‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ review

Theatre, Drama Apollo Shaftesbury , Piccadilly Circus Until Saturday September 28 2019
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(50user reviews)
 (© Alastair Muir)
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© Alastair Muir
 (© Johan Persson)
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© Johan Persson Josie Walker (Margaret New), John McCrea (Jamie New) and Mina Anwar (Ray)
 (© Alastair Muir)
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© Alastair Muir
 (© Johan Persson)
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© Johan Persson
 (© Johan Persson)
5/6
© Johan Persson John McCrea (Jamie New) and Josie Walker (Margaret New) 
 (© Johan Persson)
6/6
© Johan Persson John McCrea (Jamie New) and Lucie Shorthouse (Pritti Pasha) 

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This staggeringly enjoyable musical about a teen drag queen transfers triumphantly to London

‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ is a burst of joy in the heart of the West End. This new British musical, transferring from the Sheffield Crucible, is the real deal. Watch out, tired revivals: there’s a new kid in town.

Inspired by a 2011 BBC documentary about a teenager who wanted to be a drag queen, the show follows 16-year-old Jamie on his journey to be himself – out of a classroom in a working-class part of Sheffield, away from the bigotry of a deadbeat dad, and into high heels.

Director Jonathan Butterell’s production is a high-impact blaze of colour, combining video projections with seamless scene changes and a live band above the stage. It captures the frenetic energy of being a teenager.

Every element of this show works beautifully together. The music, by The Feeling frontman Dan Gillespie Sells, is a deft mix of irresistibly catchy, pop-honed foot-tappers – try not to hum ‘And You Don’t Even Know It’, I dare you – and truthful, heart-wrenching numbers.

This is Sells’s first foray into writing for musicals, but he’s always excelled at telling stories in song.

He is matched by the show’s writer and lyricist Tom MacRae. Apart from notable exceptions like Punchdrunk’s ‘Doctor Who’-themed kids’ show ‘The Crash of Elysium’, he’s largely written for TV, but this works well here. His dialogue is punchy, funny and often lands with a sting.

While most of the characters exist to orbit Jamie, they still have their own stories and these are crisply told. As Pritti, Jamie’s best friend who wants to be a doctor, Lucie Shorthouse is funny and affecting.

Josie Walker is superb as Margaret, Jamie’s mum, who’s raised him alone. She pours her heart into the spine-tingling ‘If I Met Myself Again’. Mina Anwar, meanwhile, lights up the stage as her no-shit-taking bezzie, Ray. Family means a lot of different things here.

And at the show’s heart is a star-making turn by John McCrea as Jamie, the queen-in-waiting. Charismatically sharp and sassy during the showstoppers, pulse-racingly choreographed by Kate Prince, he deftly reveals the ache of vulnerability behind his character’s catwalk strut.    

Sells and MacRae craft a world that bubbles with hope but doesn’t ignore its hardships. Jamie and his classmates face a society beaten down by broken relationships and poverty, that tells them there’s no point trying.

But ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ is too fabulous to be a pity party. It’s a joyous punch in the air about following your dreams and being yourself. ‘Life-affirming’ is generally an over-used term, but not here. This production owns the stage.

This review is from 2017. The current cast features Rebecca McKinnis (as Margaret New) and Shobna Gulati (as Ray). ‘RuPaul's Drag Race’ judge Michelle Visage will join the cast as Miss Hedge from October 18 to January 26. Layton Williams takes over the lead role of Jamie from January 28 2019. Check the official website for full cast details. 

By: Tom Wicker

Posted:

Venue name: Apollo Shaftesbury
Contact:
Address: 31
Shaftesbury Avenue
London
W1D 7EZ
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Price: £10-£65. Runs 2hr 40min
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:36
  • 4 star:10
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|50
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tastemaker

Now I know why EVERYONE is talking about Jamie!!! What a brilliant show.


All about following your dreams and family it may have left a little tear in my eye, I admit it!


I have to say very the first number the leads voice was a little off and I was thinking to myself 'two hours of this' but everything from there on in was just brilliant. The mothers voice was mind blowing as were Jamie's skill in those ridiculously amazing red heels (WANT!).


A beautiful story of owning your life, following your dreams and not letting the haters get you down. Coming of age in the most fabulously way ever - I think every high school kid should be going to this!


I would highly recommend soaking up the sass of this one, you will come out singing and loving life :)

tastemaker

This is the best musical i saw this year and you have to choose one - make it Jamie! There are so many reasons to love it and I am going to give you TEN without any spoilers:


1. JOHN MCCREA - WHY he hasn't won the ward for Best Actor in a Musical is a wonder. His moves are sharp, his singing dreamy and his acting is just FABULOUS, darling. Charismatic, beautiful and able to express his emotions from insecurities, doubt, determination, ambition, rejection to joy and euphoria and love - he has it all and I think he has a bright future in Stage and Screen.


2. Jonathan Butterell’s production defines what makes the best theatre and musical - DIRECTION, DIRECTION, DIRECTION!. The movement and choreography are sublime and just marvellous!


3. Script and lyrics by Tom MacRae and Music by The Feeling frontman Dan Gillespie Sells - for their debut playwright and stage musical - Everybody's Talking about a Jamie is a staggering, charismatic, razzmatazz Triumph!


