Saturday, 02 July 2022

Real-life Billy Elliot wins English National Ballet role

Real-life Billy Elliot wins English National Ballet role

THE son of a Sonning Common zumba instructor has landed a key role in the English National Ballet’s new production of The Nutcracker.

Sedge Gooding teaches HIIT, zumba and dance aerobics every Tuesday night at The Hill Primary School — and been doing so for the last 25 years.

Her passion for movement has clearly rubbed off on her 12-year-old son Emile, who is a student at the prestigious Tring Park School of Performing Arts in Hertfordshire.

A two-act ballet with a score by Tchaikovsky, the English National Ballet’s adaptation of The Nutcracker will be playing at theatres in Southampton and London in the run-up to Christmas and the New Year.

Emile will be taking to the stage as Freddie, the mischievous younger brother of Clara, who finds herself journeying through a magical world with a Nutcracker doll — a present given to her by a family friend on Christmas Eve.

For his part, Emile is no stranger to performing on big stages. He played the title role in Billy Elliot in the UK tour of the hit West End musical and performed with the English National Ballet in Swan Lake.

Emile, whose family live in Earley, Reading, is studying dance at Tring Park, whose alumni include Cinderella star Lily James and Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley.

The Nutcracker is playing at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton from Tuesday (November 28) to Sunday, December 3, and at the London Coliseum from December 13 to 17 and again from December 26 to 31.

For more information and to book tickets, visit

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