Billy Elliot playwright to receive recognition at University of Sunderland ceremony

Lee Hall will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Arts.

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The writer of Billy Elliot is set to receive an honorary award from the University of Sunderland.

Acclaimed playwright Lee Hall, who was born in Newcastle wrote the screenplay for the 2000 movie which starred Jamie Bell as Billy and Julie Walters as his ballet teacher Sandra Wilkinson.

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The plot of the much loved and well told story focuses on a young boy in Durham who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, despite facing struggles within the industrial North East and family life.

The story was adapted into a musical theatre production in 2005, with the UK production paving the way for productions across the world, being seen by an audience of over 12 million.

The story has earned 80 accolades, which includes multiple Tony Awards and a Laurence Olivier Award.

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Alongside his success with Billy Elliot, Lee has also written screenplays for successful movies such as War Horse and the Elton John biopic Rocketman.

However, he has remained closely involved in North East theatre and culture, especially with the Live Theatre in Newcastle.

Now, he will receive an acknowledgement and recognition for his work within arts and culture as he will be presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Arts at the University of Sunderland’s London graduation ceremony, which will be held on Thursday, November 9 at Southwark Cathedral.

Lee Hall will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Arts.Lee Hall will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Arts.
Lee Hall will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Arts.

Lee said of the recognition: “The honorary award is a recognition of what I’ve done in my career, but also a recognition of the work, community, and aspiration of north-east culture. The award is both individual and collective.”