4. Margaret - played by Josie Walker is what a single mother raising her child alone is like. She was a fantastic mother... too fantastic perhaps that she even made up stories, excuses and made sure Jamie receives cards, presents and flowers on occasions that matter. She went as far as begging for her ex to give Jamie a chance. Whilst she is accepting and celebrating Jamie's dream to be a drag queen at as young as 16, she also understood what it's like to be rejected by your own flesh and blood. It's this dichotomy that makes Margaret a beautiful character and make us root for her instead of having a city party over her *mistakes* as a mother.


5. Pritti - Jamie's best friend is the quintessential Asian girl - studious, driven, loyal and outspoken - she holds her own against the bullies in school and those who tease her for wearing the hijab, She was also very protective of Jamie and focussed on her ambition to be a doctor despite all the detraction from her teacher and peers. One of the most moving scenes in the play was when she told Jamie, she CHOSE to wear the hijab herself because that's who she is and told Jamie to be himself and go to the prom in a dress and not in drag.


Lucie Shorthouse captures the essence of Pritti perfectly - it's also a very well written character with different facets and layers. IN fact one of the best characters in the play.


6. Ray is Margaret's best friend who is practically Jamie's auntie or godmother - she's there for both Margaret and Jamie and have more balls than any men in his life especially his dad! Ray made no apologies for who she is and believe in Jamie.


7. Hugo owns the costume store where Jamie got her first dress and was introduced to the glamorous world of real drag queens> Hugo mentored him and opened the stage for him to perform in public for the first time as Mememe... Hugo also saved him from the street after a heartbreaking and sobering scene with his father and told him to go home and make amends with his mum.


8 Community - the classmates are different yet all come together when it's crunch time! The way that the three drag queens took Jamie under their wings and make him feel that he is beautiful and has a place on stage and can claim his place in the world as himself.


9 Spirit - The beauty of Jamie is not just that in the end, fairy tale does come true but the little-little things that pave the way there and how it accumulates into big things which define a self discovering journeys not just for Jamie but also for everyone on the play - his mom, Hugo, the teacher, Pritti, his classmates including the chief bully. His mother realised that Jamie has to accept that he's beautiful even though he's rejected by his own father and she shouldn't be lying and going to great lengths to cover up for her Ex just to protect Jamie. It makes Jamie stronger and confident of his choice including to take the trash out in stilettos!



10 Diversity - the cast is one of the most diversified in London  theater today - and not just in terms of sexuality, race and colour but also in terms of characterisations, facets and layers. This play makes you feel that the different performers were there not just to represent a race of colour or to make the play look diversified but each resonates with the character they play and can tell the journey and stories in their own way and resonate with what the play demands. 


But we don't go watch a musical for diversity and to see if there are POCs in the cast - we go to be swept off our feet, coming out lighter, singing and dancing and for that reason alone - you will ENJOY JAMIE! 


Trust me on this - it's the best musical in London this year! Go and talk, sing,dance, shout, celebrate Jamie!

tastemaker

One word: FAB-OU-LOUS! One of the best musicals I have ever watched.

Love it, love it, love it. The story line is modern and the scripts are current and funny. The stage was transformed from a classroom to Jamie's house, to the headmistress office, etc very efficiently despite not much major changes. 


To me, Jamie and Pritty were the stars of the show. Jamie was sassy, funny, and brave whilst Pritty, his best friend, was a conservative, supportive and quiet Muslim girl. Their acting were superb and the songs they were singing were catchy. The emotions on stage were contagious and we felt the emotional roller coaster that Jamie went through in pursuing his dream as a drag queen. There were aspects of bullying, divorce, and different sexual orientation on display which are very relevant to today's world. The entire cast is talented. 


Definitely a show to watch in the West End. It was entertaining and it put a smile on our faces the entire evening..


tastemaker

This show is a total spunking of sass. From the infectious music that will get stuck in your head, to the wriggling of your toes that you sort of wish were compressed in 7” heels, “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” is an absolute shining star of the West End offering. It’s no surprise that the production has been extended to October 2018, and that a film version is in the pipeline, as this modern tale of overcoming adversity and being true to who are has never struck a chord more so than now.


As musicals go, this show has the magic trifecta running smoothly; smartly lyric’d music from former-frontman of The Feeling Dan Gillespie Sells, modern dance routines, and impressive vocal talents of a spectacular, and ones-to-watch, cast. All three are best encapsulated by lead John McCrea’s Jamie New; who straight off the bat is the unapologetic, sensitive but determined teen who’s heart is set on becoming a fabulous drag queen. McCrea oozes West End talent; from his pop toned vocals, to his legs-for-days sashaying up the stage in killer heels. Combined with Sells’ emotive lyrics - stand attention for The Wall In My Head in Act One *wipes tears just thinking about it* - McCrea is no doubt set to be one of the UK’s rising stars of stage and screen.


Most powerful of all the performances has to be Josie Walker’s Margaret; Jamie’s incredibly supportive and utterly devoted mother. Walker brings a three-dimensionality I’ve not seen before in the West End. Every time she appeared, the theatre would stand to attention - taking every last drop of her words, her music, her love, that all felt authentic. Walker’s scene-stealing-moment comes in Act Two with her breakdown of “He’s My Boy”. An almost Dreamgirls “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” moment, which conjured every argument I ever had with my mum where I’d shout at her to “stop mothering so much”. I got it after that performance. And the audience definitely got it as it’s Walker who gets one of the biggest cheers during the standing ovation to the cast.


