Elton urges PM to be compassionate
Published 13/05/2015 | 00:11
Sir Elton John has called on Prime Minister David Cameron to be considerate to the working classes when thinking about his new policies over the next five years.
Speaking at the 10th anniversary celebrations of Billy Elliot The Musical, the 68-year-old said the new Conservative Government should learn from the struggles faced by the miners in the 1980s.
"The new Government needs to be compassionate towards people who don't have much in the world," said Sir Elton, who composed the show's songs, who was accompanied by his husband David Furnish, one of the musical's producers.
He said those running the country could learn from the "emotional" and "heartwarming" musical set in Thatcherite Britain during the miners' strike of 1984 to 1985.
"It was relevant before and it is just as relevant now as when it was written," he said. "There are still struggles going on.
"It is a story about a community in crisis and inequality, and grace as one of the things we all have to embrace."
Sir Elton added the musical highlighted how far gay rights have come during his lifetime, an issue explored by Billy's friend Michael in the musical.
"There was not a lot of tolerance of homosexuality before," he said.
"I am a married man and I am very proud of my country.
"But there is still a lot of love and tolerance to be spread about and this is what the show does and we need that message, especially in the world we live in today."
Mr Furnish said: "I think the musical's message about people fulfilling their dreams and overcoming obstacles is sometimes what people find difficult to face.
"But breaking out of conventions is something some people have to face every day so the musical has an unbelievable message.
"I love the number Solidarity as it gives a message for everyone."
Solidarity is a song sung by the miners and the working class characters in the musical and features the lyrics: "Solidarity solidarity, Solidarity forever. All for one and one for all, Solidarity forever."
Jenni Falconer, Laura Bailey, Tom Hooper, Brian Friedman, Sam Bailey, and Richard Buckley were among the celebrities who attended the special performance last night.
The star-studded red carpet event at the Victoria Palace Theatre in Westminster was also attended by the 40 young men who have played Billy during the musical's 10 years in the West End as well as several cast members past and present.