Joyful and fun, 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' is a modern theatre classic.
Having had the luxury of spending an evening watching ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’, I think it’s fair to say the show has earnt its name. Walking out of the Mayflower Theatre there was an undeniable buzz of joy amongst the audience. Musical theatre rarely fails to liven up a room, but the atmosphere created by this show was something not many shows have managed to achieve. The beautiful storyline combined with witty humour brought the drag scene to Southampton in a much needed way.
Jamie New’s story has been publicised since the BBC produced a documentary about his journey in 2011. Since then, each new actor who has played Jamie in this musical has brought their own personal flare to the role. With predecessors such as ‘Bad Education’’s Layton Williams, the role of Jamie New certainly has intimidating high heeled shoes to step into. Ivano Turco undoubtedly rose to the challenge, able to tackle complex notions of self-expression and identity with a unique level of sass.
My credits to the cast do not stop there. John Partridge and Shobna Gulati provided a welcome dose of humour, while Rebecca Mckinnis beautifully encapsulates the joys and fears of motherhood. There was not one weak link in this cast, creating one of the most polished shows I have seen to date. Simple set designs used incredibly effectively, alongside exceptional choreography and wonderful costume choices, combine to make this a show to remember.
Sitting in the dress circle, my only minor qualm with this show was the inability to see the fabulous makeup (and disastrous eyebrows) Jamie showcases in the second half of the performance. However, with the quality of acting on show, this hardly took away from the story.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is the absolute epitome of inclusivity, joy and self- expression. ‘Out Of The Darkness (A Place Where We Belong)’ was the perfect finale, filling the Mayflower with an overwhelming atmosphere of happiness and love which radiates throughout the entire show. Whilst thought-provoking and heart-wrenching at times, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is at its core a celebration of self-expression, which the cast so graciously share with their audience.
‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ is currently at the Mayflower Theatre as part of its UK tour, tickets can be purchased here.