While Jamie and Margaret give the character depth needed to anchor the audience’s intrigue, it’s disappointing to not see this shared with some of the other memorable characters. The characters of Ray and Pritti offer the secondary relief to the main characters but Hugo/Loco Channelle felt like a missed opportunity to flesh out the fairy-drag-mother role. As was bully, Dean, who felt like he was tackling a few more inner demons than they were letting on and could’ve been interesting to explore some more. With a film production on the horizon, I hope that that’s where we’ll get to see more layers to these characters.


Overall, a highly recommended show that will have you strutting down the tube tunnels. Go see it!!!

tastemaker

One of the best and most current shows I’ve seen!

ETAJ addresses very real themes in today’s society; discrimination, self identity, stereotypes and prejudice to name a few, but on a superficial level, the show is deliciously sassy and absolutely hysterical. The role of Jamie is played superbly...and does a better job in heels than most women! Also have to rave about mum who was brilliant! Would absolutely recommend, and even go back again myself!

tastemaker

I went to see this show not knowing what to expect and at the end I left the theatre with a smile on my face.

Although the show mainly revolves around Jamie who is a teenage gay boy who aspires to be a drag queen, the characters are diverse and a nice reflection of modern UK society. I really liked the message of this show which is believing in yourself and not letting other people's opinions bring you down. Of course, having supportive people around you is going to be a massive bonus as Jamie's mum and auntie and his BFF, Pritti, were to him.

The set design is creative and smart. The songs are mostly uplifting and make you want to dance. Not all of them, but some of them are catchy and I'm still singing some of them after a couple of days. The actors are brilliant and outstanding singers. The choreography is also nice, could be improved in some parts though.

Everybody should be talking about Jamie. It's a joyful musical that I would definitely recommend!

tastemaker

I agree with many of the comments on this page about this musical being full of diversity (no, I'm not just talking about the main character) and teenage angst and strives (even his best friend who wants to be a doctor has them) however for me, something was missing. 


I felt the show relied heavily on the sensational drag queens for some shock and wow when it really didnt need to. I thought the storyline was sufficient and it really caught the audience's attention especially when Jamie goes to visit his dad and also when his mum is 'dissed' by the namesake of the show. 


Special shout out to 'mum' who's rendition of 'he's my boy' really sent shivers down my spine. 


This show tackles a lot of difficult current topics that other musicals don't. Well done. 

tastemaker

If you liked Billy Elliott - you'll love this. 

If you liked Kinky Boots - you'll love this. 

If you have any kind of soul, fun or passion in your body - you'll love this! 


It's uplifting, it's fun, it's heart-warming. The cast are amazing (the guy that plays Jamie is a MEGASTAR!!!!), the music is fab and the performances.... just wow. 


What an amazing show. Everyone really should be talking about Jamie! 


Tastemaker

A great new musical to London's West end.  A tale about not fitting in and struggling in the modern world of social media 'perfection' and normality.


The songs are catchy, the dancing is fantastic and the story line is strong enough to keep you engaged the whole time.  It gets a little repetitive during the second half but the final songs pull it all together and you leave on a high. 


This has a young cast who really hold their own, in fact outshining some of the more mature/experienced performers. 

All in all, a fun night out but definitely not the best thing on the West End at the moment.  If you can get tickets on offer then get it booked in! 


A modern Billy Elliott for the Ru Paul generation. 

tastemaker

This musical is the best thing I've seen for a very, very long time. YOU MUST GO AND SEE IT IF YOU'RE THINKING (AND EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT THINKING) ABOUT IT.


Set design: was amazing. Very modern, very technical and unbelievably creative. 

Cast: SUPERB. I'm still listening to the songs on YouTube. The performances were so strong, not a single member of the cast let the team down, each deserves their own applause. Particularly good performances from John McCrea, Lucie Shorthouse and Josie Walker. 

Plot: Refreshingly modern, with contemporary colloquialisms, references and tackles relevant issues. It's the 2018 Billy Elliot. 

Script: hilariously funny throughout with witty one-liners and contemporary, and at times complex, social commentary. 


Overall: a feel-good, fun, funny and relevant musical that the industry has been crying out for. Finally, a plot that millennials can relate too and identify with. 


EVERYONE PLEASE GO AND SEE THIS MUSICAL!

tastemaker

This is a must see for any lover of the modern British musical. The highlights for me were 'Beautiful' and 'He's My Boy' but several of the songs are still stuck in my head. The cast is superb- from the school kids to the drag queens. If you want a fun and uplifting evening, then the Apollo Theatre is the place to be! I already want to see it again :)

tastemaker

When your mum says she’s coming to town it’s always time to get the little London black book of things to do out...top of my list was to see this show. I completely based it on hear say and tube posters I’d seen when dashing up the escalators, however I’m so glad I listened to the positive reviews. Comparing it to a mash up of Billy Elliot and Kinky Boots would do it a dishonour, this show is a refreshing take on a coming of age story about a boy who realises he is different and refuses to be boxed into a stereotype but be his fabulous self. I loved everything about it from his northern Mum (her song brought a tear to my eye), to the drag queen shop owner and the wonderfully talented bunch of school kids. Much more than just a story about a boy drag queen, this has heart and humour at its core. I laughed the whole way through and I’ve been raving about it since, one step away from ordering the soundtrack online! We had side seats in the circle which had ‘restricted stage viewing’ but were absolutely fine.


