THEATRE REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHEN: 15/2 (matinee), runs to 25/2

WHERE: Sheffield Crucible Theatre


We’re big fans of band The Feeling and frontman Dan Gillespie Sells has written the score for this new pop musical which we predict will transfer easily into London’s competitive West End.

  • Read on for reasons including the true story behind Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

The idea for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie came when director Jonathan Butterell saw the BBC3 documentary Jamie: Drag Queen At 16, the true story of Jamie Campbell who went to his Durham school’s prom in a dress.

Musical theatre star Michael Ball put Gillespie Sells and Doctor Who screenwriter Tom MacRae (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie author and lyricist) in touch with Butterell.

The story could simply have been Billy Elliot graduates to Kinky Boots but is actually far less predictable and when we meet Jamie at the start of the show he is out and proud despite being encouraged to be a forklift driver, yet occasionally wishes he could dress as a woman.

First standout number is The Legend of Loco Chanel (And The Blood Red Dress) thanks to its humour and enthusiastic performance by Charles Dale as a veteran drag queen and dress store owner.

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 12.42.06

What also distinguishes Jamie from those musicals before it is the emphasis given to Jamie’s journey in finding himself thanks to the support of those around him but also learning to be less selfish along the way. Josie Walker as his mother Margaret reinforces the importance of the mother/son relationship with big emotional songs If I Met Myself Again and Jamie duet My Man, Your Boy.

At the centre of it all is a talented ensemble pulling off fantastic routines which wouldn’t be out of place in pop videos, especially in the classroom sets which evoke Matilda, but also its star Jamie New, played by John McCrea, who gives both a stand-out performance now (see clip below) and is a name to watch out for in future.

We moaned recently that the CD for Gary Barlow’s new musical The Girls was unavailable at the Phoenix Theatre and not only were we able to hear many of Jamie‘s songs in advance on the internet, the soundtrack, including contributions from pop stars Sophie Ellis Bextor and Betty Boo, is on sale at the Crucible.

We also very much enjoyed the character of Jamie’s BFF the hijab-wearing Pritti Pasha (the strong Lucie Shorthouse) who learns that her brain and ambition to be a doctor may make her a weirdo in school but that geeks and outsiders like her will inherit the earth. Mina Anwar (The Thin Blue Line, Shameless, Coronation Street) is also a joy as steely role model Aaliyah ‘Lee’ Begum who steps in as bullies circle when Jamie’s spineless dad tunes out.

Our hopes were skyscraper as we sat down for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie yet that high bar was cleared effortlessly. It’s running at Sheffield’s Crucible until 25/2 and it’s definitely worth travelling miles and miles for.

Screen Shot 2017-06-26 at 11.54.12

We’d be amazed if it didn’t follow in the footsteps of Billy Elliot and Kinky Boots to give the West End its own special make-over.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Sheffield Theatres. Tickets
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham or check us out on Facebook


  1. Pingback: PREVIEW: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for November | monstagigz
  2. Pingback: THEATRE REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie starring Luke Latchman, Faye Tozer & Bianca del Rio | monstagigz
  3. Pingback: 9 reasons why we can’t/couldn’t wait for May (2020) starring Eurovision: Come Together | monstagigz
  4. Pingback: SONG OF THE MONTH: Don’t Diss The Disco by International Teachers Of Pop (October 2020) | monstagigz
  5. Pingback: THEATRE REVIEW: The Importance Of Being Earnest starring Gurjeet Singh, Mina Anwar & Divina de Campo | monstagigz
  6. Pingback: SONG OF THE WEEK: While You’re Still Young by Sophie Ellis Bextor & The Feeling (week beginning 15 August 2021) | monstagigz
  7. Pingback: SONG OF THE WEEK: This Was Me by Holly Johnson (week beginning 15 September 2021) | monstagigz
  8. Pingback: FILM REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie starring Max Harwood, Sarah Lancashire & Richard E Grant | monstagigz
  9. Pingback: THEATRE REVIEW: Maria Friedman and Friends: Legacy at Menier Chocolate Factory | monstagigz
  10. Pingback: THEATRE REVIEW: Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World at Theatre Royal Stratford East | monstagigz
  11. Pingback: GIG REVIEW: The Feeling at 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire with surprise guest appearance by Sophie Ellis Bextor | monstagigz
  12. Pingback: ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Cabaret starring Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley (January 2023) | monstagigz
  13. Pingback: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for February 2023 starring Sheridan Smith as Shirley Valentine | monstagigz
  14. Pingback: THEATRE REVIEW: Cabaret starring Aimee Lou Wood & Jon McCrea at The Kit Kat Club | monstagigz
  15. Pingback: 9 reasons why we can’t wait for May 2023 starring Eurovision in Liverpool | monstagigz
  16. Pingback: THEATRE REVIEW: Brokeback Mountain starring Lucas Hedges & Mike Faist @sohoplace | monstagigz

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.