Last weekend I went to see Billy Elliot the Musical. It was a magical and very emotional experience for me. True, everything with dead mothers has it easy to get me crying and musicals doubly so, but the story has something else that hits home for me.
To me it’s a story about what it means to be a man. Billy is something new, counterpointed by the miners representing a very traditional masculinity.
The miners were needed once, but not anymore. When Billy says good-bye at the end of the musical and the miners go down into the pit, we know that he has a future, while the miners will slowly die out. He will rise, while they go down. He will shine, while they get dirty. I like that message – that I made up for myself – even if I don’t know if society will ever change in that way. But it’s a happy end that makes me cry.