Everybody's Talking About Jamie

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Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Everybody's Talking About Jamie.png
MusicDan Gillespie Sells
LyricsTom MacRae
BookTom MacRae
BasisJamie: Drag Queen at 16
by Jenny Popplewell
PremiereFebruary 8, 2017: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Productions2017 Sheffield
2017 West End
2020 UK/International tour

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a musical with music by Dan Gillespie Sells and book and lyrics by Tom MacRae. The musical is inspired by the 2011 television documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, directed by Jenny Popplewell.[1] The musical follows a 16-year-old teenager as he overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness to become a drag queen.


Act One[edit]

Miss Hedge, a careers teacher, asks her noisy year eleven class what they want to be when they get older. One student of the class, Jamie New, gets teased about his homosexuality, and reveals to the audience all he wants to be is a drag queen ("And You Don't Even Know It"). When prompted, Jamie tells the class he wants to be a performer, but Miss Hedge tells him to get real.

At Jamie's house, his mum Margaret and family friend Ray are preparing for his sixteenth birthday. When Jamie arrives home, Margaret gives him a card from his dad, with a picture of a race car. Margaret then gives Jamie his gift from her - a pair of red high heels from Meadowhall. Jamie reveals hesitation about going outside his garden in the shoes ("Wall in My Head").

The next day at school, Jamie shows his best friend Pritti his new heels, and then he is interrupted by Dean, the school bully. He taunts Pritti for being Muslim, and Jamie for being gay. Jamie taunts Dean for his small penis in return. Embarrassed, Dean leaves. Pritti encourages Jamie to go to prom in a dress ("Spotlight"). Jamie then parades around the classroom in his heels ("Spotlight (Reprise) (Star of the Show)").

At his local shop for drag queen attire, Victor's Secret, Jamie befriends the owner Hugo, and learns all about Hugo's past as a drag queen ("The Legend of Loco Chanelle (and the Blood Red Dress)"). Hugo books Jamie's first drag show at the local nightclub, and helps Jamie choose his dress ("The Legend of Loco Chanelle (and the Blood Red Dress) (Reprise)").

Meanwhile, Margaret meets with Jamie's dad, where she reveals she has been lying to Jamie about the activity of his dad, including the fact she has to write a birthday card from him each birthday. Jamie's dad tells Margaret he wants nothing to do with Jamie, claiming he is not a "real boy". Margaret ponders what her life would be like if she never met Jamie's dad ("If I Met Myself Again").

At school, Jamie pulls Pritti into a disabled toilet so she can help with his make-up. They are discovered by Miss Hedge, but Pritti tells her that she is doing Jamie's make-up for an art project. Miss Hedge tells Jamie that he should be proud of being an art project, and walks him around school in the make-up. Jamie, initially embarrassed by the attention, decides to be proud of himself, telling the school that he is doing a drag show at the local nightclub, Legs Eleven, that night ("Work of Art").

Outside Legs Eleven, Jamie bumps into Dean, who calls him a minger. Inside the club, Margaret and Ray have been introduced to a group of drag queens: Laika Virgin, Tray Sophisticay, and Sandra Bollock. Hugo emerges, now dressed as Loco Chanelle, his drag alter-ego. Jamie runs in to tell them all he cannot go on because of what Dean said. Jamie finds the dress he admired at Victor's Secret in his dressing room, with a tag on saying "Love Dad" as well as a flower delivery from Jamie's dad. Loco Chanelle, with the help of the other drag queens, encourage Jamie to find his drag self, whom Jamie calls Mimi Me, and get him ready and push him onstage ("Over the Top")

Act Two[edit]

The next day, the school is buzzing with news of Jamie's drag debut ("Everybody's Talking About Jamie"). Jamie comes into school in bright blue eyeshadow and long eyelashes. Miss Hedge once again tells Jamie to "get real", and Dean taunts Jamie, but Jamie kisses him in retaliation. Jamie leaves Dean confused.

At home, Jamie shows Margaret and Ray his new prom dress, now shortened and fitted with working flashing lights. Margaret worries if this is all too much ("Limited Edition Prom Night Special"). The phone rings, and Jamie and Margaret are called to the school.

