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/