Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Based on an incredible true story of authenticity, courage and pride, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie follows 16 year old Jamie New from day-dreaming-schoolboy to drag queen extraordinaire.

Ivano Turco is sensational. He is every bit the believable Jamie; his stage presence is second to none and the chemistry he has with his co-stars is palpable. Ivano’s vocal range is outstanding, from fun feelgood in ‘And You Don’t Even Know It’ to powerful vulnerability in ‘Ugly In This Ugly World’. Ivano is a star. 

Speaking of stars, this incarnation of the tour features two household names; Kevin Clifton of Strictly Come Dancing fame, and X Factor winner Sam Bailey. We know Kevin can dance and we know Sam can sing, but could they master being the triple threat needed for a show of this magnitude? 

The answer is a resounding yes. Kevin as Hugo/Loco Chanelle blew me away, his performance of ‘The Legend of Loco Chanel’ was a highlight for me. 

Sam created the perfect villain in her performance as Miss Hedge; a very believable uninspiring teacher indeed. Her lead number ‘Work Of Art’ was both vocally and visually stunning. 

Rebecca McKinnis as Margaret, Jamie’s mum, was perfect. Rebecca’s performance throughout was simply beautiful. I could feel the warmth radiating from her. I’m not ashamed to say I shed a tear during ‘He’s My Boy’. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such raw emotion on stage. 

The entire cast were flawless, giving an electric performance throughout. The dynamic choreography was performed effortlessly by everyone on stage. The characters are well developed, with everyone having a reason to be on stage; there are no faceless extras here! 

Kudos has to go to music and lyric maestros Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom Macrae for creating such vibrant and exciting songs, each with the ability to be a standalone pop hit. 'Wall In My Head’, ‘Spotlight’ and ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ are particular highlights. 

The staging, lighting and videography is simple but effective. The grey backdrop contrasts perfectly to the energy of the characters, even those who aren’t quite so likeable (ahem, Dean). The transitions are almost all tuneful, rather than discrete in darkness, making up part of the show. 

This magic combination alongside the hugely talented cast makes Everybody’s Talking About Jamie a must see. 

A spectacular story of authenticity and self-acceptance in the face of adversity. 

Fearless. Raw. Sensational. 5 stars. 

This show was reviewed at Hull New Theatre on the 17th June 2024 where it runs until the 22nd June 2024.  Tickets available here: Everybody's Talking About Jamie – Hull Theatres

Full tour details here: Tour Dates & Book Tickets - Everybody's Talking About Jamie (everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk)

Review written by Mel Cooper


Photo credit: Matt Crockett

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