I saw this show on 5 March and really enjoyed it.  It's an original musical with some really good songs and story.  John McCrea is terrific as Jamie and Josie Walker has a beautiful singing voice and can give meaning to a song.  There are a lot of important social issues covered in the show in a subtle and well done manner; not just about Jamie wanting to be a drag queen, but the choices that people make that effect their lives when they get older.  This show is worth seeing. 


Such a feel good show! Especially for young people. It gives you the confidence to be who you are and that being "different" is actually empowering. John McCrea is absolutely phenomenal, it's as if he was born to play the role of Jamie, and his best friend Pritti played by Lucie Shorthouse made me feel like I want to go out and be the most powerful women I can be! There were so many other great performances by some very talented people but I don't want to go on! Everyone must see it, definitely if  you need cheering up or want to boost your self confidence! 

tastemaker

I absolutely loved this! I had no idea what I was going to see and was so pleased! The characters were brilliant - Jamie and his best friend were great - I want her to be my best friend. The songs were clearly sung so you could actually understand what they were saying, and everyone was a good singer. And the message behind the whole show was also brilliant. Generally it was excellent, you should all go.


We liked the general story of the musical and the very positive messages it's conveying, but you've got to be kidding me if you think the show merits 5 stars.  It was a severe disappointment given all the positive reviews from both Time Out and other users.  Did we see the same musical?? It had some nice bits, and we loved the diverse characters.  But there was really nothing memorable when it comes to the music. Not a single song stuck in our mind as we left the theater.  For example, we we felt "He's My Boy" which is intended to be an emotional high point, was major lyrical miss.


As far as the plot / story is concerned, it was pretty underwhelming. Maybe it was true to life, but it comes across as very light in terms of depth of real drama. Perhaps the real-life Jamie had it this easy with peer acceptance (save one student character), but I'd say that's far from the reality the vast majority of transgenders experience.


Don't bother.  As reviewer Josie says, there are far better shows to see.  

Tastemaker

Everybody is talking about Jaime and for good reason, this is a fantastic show. It’s all about being who you want to be and it’s a joyous celebration of humanity! It’s also about a young boy called Jamie who wishes to be a Drag Queen, at the tender age of 16 he decides to make that dream come true. A kitchen sink story with a heart the size of Sheffield, where this story is set. Based on the BBC3 doc ‘ Drag Queen at 16’ I laughed,cried,cheered,sobbed,gasped and cheered some more. Jamie is such a great character and is a darling protagonist, achingly lovable from the second he walks on stage. The songs are great, the actors just splendid. Thumbs up all round.

Tastemaker

WOW WOW WOW WOW


What a show, such an uplifting production, so many themes and so well executed on the stage. It was great, the songs, the music, the set, the cast. I haven't got a bad word to say about it, apart from I want everyone to go and see it.


Top tip

GO, you won't regret it!

Tastemaker

I almost feel like I shouldn’t be putting this out there as there have been so many positive reviews but I was not a massive fan of this musical.I loved the message behind it and the diverse cast but I felt the songs lacked depth.You could tell a song was coming but when the characters broke into song it still felt out of place and didn’t flow properly from dialogue to singing, t he entire flow just felt a bit jarring.

The best part was the drag queens, they added genuine humor and made the audience feel at ease as their performances were so flawless and confident.  


Saying that, I did have the songs stuck in my head for a few days after so they are catchy and poppy. If you are looking for an easy going musical and something to round off a good night out with a few drinks, then this would be great fun.  However in London where there are so many amazing musicals that add a comedy element, like Hamilton and Book of Mormon, I wouldn’t be putting this musical at the top of my recommendations.  


Utterly joyous! John McCrea is mesmerising as our eponymous hero/ine. He was born to do this role & it’s really hard to imagine another actor as his character. Fabulous characters bought to life by an amazing cast, witty script & toe tapping tunes. This is contemporary musical perfection. I laughed, I cried & I want to see it again. One of this years must see productions

tastemaker

Hilarious, sparkling, contemporary déjà-vu. This show’s been described by the critic as a modern Billy Elliot, and so it is, but in a very different and unusual key.

The story is about a 16 years old boy whose greatest ambition is becoming a drag queen and who therefore faces the difficulty to be and to feel accepted, mainly by his father, who’s neglected him. 

Whilst the theme itself is obviously very hot and modern, the deepest concept of acceptance of the “other” and of differences as additional values is timeless and, in the same way, the the format of the show perfectly reflects this. In between an old style comedy play and a contemporary musical, “Everybody’s talking about Jamie” avoids to slip in any categorisation.The result is fresh, new, almost experimental! Furthermore, it’s finally something more for locals than for tourists, with very typically British accents and humour!

The cast are very talented and remarkable is Josie Walker’s performance, in the role of Jamie’s mum.

Definitely recommended!!

Tastemaker

What a triumph!


