Billy Elliot casting update: Kelley Abbey withdraws from the show

Kelley Abbey

The producers of Billy Elliot the Musical have today confirmed that unfortunately due to personal circumstances Kelley Abbey is unable to continue in her role as Mrs Wilkinson and has had to withdraw from the production.

“We are very sad to see Kelley leave our production. We wish her all the best moving forward.” Said Louise Withers on behalf of the producers.

“We have such outstanding talent in this cast and we are very pleased to announce that Lisa Sontag will be taking over in the role of Mrs Wilkinson having played the role for a number of performances during this Sydney season to date. She has been a key member of the cast and we look forward to seeing her flourish on stage.” she continued.

Lisa Sontag

Lisa Sontag made her professional debut in the original cast of The Boy From Oz before graduating from WAAPA. Continuing her professional career, she went on to work with the Production Company in Call Me Madam, Guys and Dolls, The Boy From Oz and as Zelda Zanders in Singin’ in the Rain. Most recently, Lisa performed in and understudied multiple lead roles in MAMMA MIA! The Musical, The Producers, Hayes Theatre’s Sweet Charity, Mary Poppins, Les Misérables, The Addams Family, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and played the role of Frenchy in Grease – The Arena Spectacular for which she won a Green Room Award for Best Supporting Actress. Amongst other film and TV work Lisa is an accomplished dance teacher and choreographer also running her own Music and Movement Programs for Preschools.

The 10th Anniversary Australian tour is currently playing at Sydney Lyric Theatre until December 15 2019, followed by seasons in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. Featuring music by the legendary Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreography by Peter Darling and direction by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot the Musical has been seen by over 12 million people worldwide.  Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, it is the recipient of 85 awards internationally, including 10 Tony Awards, 5 Olivier Awards and 8 Helpmann Awards.

The new Australian cast of Billy Elliot the musical

Based on the film of the same name, Billy Elliot the Musical is a funny, gritty, heart-warming and feel- good celebration following the journey of a young boy raised in a small British mining town. Set against the backdrop of the 1984/’85 miners’ strike, Billy’s journey takes him out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family, the whole community and changes his life forever.

Billy Elliot the Musical was brought to the stage by the multiple award-winning creative team behind the film including writer Lee Hall (book and lyrics), director Stephen Daldry and choreographer Peter Darling, joined by Elton John who composed the show’s score. The production features scenic design by Ian MacNeil, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.

Tickets and more information are available at

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator, and is the current Deputy Editor-in-Chief of She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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