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8 October 2021

REVIEW|Everybody's Talking About Jamie UK Tour

Photography by Matt Crockett

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

There are some shows out there in the theatre world that you always have on your to watch list that you never get around to seeing for various reasons. One that has often evaded me is Everybody's Talking about Jamie. It is a show that has been in London for a few years and I've always said I'll go and see it but haven't so when it recently closed in the West End and it had its amazing Amazon Prime Movie release I knew that it was time to come out of the darkness and into the spotlight and catch the UK tour of the show whilst it was at my local theatre.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie tells the true life story of a teenager Jamie Campbell's ambition to become a drag queen and attend his final year prom in a dress, all based on the 2011 BBC Three Documentary Jamie:Drag Queen at 16

The musical, with book and lyrics written by Tom Macrae and music by Dan Gillespie Sells, tells this story so well. It is a story about acceptance, inclusion and finding your own true identity, which has the ability to bring a tear to your eye and a warming to your heart.

At the centre of this show we have Jamie, played brilliantly by Layton Williams. A Character that it feels like Layton was born to play as he has the ability to show his sassy side as Jamie's alter ego of Mimi Me but also has the ability to show the other more vulnerable side of Jamie's character, the one that has caused him to build a wall in his head.

The relationships that Jamie has with his mum, played spectacularly by Amy Ellen Richardson and his best Friend Pritti, played beautifully by Sharan Phull is wonderful to watch as they form the support network around Jamie through the whole show alongside Ray played by Shobna Gulati and Hugo played by Shane RitchieAmy Ellen Richardson's emotional performance took me to the brink of tears on a couple of occasions and her rendition of He's My Boy in act two was hair-raisingly stunning. Sharan's Pritti was a joy to watch and her vocals in Beautiful were just that, they were beautiful.

For some slight comedic release look no further than Shobna's portrayal of Ray. I think every person should have a strong person in their corner like Ray and I truly believe that that character has some of the best lines in the show, without a doubt. Shane Ritchie's performance as Hugo and Loco Chanelle was definitely one that I enjoyed, as Hugo he was a storyteller, support and mentor to Jamie and as Loco he gave his all and looked fabulous whilst doing it.

Miss Hedge and Dean Paxton, played by Lara Denning and George Sampson respectively, are there to show that there is still people out there who are close minded and at times homophobic. They both learn the error of their ways by the end of the show, having to bow down to the fabulousness of Jamie.

The Ensemble were all amazing. Their choreography was outstanding and their movements between scenes, moving set and such looked effortless. Special mentions to Garry Lee, JP McCue and Rhys Taylor, who play the Drag Performers at the Legs Eleven night as I loved them all and want their make up skills as they were all on point.

One of my favourite moments of the show was the end of the show bows because every single member of the cast gets their own bow during the final song of the show Out of the Darkness, I was stood up from the first beat and shared my appreciation of the show and the cast as they were all outstanding. This is definitely a show I won't be forgetting for a very long time, the UK tour is still ongoing all around the country and I would 1000% recommend grabbing yourself a ticket.

Tickets and Tour locations are available through the official website, which you can find HERE and the tour is currently booking until April 2022.

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