Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Apollo Theatre
Shaftesbury Avenue, London

Previewed: 6 November 2017
Opened: 22 November 2017
Closed: 14 March 2020
Reopened: 12 December 2020
Closed: 13 December 2020
Reopened: 2 March 2021
Closed: 26 September 2021
RETURNS: 2022 to be confirmed

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Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus

Location street map

Theatre seating plan

Show times:
Monday no show
Tuesday at 7.30pm
Wednesday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Thursday at 7.30pm
Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm
Sunday at 2.30pm

Runs 2 hours and 40 minutes with one interval

Seat prices
? to ?
(plus booking fees if applicable)

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

The new hit British musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie in London... the musical that everyone is talking about!

Jamie New is sixteen. He's from Sheffield. And he has a secret. He doesn't quite fit in at school. His Dad's left home. He's about to sit his GCSEs. The future is terrifying. But Jamie is going to be a sensation.

Please note this show contains some strong language.

The show's writer Tom MacRae said: "It's based on a BBC documentary on a lad called Jamie, who became a drag queen at 16. He wanted to go to his school prom in a dress." The musical, which features songs by Dan Gillespie Sells (of The Feeling), is based on the 2011 BBC Three television documentry Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 and was presented for a three week run at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield during February 2017.

NOTE: This production was booking up to Saturday 29 August 2020, but due to the COVID-19 situation, it closed on Saturday 14 March 2020. It then reopened on Saturday 12 December 2020, and was booking up to Sunday 21 March 2021, but again due to the COVID-19 situation, it closed on Sunday 13 December 2021, having played four performances (two on Saturday and two on Sunday).. It then reopened again on Tuesday 2 March 2021.

From 6 November 2017 to 14 March 2020, this production played Monday to Saturday evenings, with afternoon matinees on Wednesday and Saturday. When it reopened on Saturday 12 December 2020 a new schedule was introduced with performances on Tuesday to Sunday evenings, with afternoon matinees on Saturday and Sunday. When it reopened on 2 March 2021 it played Tuesday to Sunday evenings, with afternoon matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2.30pm. In August 2021 a Wednesday afternoon matinee was introduced, placing the Sunday evening performance.

Musical with music by Dan Gillespie Sells, and book and lyrics by Tom MacRae, from an idea by Jonathan Butterell, inspired by the BBC television documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16.

Directed by Jonathan Butterell, with choreography by Kate Prince, designs by Anna Fleischle, video by Luke Halls, lighting by Lucy Carter, and sound by Paul Groothuis.

When this musical opened here at the Apollo Theatre in London in November 2017, Neil Norman in the Daily Express explained how "the happy marriage of music by Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom McRae's book and lyrics is bolstered by Kate Prince's terrific street dance-inflected choreography and Lucy Carter's lighting design... it is an enormously enjoyable show with a serious social riptide... The dialogue is sharp, waspish and funny and Jonathan Butterell's direction is polished without being too shiny. A palpable hit." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times praised "this effervescent, joyous new musical... let's hear it for a show that champions tolerance and inclusivity with such heart, wit and flair." Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard commented how "John McCrea anchors Jonathan Butterell's lively production, charismatic as the passionate and occasionally naive Jamie... The highlight of a strong supporting cast is Josie Walker as Jamie's mother, glorious in her introspective solos. Lucie Shorthouse is richly amusing as his earnestly diligent friend Pritti and Phil Nichol delights as his bear-like mentor Hugo... The result is a true crowd-pleaser - big-hearted and joyous." Paul Taylor in the i newspaper said that "this show is irresistible: a joyous, life-affirming Billy Elliot for an age negotiating the fluidities of gender identity... Kate Prince's witty S Club choreography is superb... Dan Gillespie Sells, frontman of The Feeling, has written an immensely attractive score that rises to the emotional occasion with some eloquently poignant power ballads... Everybody's Talking About Jamie won a string of awards for its first airing in Sheffield; I reckon it might pick up a few more during this jubilant London run." Ann Treneman in the Times highlighted that "this fizzing musical is a blast of fresh air... John McCrea lights up the stage as Jamie, gawky, vulnerable and magnetic... It's the real deal, this one. Everyone really should be talking, singing, shouting about Jamie now." Tim Auld in the Daily Telegraph thought that "Jonathan Butterell, Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae, have created a show that, judging by the audience's response, could end up a cult classic. Kate Prince's choreography is sharp and evocative of the trudging boredom of the classroom and the opportunities it gives for naughty self-expression. The music, referencing pop, funk and northern soul, is catchy, though a little middle-aged." Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail described it as being "pretty good fun, even if it feels derivative - a cross between Billy Elliot and Priscilla Queen Of The Desert. Never mind! This show has a sense of humour, some bubbly songs, Yorkshire repartee and a great central performance from John McCrea as stiletto-heeled Jamie. I suppose you could also make something of the fact that it plugs into the current political fashion for gender self-determination, but what is refreshing is that this show is pretty much unburdened by illiberal grievance politics."