If you’re thinking this might be too flamboyant or too teenagey or too stereotypical (I mean, come on we’ve this coming of age story a lot of times already…), stop at once! Because this show is an absolute must-see.


More than just being about drag queens and the struggles of one teenage gay boy, it’s about celebrating people standing up for themselves and embracing who they are. And boy, is that a relatable subject. And even more relevant in today’s society where gender politics are shifting and social norms are changing.


Every piece of the show just adds to the magic of it all – the clever staging, catchy songs and emotional scenes. Plus, the cast is simply outstanding. There’s the touching friend Pritti, the self-sacrificing mum, the powerful aunty, the fragile bully and of course the rebellious yet scared, loveable yet a tad obnoxious Jamie.


This is exhilarating, elating and superbly touching. It’ll be a shame to let this little jewel pass you by.

Tastemaker

What a truly amazing musical that was!

As far as I'm concerned, the show peaked at the very beginning was the best opening song, Don't even know it.

The story was compelling. I particularly enjoyed seeing the portrayal of a young man with such confidence and belief in who he is and what he wants. I also really loved the relationship between the Mom, Jamie and the best friend / step mom.

I am quite unsure of the singing talent of the main actor who was good but I would expect more from a West End performer.

Most of the show is really upbeat and will make you feel like dancing for hours after.

tastemaker

From the first song I knew I was witnessing a modern classic. The opening song, "And you don't even know it", sets the right tone and is deftly done in a classroom setting. In fact the whole music is good throughout the musical and it was no surprise to learn that Dan Gillespie Sells (formerly of the Feeling) was the song writer. The acting from Jamie was outstanding and very faithful to the original Jamie who starred in the "Jamie - Drag Queen at 16" BBC documentary. The supporting act, particularly Jamie's mother and his best friend were superb. 


The second half packed a far more emotional punch. The key themes of resilience and self-expression were universal and uplifting. 


There were rumours of a film being in a pipeline. It would do well to capture a fraction of the entry of this irrepressible cast. 

tastemaker

AN UNMISSABLE PRODUCTION!

It’s an inspiration to witness such a story like ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’.

A modernised take on such a beautiful classic.

It’s completely captivating throughout the whole show and such a breath of fresh air to see such a young and diverse cast perform to their absolute fullest.

It’s absolutely heartwarming, sensational and such a spectacular splendour of a show. Inspired by a true story, Jamie Campbell (the real Jamie) who knew was always different from everyone else, brings us his most memorable experiences of life.

The actor playing Jamie in the musical is ‘John McCrea’ who is phenomenal and incredible in every single level humanly possible.

He brought Jamie to life, to the limelight where he needed to be.

It was difficult, but he did it. He achieved his wildest dreams of becoming a drag queen.

This musical reflects what happens to many young boys and girls growing up and afraid of showing the world who they really are.

It’s such a shame that there are so many people out still fearful and worried about what people will say.

I believe the musical will inspire so many Individuals and hopefully there will be a change in this world.

I also feel that a lot of people out there will relate to this story.

Knowing that your different and being called names by your classmates and your own father is terrible.

The cast are one of a kind. Tremendously funny, bloody fantastic and just bonkers in a good way.

It was such a beautiful moment to see the pure relationship of Jamie New (John McCrea) with his mother Margaret New who is played by ‘Josie Walker’.

The relationship with his best friend Pritti who is played by ‘Lucie Shorthouse’ is remarkably stunning.

Their bond is priceless and unforgettably touching. Both his relationships were different, but it was what Jamie needed in his life.

I absolutely loved Ray who is played by ‘Mina Anwar’. She is bloody fabulous. My cheeks were on fire from the beginning to end of this spectacular production.

There isn’t a single fault. There is only perfection.

This is a musical of life, filled with emotions and love and some disappointments.

With the less greater things in life, we grow from it and fight for what we believe in.

Once you achieve your dreams. Anyone is unstoppable.

I really believe in that and ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ is about this so much more.

The songs are magnificent. I love ‘It Means Beautiful’. Pritti (Lucie Shorthouse) was sheer perfection in my ears.

I also loved ‘He’s My Boy’. Margaret (Josie Walker) rocked that stage like no other.

What a powerful voice indeed.

This musical is about overcoming prejudice and following your dreams. Unfortunately it’s still a very dark situation which needs to be resolved.

I feel that it’s becoming stronger and that people don’t need to be afraid anymore.

Overcoming your fears is what makes you so special. Different is grand.

Jamie displayed this all on the infamous West End stage of the Apollo Theatre.

If your still thinking about going, then stop thinking and just go.

#TOTastemaker

Love MD.

tastemaker

IT’S A HIT!! And you don’t even know it!


Amazing night!! Me and my mate were dancing in our seats at the end which moved to dancing in the street and the tube and when I got home.

Incredible cast, choreography and writing. Defiantly going again!! 
Tastemaker

Everybody IS talking about Jamie, and rightly so! 


