If I’m honest I bought these tickets on a whim. I decided to surprise my mum with a trip to the cinema to see a live streaming of a West End show. I had heard of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie because ironically (har har) everyone was talking about it. It’s got an abundance of five star reviews, nominations and awards and I think I’d seen the cast perform at West End Live which I’d watched on Youtube in 144p, but I knew no more.
What I didn’t experience from this performance that looks like it was filmed on a potato was extensive. Just for starters there is the powerful storyline, character plots, emotion, grit and undenyable feel good factor that you get seeing the show in its entirety, and of course, the legend that is John McCrea.
I can’t start a review of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie without first discussing Jamie himself. John McCrea has now reached the end of his run as Jamie and the role will be taken over by a favourite of mine Layton Williams (who was amazing as Angel in Rent). I am keen to see Layton in the role and may have to venture to London for it but I won’t ever compare the two. They are both brilliant in their own right. Anyway, back to John as Jamie.
A character so bold, bright and real. John brings life into Jamie with his never failing energy which is simply infectious. You feel every tiny emotion he feels and I don’t know how he does it. His emotional maturity is as fierce as his moves in six inch heels, and that’s saying something. Team this incredible skill with brilliant writing and you’ll be hit hard in the feels. As said to him after his final performance as Jamie, there will only really be one original Jamie.
The plot consists of a daydreaming Jamie who longs to be a drag queen at aged sweet 16, but it’s not always a straightforward path, or shall I say catwalk… His lovely mother and brilliant best friend offer endless support both to Jamie as characters and as strong supporting cast members. Similarly the ensemble were dynamic, charismatic and full of energy. The choreography is fresh, modern and executed with precision and edge. Loved the dancing.
The opening number called “You don’t even know it” has been etched onto my brain with Jamie strutting across the desks not being something I am going to forget for while. I grinned until my jaw aches for the first 20 minutes and have had that opening number on repeat since I saw the show. It instantly puts me in a good mood and I can’t help but want to dance. To be able to make your audience feel so strongly when both seeing something for the first time and hearing it for the 400th is a real testament to genius writing and lyricism by Tom McRae and Dan Gillespie Sells.
Staging was amazing, costumes brilliant and transitions made silky smooth due to a live band whilst desks turned to bus stops and kitchens rotated out of nowhere.
I could go on and on. This production has shot straight into my top 10 productions of all time. It’s the best drag show I’ve seen since La Cage Aux Folles and a sensational show in its own right. Everybody should be talking about this show, and now I’m hooked too.