Jamie, Margaret and Ray go to the school to meet with Miss Hedge, who tells Jamie that there have been rumours that he will be attending prom in drag, and she will not allow it. Jamie is disappointed, and Dean seems to know all about it.

In Pritti's bedroom, Jamie rants to Pritti about how he is not allowed to go to prom in drag. Pritti tells Jamie to go in a dress - not in drag. Jamie says that without Mimi Me, he is ugly. Pritti reassures Jamie that he is far from ugly ("It Means Beautiful"). Jamie reveals that when he was eight, his dad found him in a dress and was angry. He is then confused as to why he paid for the dress and bought flowers if he is not supportive of him as a drag queen. Pritti suggests Jamie should go to his house and speak to him. Before he leaves, Jamie kisses Pritti on the cheek ("It Means Beautiful (Reprise)").

At the house of Jamie's dad, Jamie's dad reveals that he did not know about Mimi Me and calls Jamie disgusting. He tells Jamie he did not pay for the dress or flowers. Jamie figures out that it was his mother doing all of this in his dad's place ("Ugly in This Ugly World").

At home, Jamie argues with Margaret over why she has been lying over all these years. Jamie screams in Margaret's face and storms out. Margaret, left alone, sings about how she will always love Jamie no matter what ("He's My Boy").

Jamie wanders the streets drunk on cider. He is approached by three local boys, and is beaten up as they shout homophobic remarks about him. ("And You Don't Even Know It (Bus Station Reprise)"). Jamie is defended by Hugo, who urges Jamie to go home and apologise to his mum.

Jamie takes Hugo's advice and Margaret and Jamie apologise to each other ("My Man, Your Boy").

At the prom, all of the kids are super excited ("Prom Song"). Pritti enters, wearing makeup and a prom dress. All the girls love it, but Dean decides to bully her. She finally stands up to Dean, and then reveals Jamie, in a white prom dress. Miss Hedge comes out of the school and refuses Jamie's admission to the prom. All the kids stand outside and chant Jamie's name until Miss Hedge gives in and lets him in. Jamie waits until everyone's gone in, and then calls Dean out from off-stage. Jamie encourages Dean to be nice just for one night, to which Dean agrees, and they walk into prom hand-in-hand ("Finale").

As an encore, the cast perform "Out of the Darkness (A Place Where We Belong)".

Roles and principal casts[edit]

Character Sheffield (2017)[2] West End (2017)[3] UK tour (2020)[4] Australian tour (2020)[5] Film (2020)
Jamie New John McCrea Layton Williams James Majoos Max Harwood
Noah Leggott (Young)
Margaret New Josie Walker Amy Ellen Richardson Helen Dallimore Sarah Lancashire
Pritti Pasha Lucie Shorthouse Sharan Phull Shubshri Kandiah Lauren Patel
Leigh/Ray† Mina Anwar Shobna Gulati Christina O'Neill Shobna Gulati
Hugo Battersby / Loco Chanelle Charles Dale Phil Nichol Shane Richie Simon Burke Richard E. Grant
John McCrea (Young)
Miss Hedge Tamsin Carroll Lara Denning Elise McCann Sharon Horgan
Dean Paxton Luke Baker George Sampson Harry Targett Samuel Bottomley
Becca Gabrielle Brooks Lauran Rae Talia Palamathanan Mietta White N/A
Bex Harriet Payne Jessica Meegan Samantha Bruzzese N/A
Fatimah Courtney Bowman Jodie Knight Mariah Gonzalez N/A
Vicki Kirstie Skivington Kazmin Borrer Madison Price N/A
Mickey Barney Hudson Ryan Hughes Ellis Brownhill Joshua Taylor N/A
Sayid Kush Khanna Jordan Cunningham Adam Taylor Jake O'Brien Zane Alsaroori
Cy Shiv Rabheru Richard Appiah-Sarpong align="center" [Noah Mullins N/A
Levi Daniel Davids Simeon Beckett Bronson Pfeiler N/A
Sandra Bollock Raj Ghatak Daniel Jacob/Vinegar Strokes Cameron Johnson Ola Jide/Son of a Tutu
Tray Sophisticay James Gillan Rhys Taylor Tom Sharah Dan Wallace/Anna Phylactic
Laika Virgin Spencer Stafford Alex Anstey/Vileda Moppe John Paul McCue/Mary Mac Joe Dinn Gareth Joyner/Myra Dubois
Wayne New Ken Christiansen Cameron Johnson Ralph Ineson

†The character Leigh in the Sheffield production was renamed Ray for the West End transfer.

