Everybody’s Talking About Jamie review (UK Tour 2024)
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, a musical phenomenon that began its life as a BBC documentary in 2011, continues to captivate audiences on its current UK tour.
The story of Jamie New, a teenager with dreams of becoming a drag queen, transcends the typical coming-of-age narrative, delivering a powerful message of self-acceptance and inclusivity.
I went to see the show at Woking’s New Victoria Theatre on its 2024 tour.
Finton Flynn was in for Ivano Turco, shining as he took up the lead role, bringing a fresh and dynamic energy to Jamie. His performance balances Jamie’s vulnerability with his burgeoning confidence, embodied in his transformation into a drag persona.
The supporting cast is equally impressive. Rebecca McKinnis, reprising her role as Jamie’s mother, Margaret, delivers a gut-wrenching portrayal of a mother’s love and sacrifice, particularly in her powerful rendition of ‘He’s My Boy’. Shobna Gulati, returning to the role as the family friend Ray, provides comic relief with impeccable timing and witty one liners.
John Partridge is a standout in the larger than life dual role as Hugo/Loco Chanelle, slipping effortlessly between scene-stealing showstoppers to emotional tender moments.
The ensemble meanwhile bring the energy, expertly delivering choreographer Kate Prince’s brilliant blend of contemporary styles with traditional musical theatre.
A replica of the original West End production, Anna Fleischle’s set design cleverly takes advantage of a simple grid system and projected backdrops to allow for seamless transitions between the stark reality of Sheffield and the colourful world of drag.
At its heart, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is more than just a musical; reflecting contemporary issues around identity, acceptance, and the struggles faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals.
In a time where issues of inclusivity and identity are more relevant than ever, the show offers not just entertainment, but a vital message of hope and acceptance. There’s no question it’s a musical that deserves every one of its accolades.
Currently touring until 20 July 2024