There was a surprise in store for the audience at the opening night of Billy Elliot The Musical this week in Sydney, Australia. As the cast of 75 took to the stage for their final curtain call, they were joined by one very special guest. There, smiling proudly, and wearing a pink tutu over his smart black suit, was the man who wrote the musical score for the stage show, Sir Elton John.
Watched by his partner David Furnish, and stars including pregnant Muriel's Wedding actress Toni Collette, the Rocket Man singer took a bow. At his side were the four Australian Billys who will alternate the lead role, and British playwright Lee Hall, who wrote the screenplay for the songs in the show.
After its hugely successful two-year run in London's West End, the musical - a heart-warming story of a young working class lad's dream to become a ballet dancer - has moved to the Australian city.
And Elton, who arrived in the city a month ago to see how performances were shaping up before the show's debut, has been making the most of his time Down Under. "I've been here for three weeks and had the best time," said the 60-year-old singer. "I've caught up with people that I haven't seen for a long time."