Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Everybody's Talking About Jamie
It's no great secret that I love a musical, so I was thrilled to hear Sheffield Theatres were putting on a new original production. Since the opening night I'd heard only good things about the show and last night I finally got to see what the fuss was about for myself.
A contemporary musical set in Sheffield, 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' is the story of sixteen-year-old Jamie New who wants a career as a drag queen (despite his psychometric careers testing inexplicably suggesting his future lies elsewhere). More than anything, he wants to wear a dress to his leavers' prom.
Inspired by real-life events, this coming-of-age musical about friendship, family and acceptance has a definite northern flavour which will appeal to anyone who enjoyed the dry wit of 'The Full Monty'. That easy humour, along with a belting score written by Dan Gillespie Sells of The Feeling and Tom MacRae, makes for a fast-paced romp through Jamie's final days at school as he discovers how important it is to be true to himself and hold tight to those around him who'll watch his back.
I couldn't help thinking that even Hope, the one character in The Singalong Society for Singletons who grumbled about musical theatre, would have loved this show with its 'out and proud' stance and unashamed swearing, and more than anything, she (like me) would have found comfort in being part of an audience who had no time for bigotry of any kind. By the time I leapt to my feet for the standing ovation I'd laughed, I'd cried and I'd felt. Everything about the show was electric; the staging, the casting, the costume and make-up... it was just wonderful.
I can't help but carry Jamie close to my heart, and I'm sure everyone who's seen 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' will feel the same, because there's some of him in all of us.
This show needs a longer run. It needs to tour. And it's genuinely better than some of the productions I've seen both in the West End and on Broadway. It runs until Saturday 25th February at Sheffield's famous Crucible Theatre, and I strongly urge anyone who can to go and see it.