One of the most uplifting musicals I have been to all year. The songs are fantastic and extremely catchy and remained in my head for the whole weekend. The acting is also superb with several tender moments but the star of the show is Jamie himself and all his moves in those killer heels. This is a real feel good show and highly recommend it.

tastemaker

What an amazing, heart warming, funny show. A fabulous cast performing great dance routines and powerful songs, surrounding a true tale of love, support and triumph in our modern day society which still allows and tolerates discrimination and bullying. I came away from this show feeling invigorated to do anything and most importantly just to be myself. I loved it! Also as a side note - the Apollo is one of my favourite theatres however definitely pay extra for the stalls the upper levels can have limited view of the stage. 

tastemaker

I enjoyed Everybody's Talking About Jamie. As many have said, it is a witty, funny comedy that brings a teenage boy's struggle to become a drag queen into the limelight. 


The characters are well portrayed - the teenagers pretty spot on, and it was so nice to see such a diverse range of characters breaking typical moulds. 


As well as the main story line, there is so much else going on. A heartbreaking story between the Dad and Mum. A young Muslim woman who struggles with her identity and is so ambitious. A drag queen who rediscovers his sparkle. 


However, it would have been nice to see Jamie in 'full drag'. There were some fabulous drag queens who made an appearance throughout the show, but you never really see Jamie dressed to the nines, as it were. However, what you do see is a young man who overcomes every challenge in his path to find his true, inner self. A really feel-good story line. 


It is good fun, and a really fun night out. Give it a go - you never know, you might love it! 

tastemaker

This show fills the gap for great new writing that the west end has been crying out for. It sparkles with heart, warmth, fun and plenty of glitter. The script is current and witty, the depictions of the teenagers are spot on (which many have tried and failed to portray correctly). The only reason I didn't give it five stars, is because it's a show about a teenage boy who wants to be a drag queen and at no point in the show do we see him in full drag (only the back of him). I know there were so many other layers of the show that make it fabulous, but I was waiting to see Meme Me in the spotlight and she never came. Go and see this show, you won't be disappointed!

Tastemaker

This is a lighthearted musical based around a teenager aspiring to be a drag queen, who decides with the encouragement of his best friend who is a hijab wearing muslim girl with a hindu name to go to his prom in a dress. It was fun and moving- I went with my mother who was a single mum and she was balling her eyes out at many of the songs. I would have given this 5* but there were points where I thought the choreography could have been sharper in parts (there was a scene in which the mum reminisces about her youth in which a young couple dancing is meant to be a heartfelt choreography but it fell flat) and the songs to me felt like the standard songs you hear in most musicals. Do not let these minor faults stop you from going- it is great! 

tastemaker

What is it about red shoes? Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, Lola in Kinky Boots, and now Jamie. There’s just something about them which signifies determination, empowerment, and triumph (and seemingly draws in a broadly LGBBTQ+ audience). Jamie certainly earns its place on the list. Performing the queer, coming-of-age story with enthusiasm which pours off the stage, is a truly incredible cast. John McCrea (as Jamie) is of course the leading light, but he stands on the mighty shoulders of Josie Walker (Mum), Mina Anwar (Ray), and Lucie Shorthouse (Pretti). The program proclaims this is Lucie’s West-End debut, and I simply can’t wait to see more of her.

The show itself inspires patriotism (not least because they often maintain their Northern accents while singing!), and is reminiscent of films set in 1980’s Britain such as Billy Elliot, The Full Monty, Brassed Off, etc., a genre I happen to adore and am eager to notice a resurgence of: this time round with a broader diversity of race, nationality, and (of course) gender expression.

Aesthetically, the stage is usually uncluttered, the setting beautifully articulated by video/moving image footage (designer: Luke Halls). Using video in theatre is becoming fashionable, and I always find exciting as it adds another dimension to the design. In this case, it allowed the cast to express the flamboyancy of Jamie in an otherwise grey, overcast town in Sheffield. Having said this, I was slightly underwhelmed by some of the drag costumes.

Perhaps it’s the theatrical circles I move in, but there are several people to whom I will be highly recommending this show because they simply must see it!

Tastemaker

A full-of-glitter/extravaganza new musical has just landed in West End & you don’t want to be the one to miss it! Inspired by a true story, it has been already a documentary in BBC channel, you will explore what it meant to be a young boy dreaming to become a drag queen in North England some years ago. There are sad moments, there are happy moments but Jamie is at the centre of all of them. Jamie who has gone through so many things in such a young age... The leading actor is a phenomenon to watch over for the next years. As far as the songs concerned, they are all so easily stuck in your head that you will be extremely tempted to pop in the theatre’s foyer next time in central London to just buy the newly released CD album. I couldn’t think of better, more fresh songs to accompany this perfect staged story. Jamie, your story is now being heard!

tastemaker

I didn't know much about the storyline, or what to expect from this musical but I came away from it feeling inspired. I enjoyed the choreography and the music and everyone had great voices. What particularly stuck with me was the number of strong characters in this show from Jamie, his mum, Pritti, Ray there are so many to admire. It's a show that encourages you to embrace your differences and have the courage to be yourself and I think a show with this message is exactly what the world needs! 

tastemaker

I left the theatre with sore cheeks from excessive smiling - says it all really.


Fantastic feel-good musical based on the real-life experiences of an inspiring 16-year-old with an unconventional dream & an incredible sense of self. This is a show with heart and soul by the truckload. 

