The Letter, Billy Elliot

In everything you do…

Posted on Posted in Being Human

Just finished working on the design for a new production of Billy Elliot down in La Mirada.  It was a tough show.  Lots to do in a little amount of time.  This is a new show to me, that I’d never seen before, except for seeing the movie, which… is not the same really (the musical, has…  MUSIC). I had downloaded the Original Broadway Cast recording while I was in China, and listened to it off and on while walking to and from the job-site, so I had a little background before diving in, but I needed all the prep time before the show to get myself prepared.

Which brings me to the song “The Letter.” Billy’s dance teacher asks him to bring some things to class that mean something to him, to help her devise a dance around those emotions, etc. Billy brings a letter that his mom had written to him before she died, that he was supposed to open after he turns 18, but, well, he couldn’t wait, and opened it early.

Below is the text of that part of the scene.  It kills me, I couldn’t listen to it at all without crying. I’m sure you know why.

TEACHER (spoken, reading from the letter) Dear Billy,

I must seem a distant memory

BILLY (spoken, from memory) Which is…

TEACHER (spoken) Which is probably a good thing

And it will have been a long…

BILLY (spoken) A long time

BILLY (sung)

And I will have missed you growing

And I’ll have missed you crying

And I’ll have missed you laugh

Missed your stamping and your shouting

I’ll have missed telling you off

But please, Billy, know that I was always there

I was with you through everything

And please, Billy,

TEACHER (sung)

But please Billy. Know that I will always be

Proud to have known you

Proud that you were mine

Proud in everything


And you must promise me this, Billy

In everthing you do

Always be yourself.


It goes on, but you get the idea.  I can’t finish it here either without my eyes swelling with tears.