Notable West End replacements[edit]

Musical numbers[edit]


Concept album (2017)[edit]

A album titled Everybody's Talking About Jamie (The Concept Album) was released in 15 February 2017 by Wilton Way Records, featuring John McCrea from the Sheffield production. It also included vocals from Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Betty Boo, Dan Gillespie Sells, and Josie Walker.[20]

1."Don't Even Know it" (Betty Boo)4:23
2."Wall in My Head"4:06
4."The Legend of Loco Chanel (And the Blood Red Dress)"4:12
5."If I Met Myself Again" (Josie Walker)3:26
6."Work of Art" (Sophie Ellis Bextor)2:20
7."Over the Top"3:07
8."Everybody's Talking About Jamie"3:36
9."At 16"2:44
10."It Means Beautiful"2:32
11."He's My Boy" (Josie Walker)5:08
12."My Man, Your Boy" (Josie Walker & John McCrea)2:30
Total length:41:01

Original West End cast album (2018)[edit]

In 27 April 2018, Everybody's Talking About Jamie (Original West End Cast Recording), featuring all West End cast members and tracks from the musical, became available to purchase in CD and online through Broadway Records.


The musical premiered at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield on 13 February 2017, following previews from 8 February, it finished its short run on 25 February, directed by Jonathan Butterell. The musical transferred to the West End at the Apollo Theatre from 6 November 2017 with most of the Crucible Theatre cast returning.

A production will embark on an extensive United Kingdom tour from 8 February 2020, opening in Sheffield. Layton Williams is due to play the lead role of Jamie on tour.[21]

The show will embark on an Australian tour from 18 July 2020, opening in Sydney at the Sydney Opera House.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

The musical received generally positive reviews.

Ann Treneman of The Times, commenting after its West End run had been confirmed, exclaimed "I gave it a very rare five stars. The moment it ended the entire audience rose up as one. I think that it has such an impact for the same reason that Dear Evan Hansen, the musical that just cleaned up the Tony Awards in New York City, is such a success." Later stating that "This is hit material and it so deserved a chance to strut its stuff in Shaftesbury Avenue. Now it's got it." [22]

Clare Brennan of The Observer stated that "the drama lacks oomph but sheer exuberance carries this coming-of-age tale...That said, this is still a touching, funny and joyous production."[23] Dominic Cavendish, in his four-star review in The Daily Telegraph, stated "I can't think of a musical that has set me spinning right round (like a record, baby) quite as much as this funny, outrageous, touching but oh-my-word PC flag-waving show...The show sends you out on a feel-good bubble of happiness. Think about it too much, though, and the bubble gets pricked."[24]

Mark Shenton of The Stage thought highly of the show, commenting "Everybody should soon be talking about Everybody's Talking About Jamie. This new British musical is by turns courageous and outrageous."[25]

Honors and awards[edit]

Original West End production[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2017 Attitude Culture Award[26] Won
2018 WhatsOnStage Awards[27] Best New Musical Won
Best Actor in a Musical John McCrea Won
Best Actress in a Musical Josie Walker Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical Lucie Shorthouse Won
Laurence Olivier Awards[28] Best New Musical Nominated
Best Actor in a Musical John McCrea Nominated
Best Actress in a Musical Josie Walker Nominated
Best Theatre Choreographer Kate Prince Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Music Music and orchestrations by Dan Gillespie Sells, his debut as a musical theatre composer and orchestrator at Apollo Theatre Nominated
2019 WhatsOnStage Awards[29] Best West End show Nominated
Best Original Cast Recording Won

Live stage filming[edit]

On 5 July 2018, the musical was broadcast live in cinemas across the United Kingdom and Ireland.[30]

Film adaptation[edit]

In May 2018, it was announced that the musical would being adapted into a feature film.[31] In June 2019, it was announced that the film would be distributed by 20th Century Fox.[32] It is scheduled to be released on October 23, 2020.[33] Film cast includes Max Harwood as Jamie; Sarah Lancashire as Margaret; Richard E. Grant as Hugo and Shobna Gulati as Ray. Others in the film cast include Lauren Patel; Layton Williams; Sharon Horgan; Ralph Ineson; John McCrea; Samuel Bottomley; Ramzan Miah; Zane Alsaroori and Noah Leggott.


