21 September 2021

Everybody's Talking About Jamie Curve Review

 Fresh off the back of the movie release, which is available now on Amazon Prime, the touring production of Everybody's Talking About Jamie arrives at Curve and fills the theatre with uplifting warmth.


The musical which tells the story of Jamie New, inspired by the real life events of Jamie Campbell's life, and his ambition at 16 years of age to become a drag queen and to attend the end of school prom in a dress. 


Layton Williams as Jamie New. Photo by Matt Crockett

Layton Williams takes up the role of Jamie and he is outstanding. He has a real confidence and surety about his performance. He captures every beat of the character with great believability. You feel his pain, you feel his passion and you feel his joy. He is so fun to watch.


Amy Ellen Richardson will leave a lasting impression as her touching portrayal of Jamie's mum, Margaret New. With Jamie's Dad out of the picture she tries to protect Jamie by pretending he is still sending cards and gifts when in fact it all comes from her. This all comes to a head in act two and leads to a spellbinding 'He's My Boy' sung with such power and heart by Richardson. The relationship between Jamie and his mother is something I think everyone can echo in their own lives with their own mother.


Shobna Gulati plays Ray, a role she also plays in the movie adaptation, and she is a delight throughout. Her comic timing delights the audience into rapturous laughter. Who wouldn't want to have someone like Ray in their life? Much like you'd want a Ray in your life you'd also want a strong best friend and that's exactly what Jamie has in Sharan Phull's fantastic Pritti Pasha.


The full Jamie company. Photo by Matt Crockett


Shane Richie impresses as Hugo, better known as the drag queen Loco Chanelle, who becomes a mentor for Jamie in guiding him to make his dreams a reality. George Sampson also impresses as school bully Dean Paxton. The horrible thing about watching Sampson is you know how real this is and how much this behaviour really goes on.


With music by Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRea there's plenty of memorable numbers that'll you have humming in your mind as you leave the theatre. The band under musical direction of Sam Coates are superb, creating the musical beat of show. There's brilliant design from Anna Fleischle who uses the space superbly and combines with Lucy Carter's clever lighting and Luke Halls' video design. There's some superb choreography from Kate Prince that the youthful ensemble pull off with real aplomb. 


With a running time of around 2 hours 45 minutes the production does feel a little lengthy but it never loses any of it's sparkle. This is a piece that will uplift everybody who sees it. This is an musical for a 2021 audience and everybody will leave talking about Jamie. A smash hit.


Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ modern, fresh, uplifting, joyous theatre.


Everybody's Talking About Jamie runs at Curve until Saturday 25th September with limited tickets available from www.curveonline.co.uk. The tour then continues with dates booking until Spring 2022. Visit https://www.everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk/ for tour dates and booking details.

The ensemble of Jamie. Photo by Matt Crockett

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