The original cast at the West End's Apollo Theatre in October 2017 featured John McCrea as 'Jamie New', Josie Walker as 'Margaret New', Lucie Shorthouse 'Pritti Pasha', Mina Anwar as 'Rayia 'Ray' Begum', Tamsin Carroll as 'Miss Hedge', and Phil Nichol as 'Hugo (Loco Chanelle)', with Alex Anstey as 'Laika Virgin', Courtney Bowman as 'Fatimah', Daniel Davids as 'Levi', Daniel Jacob as 'Sandra Bollock', Harriet Payne as 'Bex', James Gillan as 'Tray Sophisticay', Jordan Cunningham as 'Sayid', Ken Christiansen as 'Jamie's Dad', Kirstie Skivington 'Vicki', Lauran Rae as 'Becca', Luke Baker as 'Dean Paxton', Ryan Hughes as 'Mickey', and Shiv Rabheru as 'Cy'.

The title role of 'Jamie New' was played by John McCrea from Monday 6 November 2017 to Saturday 26 January 2019; Layton Williams from Monday 28 January 2019 to Saturday 4 January 2020; and Noah Taylor from Monday 6 January 2020 to Sunday 26 September 2021.

The Alternative / Understudy for 'Jamie New' was Luke Bayer from Monday 6 November 2017 to Saturday 26 January 2019; Luke Latchman from Monday 28 January 2019 to Saturday 4 January 2020; Jordan Laviniere from Monday 6 January 2020 to Sunday 13 December 2020; and Adam Taylor from Tuesday 2 March 2021 to Sunday 26 September 2021.

The role of his mother 'Margaret New' was played by Josie Walker from Monday 6 November 2017 to Saturday 14 July 2018; Rebecca McKinnis from Monday 16 July 2018 to Saturday 28 September 2019; and Melissa Jacques from Monday 30 September 2019 to Sunday 26 September 2021.

The role of his friend 'Pritti Pasha' was played by Lucie Shorthouse from Monday 6 November 2017 to Saturday 26 January 2019; Sabrina Sandhu from Monday 28 January 2019 to Saturday 4 January 2020; and Hiba Elchikhe from Monday 6 January 2020 to Sunday 26 September 2021.

The role of his mum's friend 'Rayia 'Ray' Begum' was played by Mina Anwar from Monday 6 November 2017 to Saturday 5 May 2018; Shobna Gulati from Monday 7 May 2018 to Saturday 26 January 2019; and Sejal Keshwala from Monday 28 January 2019 to Sunday 26 September 2021.

The role of his teacher 'Miss Hedge' was played by Tamsin Carroll from Monday 6 November 2017 to Wednesday 17 October 2018; Michelle Visage from Thursday 18 October 2018 to Saturday 26 January 2019; Hayley Tamaddon from Monday 28 January 2019 to Saturday 4 May 2019; Faye Tozer from Monday 6 May 2019 to Saturday 3 August 2019; Rita Simons from Monday 5 August 2019 to Saturday 16 November 2019; Preeya Kalidas from Monday 18 November 2019 to Saturday 29 February 2020; Gillian Ford on Mondays only from Monday 13 January to Monday 9 March 2020; Katy Brand from Tuesday 3 March 2020 to Saturday 14 March 2020 (excluding Mondays); and Gillian Ford from Saturday 12 December 2020 to Sunday 26 September 2021.

The role of the clothes shop owner and drag queen 'Hugo/Loco Chanelle' was played by Phil Nichol from Monday 6 November 2017 to Saturday 14 July 2018; Lee Ross from Monday 16 July 2018 to Saturday 26 January 2019; Shane Richie from Monday 28 January 2019 to Saturday 4 May 2019; Roy Haylock (AKA Bianca Del Rio) from Monday 6 May 2019 to Saturday 29 June 2019; Bill Ward from Monday 1 July 2019 to Saturday 28 September 2019; Phil Nichol from Monday 30 September 2019 to Saturday 7 December 2019; Roy Haylock (AKA Bianca Del Rio) from Monday 9 December 2019 to Saturday 29 February 2020; James Gillan from Monday 2 to Saturday 14 March 2020; Rufus Hound was due to take over from Monday 16 March 2020 to Saturday 30 May 2020, but all these performances where cancelled; Phil Nichol on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 December 2020; Shane Richie from Tuesday 2 March 2021 to Sunday 18 July 2021; and Phil Nichol from Tuesday 20 July 2021 to to Sunday 26 September 2021.

