BWW Review: EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE, Festival Theatre
Everybody's Talking About Jamie evolved from a documentary about 16-year old schoolboy Jamie Campbell and his journey to find acceptance from his peers. The story of the boy who wore a dress to his school prom inspired the hit musical, which premiered in Sheffield in 2017 before wowing audiences in London, and is now embarking on its first UK tour.
Layton Williams takes on the lead role of Jamie New, having previously played the flamboyant teen in the West End production. He shows all sides of Jamie's personality, with the ability to deliver witty one-liners and sashay across the stage in towering heels, but also to sensitively portray Jamie's insecurities.
Amy Ellen Richardson is wonderful as Jamie's mum Margaret, and the pair excellently convey their strong mother-son bond. Richardson delivers a very believable performance as a protective mother and a stunningly powerful vocal in "He's My Boy".
The young, energetic cast make this a very fun show to watch. Sharan Phull is Pritti, Jamie's loyal and supportive best friend, who shines vocally, particularly in her number "It Means Beautiful".
Shobna Gulati steals the show as hilarious neighbour (who is as good as family) Ray, another cast member who has transferred from the West End to the touring cast. She has excellent comedic timing and has absolutely perfected the role.
Jamie's journey to acceptance sees him meet Hugo and his alter ego Loco Chanelle (Shane Richie). Richie portrays Hugo with pure heart and exudes sass as the legendary Loco. Drag queens Laika Virgin, Tray Sophisticay and Sandra Bollock (JP McCue, Rhys Taylor and Garry Lee) encourage Jamie and assist with his transformation to drag personality Mimi Me.
This show is packed with memorable tunes by Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae, and the audience went from silent tears to jumping to their feet cheering. Thet set design is fairly simple but versatile, very effectively moving from school classrooms to drag queen catwalk.
A fun, heart-warming and truly uplifting show, Jamie definitely is a little bit of glitter in the grey.
Everybody's Talking About Jamie is at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh until 7 March before carrying on its UK tour. It is back in Scotland when it reaches the Kings Theatre, Glasgow, in June