Want to know exactly why Everybody’s Talking About Jamie? Well, you probably have to see it at London’s Apollo Theatre to find out. But before you do, here’s everything you need to know about the fearless, funny show that’s sweeping the West End and earned five Olivier Award nominations.
What is the show about?
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is based on a true story. Inspired by the 2011 BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen At 16, it tells a real tale of bravery, adversary and fabulousness. The show is a modern day fairytale, based on the true story of a 16 year-old with a secret to tell – and aspirations to make true.
At 16, Jamie Campbell was very different from others on his Sheffield council estate. Despite bullying, Jamie had a secret which he wanted to share with the world and a dream he was determined to realise. Knowing he had an inspirational story to tell, Jamie contacted Firecracker Films – a documentary film company – and asked if they would bring his tale to the masses.
After seeing the resulting documentary, theatre director Jonathan Butterell was inspired to make a musical based on Jamie’s story. Jonathan teamed up with Dan Gillespie Sells, the lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling, and writer Tom MacRae to create the production. The resulting show is about a boy who, supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies, and steps out of the darkness into the spotlight to become a sensation.
The first production was backed by a producing regional theatre (Sheffield Theatres) and it premiered at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. During its Crucible Theatre run, the show won two UK Theatre Awards in 2017, including Best Musical Production and Best Musical Performance (for John McCrea in the title role).
An eagerly anticipated West End transfer was confirmed when Producer Nica Burns saw it and offered the show a run at the Apollo Theatre, which began in November 2017. It was then nominated for five Olivier Awards in 2018, including Mastercard Best New Musical.
What age is Everybody’s Talking About Jamie appropriate for?
Parental discretion is advised. The musical contains some strong language and mild sexual references, as well as the smoking of cigarettes, haze and flashing lights.
How long is Everybody’s Talking About Jamie?
The show is 2 hours and 40 minutes long, including one interval.
What songs are in it?
The show features numbers written by Dan Gillespie Sells, lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling. These include the songs Don’t Even Know It, Wall In My Head, Spotlight, Work Of Art, He’s My Boy, the title track – and more.
Who is in the Everybody’s Talking About Jamie London cast?
- Layton Williams plays Jamie New. Layton is best known for playing Kylie in the BBC series Beautiful People and for starring alongside Jack Whitehall in BBC comedy Bad Education. Layton assumed the role from John McCrea in 2019.
- Rebecca McKinnis plays Margaret New. Rebecca previously understudied the role of Margaret – Jamie’s supportive mother – in the West End. She took over the role from Olivier Award nominee Josie Walker.
- Faye Tozer plays Miss Hedge until 3 August. Faye is the Strictly Come Dancing finalist and Steps star who previously performed on stage in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me On A Sunday. On 5 August, EastEnders star Rita Simons will take over the role.
- Bill Ward plays Hugo/Loco Chanelle. Bill is an award-winning television and stage actor, best known for playing Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street and James Burton in Emmerdale.
- Sabrina Sandhu plays Pritti Pasha. Sabrina has previously appeared in London at the National Theatre in If We Were Older.
- Sejal Keshwala plays Rayia ‘Ray’ Begum. Her previous theatre credits include Bend It Like Beckham at the West End’s Phoenix Theatre.
- Luke Baker plays Dean Paxton. Luke was in the original cast of the show. He’s also appeared in Footloose (UK Tour), American Idiot (Arts Theatre), Sunny Afternoon (Harold Pinter Theatre), Hairspray (Cork Opera House), and I Can’t Sing! (London Palladium).
When is the show on?
Performances are normally at 7.30pm Monday to Saturday, with matinee performances at 2.30pm on Wednesday and Saturday.
Where is the show playing in London?
The production is playing at the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, where it opened in November 2017. The nearest stations to the show are Piccadilly Circus (250m) and Tottenham Court Road (650m). You can also get to the Apollo Theatre via an overground train to London Charing Cross (800m).
Will I like it?
It’s bright. It’s colourful. It’s inspirational. And the songs are pretty amazing, too. It’s a feel-good show that will put a tear in your eye and a desire for glitter in your heart. It’s winning over both critics and audiences, and it’s enjoyed a whopping five Olivier Award nominations. Yes, yes you will.
Where can I buy Everybody’s Talking About Jamie tickets?
Right here with us! You can find Everybody’s Talking About Jamie tickets in the West End just below, with the best available tickets at great prices.
And if you’re a teacher/careers advisor, Education Packs for this show (and more) are available in our Schools Resources area.
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