REVIEW Everybody’s Talking About Jamie 2019 NEW Cast…
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a joyous musical packed with talent, heart & frankly camp old nonsense.
This gritty northern real life story is based on a 16 year-old boy who has to fight against all odds to be the true, real and authentic ‘him’.
With show stopping numbers, pathos & at times stunning choreography, this is one of the most original & unique shows ever to hit the West End – now playing at the Apollo!
Enjoy our HD Video review via YouTube:
With familiar but beautifully paced new songs by Dan Gillespie Sells and writer Tom MacRae – this show will make you laugh, cry and ‘feel’ – the glorious combination of immersive theatre.
Sexuality has never been more widely discussed. I guess in 2019 ‘anything goes’, but, that won’t stop the bullies and trolls from having their say. Jamie is a timeless story of tenacity.
‘JAMIE’ has the heart of Blood Brothers, the campery of Priscilla & endless similarities to the sensational Boy George musical ‘Taboo’.
This show celebrates a remarkably confident and diverse cast.
This show is an ensemble piece but it is without question driven by the energy of Jamie – now played by Layton Williams who drives the all new 2019 company.
Williams’ Jamie seems more exaggerated than before. He’s certainly got an exceptional physicality making every step a walk of art.
Having shot to fame in Kinky Boots, it’s unsurprising that he owns the stage in heels.
With a powerful and cleverly controlled voice, Layton is utterly believable in this complicated, challenging and exhausting role.
Aside from Layton, the two most impressive characters in this new company are Sabrina Sandhu who was an adorable Pritti with a terrific voice & Sejal Keshwala playing the perfect up-north bezzy mate – Ray.
Hayley Tamadden sings up a storm and made the best of her part as Miss Hedge and Rebecca McKinnis has true grit and heart as Jamie’s mum.
The most surprise signing to Jame in 2019 is Shane Richie who returns to the West End in his empowering mentor role as Hugo.
Enjoy exclusive HD Video from the finale of Jamie @ the Apollo:
Richie has a compelling swagger and always looks in control. His drag queen section opens up a whole new world in panto as Dame from 2020!
There was something ‘Roger Dupree’ from the Producers about his take on ‘Loco’ – the original queen of drag. Loved it! They haven’t released his ‘Loco’ pictures. You’ll have to go to see the show and judge for yourself…
If I’m being totally honest this company didn’t knock me off my feet like the first time I saw this production. However, a lot has changed since this show was written.
Barely a day goes by without gender topping the headlines in one way or another.
The casting is also interesting. Hiring a black actor to play Jamie is curious to me. This play is based on a real story. This boy was more translucent than transgender! I guess there are no boundaries for casting in 2019 – but is that not the point of the show?
I’m sure a black teenage boy wearing a dress would have had more/different/bigger issues on a council estate in Sheffield in the 90’s. I’m from the north, trust me, it can be grim at times! I find this fascinating, however, that does not take away from Layton’s remarkable portrayal of the character.
Since 2017 when this show opened, so much has been said about gender identity, I have to admit I’m a little fatigued. At times this show felt dated. It also mocks/plays up to outdated stereotypes of what it is to be gay.
I left wondering if kids would even react to Jamie in the playground in 2019? I suspect not, so much has changed for the better. This is a victory for humanity but not necessarily the impact or shock value of the piece.
There’s no doubt that this show is worth a visit if you haven’t seen it, however, as a story, I’m not sure it’s worth a re-visit with so many new and exciting productions in town.
Some of the script is schticky but it still gets big laughs. Northern humour at its best.
The lighting, scenery and costumes are mostly good although less impressive than the cast. Drag queens and panto dames would certainly deem these costumes sub-standard and the set dreary.
Don’t sit too close. The front two rows have been taken out so I recommend book from row F and backwards…this is the highest stage I’ve ever seen!
Overall a good night out of laughs, tears, top songs & some sensational select performances.
Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 8th Feb 2019.