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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 May, 2005, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
Child star gets praise for show
Liam Mower
Liam only took up ballet a year ago
A Hull schoolboy who beat thousands of hopefuls to a starring role in West End musical Billy Elliot has received critical acclaim for his performance.

Liam Mower, 12, is one of three actors who share the role of Billy in the adaptation of the Oscar-nominated hit.

The youngster, who only took up ballet one year ago, said Thursday's opening night was one of the most nerve wracking experiences of his life.

Press reviews have described him as "heroic", "skilled" and "dignified".

'Strange seriousness'

The Guardian's review of the 5m show said: "Liam Mower, one of three young actors sharing the role of Billy, performs not just with heroic dedication but also a strange seriousness that is affecting."

Billy Elliot
Jamie Bell won a Bafta for his performance as Billy Elliot

The Times said: "Liam Mower was the boy chosen to play Billy last night and he proved impressively grave and dignified as an actor and gloriously skilful as a dancer."

Liam said the nerves really kicked in before the show: "I cannot believe how nervous I was, but it was fantastic.

"You do get tired sometimes but the adrenalin pumps through and helps you get through the show."

The youngster, who played rugby league with his three brothers just a few years ago, has recently taken up a place at the prestigious Royal Ballet White Lodge School in Richmond Park, south-west London.

Liam's father Paul Mower, who works as an engineer, said: "We are really proud of him, to think he is doing something like this."

Press views: Billy Elliot
12 May 05 |  Entertainment
Dancing in Billy Elliot's footsteps
05 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
Billy Elliot stage stars unveiled
05 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
Hunt for Billy Elliot stage stars
06 Feb 04 |  Entertainment

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