  1. ^ Billington, Michael (14 February 2017). "Everybody's Talking About Jamie review – drag musical from the Feeling frontman". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Sheffield Theatres: Everybody's Talking About Jamie – Cast Announced". sheffieldtheatres.co.uk. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Cast - Everybody's Talking About Jamie". Everybody's Talking About Jamie.
  4. ^ "JamieMusical on Instagram: "Introducing the full cast for our #JamieTour, kicking off in February 2020! They look FAB, where will you be catching this talented bunch?"". Instagram. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  5. ^ a b "EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE Will Embark on Australian Tour". BroadwayWorld.com. 7 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Everybody's Talking About… the NEW Jamie New". everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Hayley Tamaddon replaces Michelle Visage in Everybody's Talking About Jamie in the West End". WhatsOnStage. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  8. ^ "JamieMusical on Twitter". twitter.com. twitter. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Shane Richie joins Everybody's Talking About Jamie musical". thestage.co.uk.
  10. ^ "Everybody's Talking About… Bianca Del Rio!". everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Coronation Street star Bill Ward to join Everybody's Talking About Jamie". officiallondontheatre.com. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Rufus Hound and Katy Brand to join Everybody's Talking About Jamie in the West End | WhatsOnStage". www.whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Michelle Visage joins cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie in the West End". WhatsOnStage. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Everybody's Talking About…the NEW Jamie cast!". everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Faye Tozer joins Everybody's Talking About Jamie West End cast". WhatsOnStage. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  16. ^ "Everybody's Talking About… Faye Tozer!". everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  17. ^ "JamieMusical on Twitter". twitter.com. twitter. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Everybody's Talking About... Preeya Kalidas!". Everybody's Talking About Jamie. 8 November 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  19. ^ JamieMusical (14 February 2020). "Everyone, we're spoiling you with announcements today! We're SO excited to be welcoming @KatyFBrand to #JamieLondon as Miss Hedge from 3 March. We can't wait to see you rock those Jimmy Choos!pic.twitter.com/QHzxz7uyRy". @JamieMusical. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae's New Musical EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE Gets Concept Album". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  21. ^ "Everybody's Talking About Jamie to embark on UK tour in 2020 | WhatsOnStage". www.whatsonstage.com.
  22. ^ Treneman, Ann (24 June 2017). "Everybody's Talking About Jamie" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  23. ^ Brennan, Clare (19 February 2017). "Everybody's Talking About Jamie review – joyous teen drag musical". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  24. ^ "Sends you out on a feel-good bubble of happiness - Everybody's Talking About Jamie review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  25. ^ "Everybody's Talking About Jamie review at Sheffield Crucible". The Stage. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  26. ^ "ATTITUDE CULTURE AWARD: EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE". Attitude. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  27. ^ "Winners of the 18th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards announced: David Tennant and Olivia Colman win".
  28. ^ HAMILTON Breaks Olivier Nomination Record; Audra McDonald, Andrew Garfield, and More Nominated; Full List! broadwayworld.com
  29. ^ Masso, Giverny (5 December 2018). "WhatsOnStage Awards 2018: the nominations in full". The Stage. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  30. ^ Masso, Giverny (12 April 2018). "Everybody's Talking About Jamie to be broadcast live to UK cinemas". The Stage. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  31. ^ Todd, Lucy (29 May 2018). "Everybody's Talking About Jamie: West End smash to be made into film". BBC News. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  32. ^ McNary, Dave (14 June 2019). "Richard E. Grant to Play Former Drag Queen in 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie'". Variety. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  33. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (20 August 2019). "Amy Adams 'Woman In The Window' Will Now Open In Early Summer, 'Cruella' Moves To 2021". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 20 August 2019.

External links[edit]