Aside from the usual delights of a great musical - fantastic songs, set, choreography etc - my favourite thing about Everybody's Talking About Jamie was the exploration of the special, sometimes complicated relationships in Jamie's life. From his long-suffering but incredible mother Margaret, his mum's best friend Ray to his best friend Pritti - the relationships depicted were believable and moving.


Everybody's Talking About Jamie should be near the top of every musical theatre enthusiast's 'must see' list!

tastemaker

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a tale of a courageous 16 year old who knew he was different and wasn’t afraid to embrace it. At 11 when Jamie got asked in the class what he wanted to be, he didn’t have to think before he said “drag queen”. Four years after when all the boys were buying suits for their prom, Jamie got busy transforming into Meme, who wishes to wear a dress at his prom. But, he doesn’t want to be a boy in a dress, he wants to be the most beautiful girl in a dress. The best line in the show was – boys in a dress get laughed at, drag queens are feared.

If you liked Kinky Boots and truly believe in believing yourself, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a story of an ambitious boy, supported by a loving mother. If you see anything this Christmas, make it Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

Tastemaker

Any good show needs drama and character development. So there was a moment of initial disappointment in act one, where it seemed, ok, but this Jamie kid, a gay teen in Sheffield, dreaming one day of becoming a drag queen, doesn't really have the odds stacked that high against him. In this day of internet, Sheffield might not be quite as accepting as London’s Soho, but it is certainly aware of queer folk out there. Jamie's mom and her best friend are extremely supportive of him (to the extent of gifting him his first pair of dancing shoes). Jamie himself is very aware of who he is and what he wants to be. He accepts his queerness as the new normal and very smartly dismisses taunts about being gay from the bully at school: ‘I am gay! It’s not an insult, if it's true!”. Then there's his best mate Pritti - a hijab wearing Pakistani girl, who knows first hand what it is to be a minority. Heck, possibly, she has it worse than Jamie, come to think of it. So the only real obstacles Jamie has to overcome are where to get the money to pay for his stage dress (mom takes care of that by selling her piece of jewellery), what his stage name would be (eventually chosen pretty much at random) and how to attend his prom wearing a dress since the Jimmy Choo wearing headmaster seems bent on making sure he doesn't steal the show from his fellow students (but conveniently changes her mind under the pressure of Jamie's classmates). Despite this let me be the first to admit how engrossed I became as the musical unrolled. I laughed, I made an attempt to sing along and yes, I cried. Because despite the obvious shortcomings it is ultimately a classical fairy tale very much in the vein of Cinderella (rather than trying to be a social commentary). It is full of heart. The director certainly knows which strings to pull. The musical also boasts a very solid cast: sure, there would be no show without Jamie, who is in pretty much every scene, but let me just say how amazing Jamie's mom’s (Margaret New played by Josie Walker) singing was! The songs and dancing are energetic and very much informed by the pop music (as, I imagine, the original Jamie Campbell was), and the title song (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie) certainly has the makings of a hit: many an audience member could be seen singing or tapping along, me included.

I laughed, cried, laughed again, sang along and left brimming with happiness. So the musical might not be perfect, but if Everybody Is Talking About Jamie, it is rightly so!


tastemaker

Jamie is a true british musical filled with talent laughs and love.

The best combination of Kinky Boots and Billy Elliot! Jamie offers excellent choreography, superb writing and an outstanding cast to leave with a smile on your face.

Standouts were Mina and Lucie who stole the show everytime they were on stage.

tastemaker

Everybody should be talking about Jamie...


Heartwarming. This is the word which describes this musical the best for me. I could feel this is a passion-project for all the cast and creatives.

The set was clever (I especially liked Jamie's house), the music was great (I was humming the theme song on my way home), the performances are superb (John McCrea and Josie Walker were like a true mother-son duo), the characters are lovely (Mina Anwar as Jamie's "second Mum"; Lucie Shorthouse as the best friend; the Drag-squad...Year 11...all a very likeable bunch), the choreography was amazing ( the dance during "If Imet myself again" took my breath away...and of course there were some excellent vogueing) .


Go and see Jamie, because he is a "work of art".

tastemaker

'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' is a pleasure from beginning to end. 

An enjoyable play that will make you think, cry and laugh (a lot). The sets are simplistic, yet wonderfully designed (the cast use a real kettle with boiling water to make tea). The cast diverse and relatable, you'll feel as though you are sitting in the back of a year 11 classroom. The music is memorable and the choreography is fantastic, such a small stage used to its full capacity. This show is bound to become a classic.

Everybody may be talking about Jamie but you'll leave the show singing about him as well!

Tastemaker

What a fun night out! A very well thought musical with a clever set, creative choreography and a very relatable main character that you just can't help but falling in love with. Add a little bit of diversity, and a lot of talent from cast members, and you have the perfect combination to cheer all the way for a happy ending. Would highly recommend this for a feel good night out that will make you want to take on the world because, you know, it's all about that little confidence in yourself.

tastemaker

If you are reading this wondering whether to book tickets, then the answer is YES.

I had no idea what the storyline was or what to expect, but this made the whole performance even better.

The cast are absolutely amazing and the storyline is heartwarming and uplifting. I loved the dancing, the songs and the story.

