Everybody’s Talking About Jamie review - Leeds Grand Theatre

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Leeds Grand Theatre this week.Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Leeds Grand Theatre this week.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at Leeds Grand Theatre this week.
If ever there was a show to lift our collective spirits right now, then this is it.

It's been four years since this raucous, effervescent and unapologetic musical made its debut at the Crucible in Sheffield - the city where the story is set.

Much has changed in the world since then with Jamie (as the musical is affectionately known) becoming a West End hit and spawning a film that came out in September.

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The story, for those who don’t already know, revolves around Jamie New, the 16-year-old boy who yearns to be a drag queen and to go to his prom in a dress.

The hit musical is back on tour.The hit musical is back on tour.
The hit musical is back on tour.

Layton Williams dons the high heels and glitter for this tour and from the opening number he’s bold, brilliantly capturing that sense of teenage invincibility, though it’s a portrayal not without nuance as the show goes on and Jamie faces moments of self-doubt and bigotry.

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There are stellar performances throughout. As Loco Chanelle, aka Hugo who helps Jamie take his towering first steps in the world of drag, Shane Ritchie demonstrates both humour and pathos, while Jamie’s mum Margaret, played by Amy Ellen Richardson, is pitch perfect and you would need to have a heart of stone not to be moved by her rendition of If I Met Myself Again and He’s My Boy.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie has some great songs, as any great musical must, but it has also developed a deeper significance since it first burst onto the stage and its twin messages of acceptance and empowerment are there to be celebrated.

The standing ovation at the end said it all.

4 stars