There's A Reason Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Still
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Feel-good musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie has a new 2020 cast, bringing more sass than ever to the show. The story of 16-year-old Jamie's dream to become a drag queen has been a hit since it first graced the West End stage in 2018. Now, with the fabulous Noah Thomas as the new Jamie New, it’s bound to keep on climbing. This is Billy Elliot for millennials — and their mums.
There is the risk that a musical about a teenage drag queen could be a tad over the top: granted, the dressing room scenes from drag club Legs Eleven are as ridiculous as they get, but throughout, Noah’s portrayal of Jamie is subtle and heartfelt, yet full of energy.
Jamie is mentored through his transformation from year 11 student to drag queen superstar by dress shop owner Hugo, more father-like than Jamie’s actual dad and with a wealth of knowledge from his former drag days. Hugo, played by Roy Haylock (Bianca Del Rio from RuPaul’s Drag Race) is simply hilarious — quite frankly, everything you’d want from a real-life drag queen playing a guy who is playing a drag queen.
There are a decent number of really stunning songs, but also a couple that are easily forgotten. Nevertheless, the production manages to balance these catchy numbers with perfectly timed humour and the odd tear. Margaret New (Melissa Jacques), Jamie’s hardworking and supportive mum, certainly makes more than one audience member well up with her stunning rendition of He’s My Boy. Jamie’s partner in crime Pritti (Hiba Elchikhe), is especially good when it comes to her delicate solo, Beautiful, and her rebellious stand in the final scenes (‘Miss, Pritti said Fuck!’).
By the end of the show, the audience are on their feet, no doubt making a mental note to book a drag show for next week. Yes, there’s glitter, yes there are fake boobs, and yes there are middle-aged men in hot pants — this is a story about a drag queen after all. But ultimately, it’s a story of following your dreams, however unconventional, about enduring friendship, and about being yourself. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a must-see musical of our time that has been given a new blast of energy for 2020.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 7ES. Tickets from £24.
Last Updated 24 January 2020