It is currently Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:37 pm

All times are UTC


Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Forum Rules



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 343 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 31, 32, 33, 34, 35  Next
  Print view Previous topic | Next topic 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Themes and sub-plots missed at first viewing
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:47 pm 
Billy

Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:54 pm
Posts: 6807
[quote="angelenroute"][quote="OliverWaters"]I wonder if Michael and Debbie are friends, or at least know each other, Billy aside?

When Michael asked if Billy was gonna return to ballet, he asked about "Debbie's mam", which makes it sound like Debbie is his frame of reference to Mrs W?[/quote]
Yeah, they seem to all go to school together. In the musical, Michael goes to boxing class, so he sees Debbie across the hall in the dance class too. In the movie, he hangs outside the boxing hall (and dance class) as Billy goes in, plus they jog together in gym class, so they presumably all attend classes together at the same nearby school. I think either way, we get the impression it's a small community all going through the same struggles, so they all know one another.[/quote]

Works of fiction offer all sorts of interpretation. Lee Hall based the story on his own experiences of the area. Whether BETM is based upon Easington, or another local coal mining village, or an amalgam of statistics from all, here is the skinny about Easington ca 1984:

-There was an Easington Colliery Primary School - just one for the village.

-The children would then progress to Easington Comprehensive School, an 11-16 secondary.

There were no other schools. If Billy, Michael and Debbie were all in the same year (grade), they would have known each other from intake onwards, if not before.

There is an Easington Colliery Social Welfare Club, which to this day offers boxing classes to young lads. It is not beyond the realms of reality to consider that a ballet teacher would book the hall for classes in 1984. Ballet was the equivalent of boxing, for young girls in communities such as Easington.

Of course, Billy, Michael and Debbie never existed; but they could have, in a place such as Easington. And there were other Easingtons in that region of Count Durham. I have no problem accepting the fact they they would have known each other from an early age. Surely, the cohesion of that society, facing the devastation of Thatcherism that would tear it apart, was an important aspect of the story?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Themes and sub-plots missed at first viewing
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:04 pm 
George
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:42 pm
Posts: 516
Location: Ontario, Canada
kport wrote:
There were no other schools. If Billy, Michael and Debbie were all in the same year (grade), they would have known each other from intake onwards, if not before.

They are shown together in the same class in the film, in particular in the out-take scene when Debbie challenges the idea that the coal was put in the ground by God.

kport wrote:
There is an Easington Colliery Social Welfare Club, which to this day offers boxing classes to young lads.

I have seen photos of the main hall in the Club and the BETM set is based strongly on it. However, the film was not made in the real hall.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Direction & Themes
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:01 pm 
Audience Member

Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:53 am
Posts: 5
Location: Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
After seeing the show a number of times I take great interest in the themes that are being portrayed through the direction of the actors, set and props. One I noticed recently is when Billy is going to meet Mrs. Wilkinson for his "after school/secret" lesson to create a dance with some items that mean something to him.
At the start of the scene after the scene change Billy is left sitting on his bed in the middle of the hall and the bed doesn't go until he walks over to Mrs. Wilkinson. I never really took much notice and just thought it was a bit weird. When I last saw it it came to me, is this to portray that Billy's difficult home life follows him everywhere but goes when he is learning to dance with Mrs. Wilkinson (a major them throughout)? I think it is and I love little hidden themes like this.

Does anyone else have any themes or direction they particularly like that may not be obvious at first?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Themes and sub-plots missed at first viewing
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:32 pm 
Ballet Girl
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:51 am
Posts: 314
Location: Huntingdon Cambs
I'm sure there's lots of hidden gems, my favorite at the moment is, are the angels in Merry Xmas (UK version only) just that? (they certainly don't sound like it).
One girl always has a book, like the Greek God, Athena, who hung around with Hera (=Juno) who always has peacock, (seen on the RBS curtain) and Aphrodite. the 4th would be Persephone who was dragged to Hades by Pluto(=death=small boy) and saved by Hecate (whose 3-faced statue is also on the curtain).
At this point my brain melts down trying to work out associations with descending into the Privvy in angry dance......
Obviously my my classical knowledge is severely limited, so if anyone can fill in more it would be interesting.

