Leon Cooke

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Leon Cooke
Born Leon Dominic Cooke
(1991-08-08) 8 August 1991 (age 25)
Stoke-on-Trent, UK
Years active 1999 –

Leon Dominic Cooke (born 8 August 1991)[1] is a professional English stage actor, singer, and dancer.

Early life[edit]

Leon Cooke was born in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. He has 7 siblings (Tara, Zena, Cassandra, Damian, Anastasia, Valentina and Dmitri) all of whom have danced or still do. He started training at The Marilyn Jones Dance Centre at the age of 2, encouraged by his father Michael, who is a dance teacher and his mother Joy, who has also danced.[2] He learnt ballet, tap, gymnastics, theatrecraft, song and dance and streetdance. He was a Junior and Mid-Associate with the Royal Ballet, in Birmingham. He graduated from the Millennium Performing Arts College.[3]

Theatre Credits[edit]

2015-2016 Dee, Wonder.land, Royal National Theatre

2015- Daniel, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (musical), Regents Park Open Air Theatre

2014-2015 Acrobat/Ensemble, Miss Saigon, West End

2014- Ensemble, Amadeus, Chichester Festival

2013- Wilton, Barnum (musical), Chichester Festival

2012- Pepper 1st cover/Ensemble, MAMMA MIA, West End

2010–2012, Cliff Richard / Rebel Leader cover, WE WILL ROCK YOU - 2nd UK National/ International Tour

2009, Mr Mistoffelees, CATS - Channel Islands,

2009, Tadzio, DEATH IN VENICE, English National Opera - Belgium & Luxembourg,

2005-2007, Billy Elliot, BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL - West End,

2003-2004, John Darling, PETER PAN.

2003, KING & I – UK National Tour

2002, TOSCA - UK National Tour

2002-2003, ALADDIN.

2001, THE NUTCRACKER, Birmingham Royal Ballet - Birmingham Hippodrome.

1999, THE NUTCRACKER, Birmingham Royal Ballet - Birmingham Hippodrome.

Billy Elliot the Musical[edit]

Cooke was cast as Billy Elliot in Billy Elliot the Musical in September 2005. BBC's Blue Peter followed and filmed him for a day on 18 November 2005, and he has performed in front of many celebrities including Michael Jackson in November 2005.[4]

Cooke left the cast of Billy Elliot on 7 July 2007, after completing 21 months - 200 shows as Billy. In March 2010, he returned to the stage of the Victoria Palace Theatre, to take part in a specially choreographed finale to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the show opening in the West End.[5]

Choreography[edit]

He choreographed for the Songtime Theatre Arts 'Billy Youth Theatre' production at the Richmond Theatre in 2010[6][7]

Cooke was assistant choreographer for the BBC 2 series 'Our Dancing Town' presented by 'Billy Elliot the Musical's' Steve Elias, which aired January 2017.

Television[edit]

Cooke has appeared on Blue Peter, Ready Steady Cook (against friend George Maguire who also played Billy Elliot), the Paul O'Grady Show and as a guest performer on Any Dream Will Do. He performed with the cast on Sunday Night at the Palladium for the 10th Anniversary.

Film[edit]

Cooke appeared alongside other former Billy Elliot cast in 2014 as part of the Billy Elliot the Musical Live finale.

Career[edit]

He appeared as Tadzio in the English National Opera's production of Death in Venice at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels and two gala shows at the Grande Théâtre de la Ville, in Luxembourg between December 2008 and February 2009. Leon appeared in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats as Quaxo / Mr. Mistoffelees in Jersey (Fort Regent) and Guernsey (Beau Sejour) in 2009.

He completed the U.K's second tour of We Will Rock You directed by Ben Elton, with Brian May and Roger Taylor as music supervisors and Arlene Phillips overseeing the musical staging and choreography.

Cooke appeared on series 3 of Sky One's Got to Dance, where he gained 3 gold stars for a tap routine described by Adam Garcia as "Awesome".

He has performed in the musical Mamma Mia at the Prince of Wales Theatre and as part of the 'West End Live' cast in Trafalgar Square. He performed in Mamma Mia at its new venue the Novello Theatre. Cooke made his Chichester Festival debut as 'Wilton' in 'Barnum' and returned the following year to perform in 'Amadeus' starring Rupert Everett.

Between 2014 and 2015 Cooke was cast in 'Miss Saigon' in the West End. During this time he performed on the Royal Variety Performance and at the Olivier Awards 2015 with the show, which were both televised.

Leon performed as Daniel Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Regent' s Park Open Air Theatre. He later went back to reprise the role for the 40th Anniversary of the Olivier Awards aired in 2016 on ITV.[6] [7] [8] He then went on to work with the National Theatre in their production of Wonder.land, created by Blur's Damon Albarn, Moira Buffini and Rufus Norris; playing the role of Dee. In March 2016, Cooke once again returned to be part of the Mamma Mia cast for a one off TV performance on ITV's 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'.

Commercials[edit]

Cooke was featured in a McDonald's advert for ITV in 2015 and has also previously appeared in an indent for Disney Channel.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Births, Marriages & Deaths Index - England & Wales
  2. ^ http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/sentinelle/ve-loved-minute-bringing-kids/article-2691449-detail/article.html
  3. ^ http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/clayton/Teenage-stage-star-big-Cat/article-1280559-detail/article.html
  4. ^ http://popdirt.com/michael-jackson-attends-billy-elliot-musical/42499/
  5. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8598634.stm
  6. ^ http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/news/latest-news/article/item287553/open-airs-seven-brides-cast-announced/
  7. ^ http://www.westendframe.com/2015/07/review-seven-brides-for-seven-brothers.html
  8. ^ http://britishtheatre.com/review-seven-brides-for-seven-brothers-regents-park-open-air-theatre-3stars/

External links[edit]