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Review: EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE, Theatre Royal, Glasgow


Review: EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Review: EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE, Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Direct from the West End, Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a musical based on the true story of Jamie Campbell. Set in Sheffield, sixteen-year-old Jamie (Jamie New for the stage) dreams of becoming a drag queen and decides that he wants to go to his school prom as his true self- in a dress.

Shining so bright in the role of Jamie New is the sensational Layton Williams. Williams captures every element of Jamie beautifully- a sweet and considerate boy who at his core is still a frustrated teenager trying to work out his identity. Switching effortlessly between the catchy songs like "And You Don't Even Know It" and "Out Of The Darkness" to the more emotional ones like "Wall In My Head" and "My Man, Your Boy" it is difficult to imagine a more perfect casting.

Supported by his mother Margaret (Amy Ellen Richardson) Jamie has grown up being unapologetically himself. Margaret works hard and goes without things to ensure her son has everything he wants- plus she does extra to try and cover up the lack of input from his deadbeat dad. Despite the unconditional love from his mother and her best friend Ray (Sasha Latoya) Jamie is somewhat lacking in role models for his chosen profession until he meets Hugo (Shane Richie) who is better known by his alter ego Loco Chanelle. Richie is particularly excellent as Loco as he is completely transformed from middle-aged shop owner to fierce drag queen.

The cast is definitely a major strength of this production. Lara Denning is delightfully unlikeable as Miss Hedge, the teacher so intent on crushing Jamie's uniqueness. George Sampson takes on the role of Dean Paxton, the school bully who relentlessly harasses Jamie and his best friend Pritti. Sharan Phull plays Pritti Phull, the studious young woman who adores her glamorous friend and also delivers my favourite line in the show with fantastic comedic timing. The ensemble cast work together seamlessly to transform the stage for each scene and the group numbers are something really special.

I'm not sure if it is the success of the 2021 film adaptation of the show, the musical's reputation or Layton Williams' star quality but this might be the most packed I've seen the theatre on a Tuesday evening. Glasgow is the final date on the UK tour and I would urge anyone thinking of buying a ticket to do so immediately. Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a complete joy from start to finish.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow until 30 May.

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