Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – REVIEW

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Apollo Theatre, London 

★★★★

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Apollo Theatre, London

 

Seen November 8th, 2017

Reviewed by Jade Prince

★★★★

To say that I am now obsessed with this show is an understatement! I haven’t stopped listening to the soundtrack. It’s also provided me with a new feel good song ‘Don’t Even Know It‘.

This musical is the brand new creation inspired by the BBC3 documentary aired in 2011, ‘Jamie: Drag Queen at 16‘. Jamie has always been different and destine to be so. Year 11 is always tough for every teenager however a lot more is added to the equation when you channel your true self whilst fighting off prejudice peers and bullies. Jamie is most certainly a force to be reckoned with and proves to everyone that he was made for the spotlight.

I absolutely loved the show. It’s a modern take on ‘Billy Elliot’ but is in keeping with today’s issues.

Let’s jump into the script. It’s unlike anything I have heard in a long time! It’s original and 100% relevant. The school ‘lingo’ between the pupils transported me back to my secondary school years. There are so many witty parts. One of the things I really liked was that issues such as racism were touched upon during one scene and it was shut down by another pupil straight away. It showed that racism is no longer accepted however discrimination over gender is still an issue and tends to be over-looked. This is a changing matter!

I really loved the score. I could tell from the opening number that the music was going to be great. Each song is so catchy however there are some numbers which broke my heart. I was almost in tears, especially during “My Man, My Boy”. I just kept thinking of me and my mum. Two stand out performances were Josie Walker and Lucie Shorthouse. Firstly, Walker’s performance during “He’s My Boy” shattered my heart but she then also blew me away with those vocals. The emotion was raw and I just wanted to hug her. Shorthouse, well, I wasn’t quite expecting a voice like that from her (I have no idea why) but everyone needs to be looking out for this name because I feel she is going places. The rest of the cast were great. Such a good vibe on stage!

The set designers did a fabulous job (I had to throw fabulous in here somewhere, it just seemed fitting!). I loved the way the majority of it was kept feeling rather sterile. This worked so well during the school scenes hinting at the conformity they attempt to inforce. The square lights were a really nice touch in adding to the school atmosphere but they were not redundant. The seamless change between the school and the drag shop was beautiful! A great use of the fly-ins. It was also great to see a contrast between the school scenes and the kitchen showing that home is the place where Jamie could really be himself. It was goodt to see a pop of colour within the set. Those scene changes were also great. Seriously, the attention to detail in this show is everything.

I personally found some of the dialogue slowed down at certain points in the show especially if it was after an energetic number which made it a little difficult to engage with. But the story itself moved at a great pace.

Shout out to the choreographer! The choreography was mesmerising. The contemporary routines were a great pair with the larger numbers but the lyrical during “If I Met Myself Again” was stunning! (This is where I show myself up by making mistakes with the dance terminology. Dance Moms can only get you so far!)

I feel like this ‘review’ is more of me rambling along in comparison to my other reviews which are much more structured but there was so much fabulousness to take in! I am definitely going to have to see it again.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie has only just begun its run at the Apollo Theatre so there is still plenty of time to get a ticket. Tickets and more information can be found: http://www.everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk/

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – REVIEW

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Apollo Theatre, London

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

Apollo Theatre, London

 

Seen on August 25th, 2017

Reviewed by Jade Prince

An elaborate dance around lies and sexual tension, a warm summer night of celebration in Mississippi sees Brick and Maggie’s marriage balancing on a knife edge. With the uncertainty of the family estate on everyone’s mind the battle of the lies continues but which one will come out top?

An honest review – for the duration I was effectively a cat on a hot tin roof metaphorically in my chair, fidgety and bored, unable to sit still. It is never a good sign when multiple people become restless from the beginning of the second act.

I do not want this review to slate the show because a lot of hard work has been put into it however I shall be expressing my honest opinions. There were some good elements of the show but the negatives certainly removed all enjoyment from it.

It did not start well with act 1. The whole act consisted of Sienna Millers (Maggie) and Jack O’Connell (Brick) setting the feel of the show. Throughout you could see drops in their momentum as if they were struggling with emotional stamina. The ‘regular’ dialogue was engaging however when an argument erupts between the two characters the acting became less believable. I did not believe it one bit. In fact I was cringing slightly. It is so difficult to watch something and get really into it when the acting is not believable. Underplayed falls, bad proximity to each other with lunges and pathetic screams. (SPOILER – I’m sorry but if someone were to lunge towards me aiming to hit me with their crutch I would bloody shriek and dive out of the way!) I also found that missed a lot of the build up with Brick during the arguments because I was focused on Miller’s performance. She seemed far more connected with her character however that have may been the way it was meant to be portrayed, Brick remaining very distant from life waiting for the ‘click’ every day in order to cope.

The start of act 2 was by far the most engaging part of the show. The whole company coming together really drew me in. Although during act one we, as the audience, were given the impression of the family being out of control. I was not given that impression when the five child actors were on stage. Everything seemed very calm!

When I walked into the auditorium I was very intrigued with the set choices. It was not until the show started I was able to appreciate the set. The set was simple but effective. The only issue I found was it did not really help set the scene/time setting. The layout and colour scheme was giving me an art deco vibe however the story is set on a cotton plantation but the cast also had modern electronic devices. I was confused as to whether they were trying to update a classic or just had complete disregard to the time period.

Another thing that was very evident in the second act was the accents. They were awful! I was spending far too much time concentrating on what was actually being said. Halfway through the second act I gave up because just as I started understanding what was happening, I was lost again.

I am going to wrap this up here as I think these are the main points that let the show down. I personally would not recommend this show but if you are looking for a quiet night at the theatre where nothing much happens and you can nod off slightly, this may be for you.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof runs until October 7th at the Apollo Theatre.