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7th September 2021

Review: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Editor in chief Jess Walmsley reviews Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Lowry – ahead of the release of the film adaptation
Review: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie
Photo: Matt Crockett.

This feel-good musical is a must for anyone wanting to carry on Manchester Pride Celebrations. It’s whimsical, emotional, dazzling and vibrant. However, it doesn’t shy away from issues surrounding homophobia and toxic masculinity – all encased in sparkles and fake boobs!

The show is an absolute treat to watch; you could tell how much this show meant to people in the crowd. Tissues were grabbed for moments of heartbreak. These moments were complimented by fabulous acting and comical references to the current moments in the world.

Jamie’s home is set in Sheffield and Layton Williams, himself, is a born and bred Mancunian. This Northern quality added a warmth to the musical.

Everyone’s Talking About Jamie saw a young 16 year-old boy, who had already come out as gay, strive for a career as a drag queen, despite everyone telling him otherwise. This included Jamie hiding his birthday present from his mum; a pair of bedazzled red sequin stiletto high heels!

This musical sought to talk about the desire to become a different person for one night only and escape the normality of daily life.

Layton Williams, Bad Education turned musical theatre actor, played Jamie New with a brilliant, flamboyant presence. Not only did he pull off his stilettos, but there wasn’t a stumble in sight. Layton embodied Jamie New giving this character sass, sensitivity and sparkle. His voice carried the emotions of those who have struggles feeling accepted or being themselves. He showed the struggle of coming out as gay and not fitting the patriarchal image of a man.

The music was dramatic, the sort you would expect if watching a drag show, full of mystique and allure. Shane Ritchie, former Eastenders star, became Loco Chanel, the infamous drag queen, mentoring Jamie into becoming his own queen. The switch from plaid shirt and baggy jeans to a bold statement blue and gold gown was seamless and magical.

In certain productions, Loco Chanel (aka Hugo) will be played by RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio.

The cast also included the hilarious Shobna Gulati (Corrie) and Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson – who played Jamie’s mum’s best friend and Jamie’s bully, respectively.

A feel-good musical with a fantastic message, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is the show everybody should be talking about!

The West End production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is taking a break. However, the show will continue to tour the UK throughout 2021 and 2022.

The famous cast-members, with the exception of Sampson, are not playing at all performances. If you are looking to see a particular actor, be sure to check the website ahead of booking to see the show.

The film adaptation of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is out now!

Jess Walmsley

Jess Walmsley

Editor-in-Chief 21/22

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