who lit up the stage that afternoon had.
I'm not doing a very good job of explaining myself. I'm just really sad that I will never get to see Olly in BETM again. After tonight I think it might be awhile before I can bring myself to go back.
JW: ...I'll just miss Olly's Billy. That remarkably complex and enigmatic portrayal of Billy which has moved me so intensely. The subtlety, the sensitivity, the fragility, the absolute and total understanding of character. Yeah, I'll miss his Billy. Bye Bye Olly. I don't know what else to say.