_________________
~ Paul ~


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Themes and sub-plots missed at first viewing
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:29 am 
Mr Braithwaite

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:10 am
Posts: 745
Location: Williamstown, NJ
Adding to the list of things that are often missed at the first viewing of Billy Elliot The Musical
Look for these as the production returns to the Western USA. They are all discussed in this thread.

Achieving a Dream
Miner's Future Destroyed by own Government
Rejection by others of Grandma, Billy, Michael
Grief Expressed as Denial, Anger, Depression, Acceptance
Hunger, both Physical and Emotional
Parent's Wishes vs. Child's,- Debby's mom and Billy 's dad
Life Imitates Art, Actor's Roles and Children's Life Stories
Greek Tragedy, Doomed Fate
Altruism, Helping Someone Else Achieve their Dream
Denial of Reality
Self Perception and Fantasy vs. Reality
Hopelessness brings Violence and Hate
Violence and Conflict's Effect on Children
Conservative Society vs. Socialism
Personal Failure and Living Vicariously
Dealing with Anger
Compromise of Goals and Future
Art is an Expression for All, Especially the Downtrodden
Life's Gritty Reality
People's Enemy is the Government
Acceptance, Everyone is Special
Traditional Father's Role Needs to Change
It Takes a Village...to raise a child
Jealousy becomes Support
Billy and his Dad's relationship before the argument about dance lessons
It gets better- Billy's vision of a brighter future
Dramatic Irony (not a theme, but often missed)
Ordinary is Extraordinary(function of the chairs)
Talented People make others successful(Mrs.W. is talented herself)
Every little fishy must swim for himself(Billy takes charge of his life)
Optimism of Youth vs. Pessimism of Adults
Willingness to change opinions and value judgments
Act now and take a chance
Take a different road from the common
Theme of Courage
We are each other's caregivers and saviours
The relationship between mother and child
Budding sexuality of pre-teens
Everyone is intolerant of something
Various classes of society
Billy's poor home life follows everywhere except when he is dancing
Presence of Greek Mythology in BETM


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Themes and sub-plots missed at first viewing
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:26 am 
Mrs Wilkinson
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:03 am
Posts: 1498
Location: palm springs,usa
Eltonjohn wrote:
angelenroute wrote:
Billy basically says (and I'm using the movie which I'm sure the musical follows), "Won't we get in trouble (for putting on women's clothes?)" And he's at Michael's house, so he's referring to Michael's dad. Michael assures him that no, they won't get in trouble, because "Me dad does it all the time."

Will we? Bullocks.
Will we get in trouble? Bullsh**.
Will we get punished for this? No, we won't.


An alternative, more contemporary interpretation (not translation) might be:
No Way!
or
Not!

I hope the following attempt at light hearted humor is not considered inappropriate. Will delete if it is.

Not only is there an Angry Dancer
But there is also a Cross Dresser!

I just realized why this sounds weird to us, it's the lack of pause before saying Bollocks. It sounds like Will we Bollocks NOT Will we QUESTION MARK Bollocks! on paper I get it but my ear just hears a weird coliquial phrase as delivered. This is why I'll never understand another language spoken most of the time naturally but can read them much better.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Emancipation from gender roles and bullying in BETM
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:49 pm 
Tall Boy
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:46 pm
Posts: 107
(Note to the mods: In the rules it says that it's allowed to debate over topics in the show, so I hope this posting is allowed here. If it's the wrong forum, please let me know.)

Recently I wondered - apart from all the other obvious things like experiencing different actors or wanting to compare shows - what it was at the core that made me want to experience BETM more than once and live (as it isn't the fact with most of the other coming-of-age-related stuff I like), and I came to a conclusion: I feel one of the most moving elements of the show is the fact that this is a story of emancipation both individually (the dancing boy) and socially (the miners' strike), and on the side of the boy it's a very successful emancipation from traditional gender roles and discrimination that is actually reproduced live on stage every night. More than that, it's a glorious celebration of what boys can do when they listen to their hearts. You actually get to see boys who are stars because they're doing something many, many others get and got bullied for. (And just imagine what it does to their confidence if they kind of felt different or not wanted before for whatever reason. See, for example, the documentary about the casting of the dutch Billys. This world still isn't a tolerant and open society. It's better now than it was back then, but if you get to meet actual boys you'll find that homophobia and fear of being perceived as "feminin" is still a big issue.)