This production transferred to London's West End following a run of 16 performances and 3 preview performances at the Sheffield Crucible Theatre - previewed from 9 February 2017, opened on 13 February 2017 and closed on 25 February 2017 - when the cast featured John McCrea as 'Jamie New', Josie Walker as 'Margaret New', Lucie Shorthouse as 'Pritti Pasha', Mina Anwar as 'Leigh' (renamed 'Rayia 'Ray' Begum' for London run), Tamsin Carroll as 'Miss Hedge', and Charles Dale as 'Hugo (Loco Chanelle), with Barney Hudson as 'Mickey', Courtney Bowman as 'Fatimah', Daniel Anthony as 'Levi', Gabrielle Brooks as 'Becca', Harriet Payne as 'Bex', James Gillan as 'Tray Sophisticay', Kirstie Skivington as 'Vicki', Kush Khanna as 'Salah' (renamed 'Sayid' for London run), Luke Baker as 'Dean Paxton', Raj Ghatak as 'Sandra Bollock', Shiv Rabheru as 'Callum' (renamed 'Cy' for London run), and Spencer Stafford as 'Laika Virgin'/'Jamie's Dad' (split into two for London run).

"The Jamie in question is a 16-year-old Sheffield schoolboy whose ambition is to be a drag queen. Our peroxide-haired hero struggles to fulfil his dreams despite being consumed by feelings of self-disgust. He's called a 'minger' by the school bully, rejected by his bigoted dad and beaten up by thugs for being gay, but his devoted, skint mum finds the money to buy him a pair of towering red heels and a ruched floor-skimming frock. Boosted by his best friend Pritti, who's bullied for being clever, and a trio of drag queens, he transforms himself into his fierce alter-ego Mimi Me, 'a superstar in a Wonderbra'. He finally gets to go to the class prom in a dress, even convincing the school bully to dance with him. You'll find yourself rooting for Jamie as he sashays his way to happiness. Soon EVERYONE really will be talking about Jamie!" The Sunday Mirror

When this production was seen at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in February 2017, Ann Treneman in the Times highlighted how "John McCrea gives a career-making performance as the gangly kid in his school uniform who yearns to shimmy in a dress at his school prom... This show wears its message lightly on its (sparkly) shoulder pads. There is the odd lapse in pace but there is also lots of fun... At the end, the audience rose as one. This show has the tingle." Jonathan Brown in the i Newspaper said that "Jamie provides an entrance to the dazzling world of sequins, false breasts and tucked testicles that is at once fascinating and hilarious. John McCrea in the title role is triumphant as the boy in the dress... At the risk of pooping the party, the plotting is clunky and the production is overlong and drags in the second half as we are invited into Jamie's predictably troubled home life." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph described it as being a "funny, outrageous, touching, but oh-my-word PC flag-waving show about a Sheffield schoolboy who has set his sights on becoming a drag queen... The show sends you out on a feelgood bubble of happiness. Think about it too much, though, and the bubble gets pricked." Ian Shuttleworth in the Financial Times commented how "virtually everyone is entirely supportive both of his homosexuality and his frankly questionable taste in stiletto-heeled platform footwear... the thing is, without opposition, where is the story?.. Affirmation needs to affirm in the face of something reasonably weighty. What carries the show through is that that affirmation is so very joyous and witty." Michael Billington in the Guardian explained that "at every turn, the audience cheers Jamie on. However, it all seems a bit too easy... he has a loyally supportive mum, the love of his fellow pupils and a self-belief that only occasionally flags. To make up for the lack of dramatic substance, Tom MacRae has to fill out the story... The show is lively and engaging but, like its transvestite hero, demands a fair amount of padding."

Everybody's Talking About Jamie in London at the Apollo Theatre previewed from 6 November 2017, opened on 22 November 2017, closed on 14 March 2020, reopened on 12 December 2020, closed on 13 December 2020, reopened on 2 March 2021, and closed on 26 September 2021. This production is expected to return in 2022, more details to be announced.