facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
Jamie and Margaret Campbell on the Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard red carpet (Photo: Pamela Raith)

Jamie and Margaret Campbell on the Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard red carpet (Photo: Pamela Raith)

The true story of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood Published 6 November 2019

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie tells the inspiring and heart-warming story of Jamie New, a young drag artist, and the battle he faced trying to be himself in his small northern community. But the true story of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is that of Jamie Campbell.

GET THE FULL EXPERIENCE:

To see this content you’ll need to allow us to set some additional cookies!

Update your cookie preferences here and enable ‘social and advertising cookies’

The musical was inspired by the 2011 BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen At 16, which followed a year eleven boy’s decision to wear a dress to prom, and the fall out when his teachers tried to ban him.

The real-life inspiration for Jamie New is called Jamie Campbell. Now 22, Jamie grew up in an old mining village near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, a small market town in the northeast of England. Growing up, Jamie says he would always play dress up in his mum’s clothes and shoes, describing himself as a ‘naturally flamboyant’ kid.

Jamie came out as gay at only 14. He said that as he grew older, the teasing in primary school about him being girly turned into harsher bullying about his sexuality, even from adults around him.

true story of Everybody's Talking About Jamie: The fullcast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie. Photo by Matt CrockettThe fullcast of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Photo by Matt Crockett

The real-life Jamie credits so much of his strength in the face of this bullying to his mum, Margaret being supportive in the face of everything, assuring him that there was nothing wrong with being different.

At the end of year eleven, the school prom was coming up and Jamie was jealous of all the girls getting excited about their glamourous dresses, while his only option was to wear a suit. After chatting to his mum about, she simply asked him why he shouldn’t go to prom in a dress, and he decided that he would.

The true story of Everybody's Talking About Jamie: Jamie and Margaret Campbell on the Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard red carpet (Photo: Pamela Raith)Jamie and Margaret Campbell on the Olivier Awards 2018 with Mastercard red carpet. Photo by Pamela Raith.

The idea to contact a documentary team to film all of this actually came from concerns about Jamie’s safety – he thought that people would be less likely to beat him up or cause too much trouble if the whole thing was being filmed.

The film follows the journey Jamie took after deciding to come out in his drag persona for prom; finding an outfit and a wig; learning how to apply make-up; putting on a drag show for the very first time. He struggled to find anywhere in and around Bishop Auckland that would let him try on any dresses in the shop and ended up ordering something online.

true story of Everybody's Talking About JamieThe drag queens of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

When some of the parents at his school found out what Jamie was planning, they called the school to complain and the school told Jamie not to turn up in a dress. When he got there, to his surprise, he arrived to cheers, but teachers told him he wouldn’t get in.

Slowly, the students started to hear about what was happening, and more and more kids came out to beg the teachers to let him in until eventually he was allowed in, flowing blonde wig, floor length dress and all.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie took inspiration from this coming-of-age tale about finding comfort in your own identity in the face of bullying and discrimination.

GET THE FULL EXPERIENCE:

To see this content you’ll need to allow us to set some additional cookies!

Update your cookie preferences here and enable ‘social and advertising cookies’

The story’s not 100% the same, with the main character re-named as Jamie New and some of the specific details of the story changed. But Jamie Campbell himself said he was shocked by how much the details and sentiments of the writers’ story mirrored his own.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is warm, funny and has Jamie Campbell and his mum’s enthusiastic seal of approval. You can grab your tickets for the all-singing, all-dancing sensation at the Apollo Theatre below.

Tagged:
apollo theatre everybody's talking about jamie

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.