I’ve been to a number of West End shows and this performance left me with a smile on my face singing the songs on the way home. I cannot recommend this show enough.

tastemaker

As a fairly new kid on the musical block, I didn't really have any expectations of Everybody's talking about Jamie but boy did it blow my socks off! A heart-warming storyline with clever set design, beautiful songs and a stunning cast. If they aren't already, then everybody soon will be talking about this incredible West End production.

tastemaker

Oh boy oh boy oh boyyyyy

I have to say my expectations were high for this musical and i was always going to compare it to kinky boots... honestly it's in a league of its own.

The songs were simply incredible!!! I mean it too.. every single song was incredible!! It was contemporary,fun,relevant and terribly engaging!!!!

Though they had a small stage they worked it so thoroughly I forgot all about it.

It's all about a young boy who decides he wants to be a drag queen ... as you can imagine there were dresses galore,high heels,great choreography and tons of fun. My only complaint would be that we never actually get to see Jamie himself fully adorned in all his drag queen glory! Man did I want to see that!

Either way it didn't stop the show from being as fantastic as it was!! Honestly... i couldnt recommend it enough!

tastemaker

Not only is everybody talking about Jamie, they're also falling in love with him. This musical is truly inspiring. It sends you on a bubble of feel good. The sassy, charismatic, unapologetic Jamie, played by John McCrea, leads a cast of outstanding performances. 

Truly one of the most progressive show's to hit the West End - so much diversity, so much talent, so much love for this entire production. 

It really does have everything you want in a musical; brilliant songs, world-class talent, a powerful story line, big dance numbers and a high-end set. 

It will make you cry, laugh, sing and learn. It really does have something for everyone. 

Tastemaker

Everybody's talking about Jamie does have an uplifting feel good story line that taps into the current zeitgeist, but really it has so much more than just that. The songs are brilliant, "It means beautiful" will surely win an a ward for best new song in a musical. "He's my boy", "Work of Art" and "If I met myself again" are also wonderful, I think Dan Gillespie Sells is going to be a huge success as a songwriter for musicals. The whole cast is great, obviously John McCrea is excellent as Jamie, but there are also outstanding performances from Josie Walker as his Mum and from Lucie Shorthouse as his BFF, Pritti, both of whom have very good voices.

I also really liked the choreography, vibrant and up to date, the set design is clever and efficient. She show finishes very well and you leave the theatre wanting more.

I loved this show and I hope it is a huge success!

tastemaker

I rarely give five stars! For a play or musical to get five stars it has to be interesting, entertaining, original, pacey,have wonderful music and lyrics, fabulous choreography, a clever set design and be thought-provoking. Everybody's talking about Jamie has all these components which fit together like an exciting jigsaw. The live band sits high above the stage sometime their individual silhouettes visible and sometimes not. Choreographer, Kate Prince, brings an energy and vibrancy to the stage at frequent points during the musical. The music by Dan Gillespie Sells of The Feelings, sets the mood required throughout, often sensitive. The largely true story of Jamie (now twenty-two), who wants to be a drag queen rather than a fork-lift driver at the age of sixteen is uplifting. Yes, there is horrible bigotry, bulling and predjudice. Yes, there is self- loathing and self- doubt. Yes, there is a deep sadness when the father rejects his son. But there is also strong friendship, huge motherly love and continual support, advice and mentoring and a positive and happy thought to end on. Jamie (John McCrea), actually looks remarkably like the real Jamie who was sitting in the audience with his mother and grandmother wearing dazzling earrings and a bespoke suit with Jamie emblazoned all over. On stage, his best friend, Pritti, (Lucie Shorthouse), is a standout member of the cast.

It truly is a memorable musical hopefully due for a very long run.

tastemaker

'A man in a dress is something to be laughed at but a drag queen, now that is something to be feared!' Fearless this show is right from the first line. You will be taken on a rollercoaster of raw emotions as you feel the highs and lows of a young man finding his confidence in his own skin and his balance in his first pair of high heels. Outstanding performances from the entire cast who reach out to each and everyone in the audience. Set ablaze a simple yet captivating and dynamic backdrop with an array of dazzling costumes with high energy choreography guarantee you'll have your eyes fixed right until the very end. This show feels refreshingly real with its unapologetic attitude putting the spotlight on societal stereotypes and real teenage life. The trials and tribulations of finding resilience and the road to self discovery are portrayed clearly throughout really allowing you to step into Jamie's shiny red heels. You will be taken on a triumphal journey to feel with him and not for him. There is no time for pity or fairytales here just real human emotion where happily ever after is accepting one's self and rocking it. Wear a damn dress if it makes you happy! Life is too short!

tastemaker

An amazing feel good musical which is a must see for anyone battling something personal. This new musical leaves you smiling ear to ear whilst tackling modern day issues. The songs were absolutely brilliant and the cast were fantastic. Thank you Time Out for this wonderful experience. Definitely go and see!

tastemaker

Everyone has a little bit of Jamie inside of them. I say this because this musical is so different from the typical West End stereotypes. The diverse cast truly reflects London, the story line reminiscent of my own life. We all seek acceptance and often end up broken, feeling the pain of rejection and constantly beating ourselves up. Director Jonathan Butterell, Composer Dan Gillespie Sells and writer and lyricist Tom MacRae take you on an epic journey with fantastic songs, a poignant storyline and great cast. Expect tears and nostalgia as you find your inner Jamie.