This theme of individual emancipation is made even stronger by being contrasted to the strong but ultimately unsuccessful miners' strike. They go - all together - into the cold ground again, and Billy goes to live his dream. That's the magic of this show.

So if you're a man with experience of being bullied or feeling "not normal" as a boy, then this show has to move you deeply, and also the uplifting character may be stronger than it is with, say, teenage girls in the audience. You would want to become a regular visitor of the show if you can afford it.

Sorry, if this was an obvious observation, but I didn't find it anywhere here and felt it needed to be stated...

_________________
- A. -

- What do I do??
- Follow the others... marching forward to socialism!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Themes and sub-plots missed at first viewing
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:02 pm 
Site Admin
Billy
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:33 am
Posts: 17597
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
Hi jtsw1,

Since we have this whole long thread about themes, I have merged your question into it for more discussion.

_________________
Ellen



"I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who have to dance.”
-George Balanchine 1904 -1983


To follow the forum's Twitter at http://twitter.com/BEForum, click on the direct link in Applies to All Forums above.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Themes and sub-plots missed at first viewing
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:49 pm 
Tall Boy
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:46 pm
Posts: 107
Thanks. I've read the thread now, it's very interesting. I think my observation adds to the "It gets better"-theme. I'm a big fan of Layton Williams ever since I absolutely loved "Beautiful People". He's the actual impersonation of that theme. I'd guess that some other former Billys could follow his path, but I understand that such spectaculation is not wanted here. ;)

It's also connected to the theme of freedom vs. safety. Billy chooses the dangerous way of freeing himself through the powers of dance and self-expression over the safer way of just staying a normal miner's boy.

Anyway, I'm amazed how this show manages to produce so many spectacular role-models for boys who feel somehow different, and it's still a very successful (mainstream) musical show. 10 milion visitors... it must have had some impact on the world!

_________________
- A. -

- What do I do??
- Follow the others... marching forward to socialism!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Themes and sub-plots missed at first viewing
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:56 pm 
Mr Braithwaite

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:10 am
Posts: 745
Location: Williamstown, NJ
I have added the theme presented by JTSW1 to our list of themes and sub-plots.

Achieving a Dream
Miner's Future Destroyed by own Government
Rejection by others of Grandma, Billy, Michael
Grief Expressed as Denial, Anger, Depression, Acceptance
Hunger, both Physical and Emotional
Parent's Wishes vs. Child's,- Debby's mom and Billy 's dad
Life Imitates Art, Actor's Roles and Children's Life Stories
Greek Tragedy, Doomed Fate
Altruism, Helping Someone Else Achieve their Dream
Denial of Reality
Self Perception and Fantasy vs. Reality
Hopelessness brings Violence and Hate
Violence and Conflict's Effect on Children
Conservative Society vs. Socialism
Personal Failure and Living Vicariously
Dealing with Anger
Compromise of Goals and Future
Art is an Expression for All, Especially the Downtrodden
Life's Gritty Reality
People's Enemy is the Government
Acceptance, Everyone is Special
Traditional Father's Role Needs to Change
It Takes a Village...to raise a child
Jealousy becomes Support
Billy and his Dad's relationship before the argument about dance lessons
It gets better- Billy's vision of a brighter future
Dramatic Irony (not a theme, but often missed)
Ordinary is Extraordinary(function of the chairs)
Talented People make others successful(Mrs.W. is talented herself)
Every little fishy must swim for himself(Billy takes charge of his life)
Optimism of Youth vs. Pessimism of Adults
Willingness to change opinions and value judgments
Act now and take a chance
Take a different road from the common
Theme of Courage
We are each other's caregivers and saviours
The relationship between mother and child
Budding sexuality of pre-teens
Everyone is intolerant of something
Various classes of society
Billy's poor home life follows everywhere except when he is dancing
Presence of Greek Mythology in BETM
Emancipation of Individual (successful) contrasts with Social Emancipation (failure)


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 343 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 31, 32, 33, 34, 35  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  



Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
bmiles v1.1 desgined by CodeMiles Team -TemplatesDragon-.