Open main menu

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a 2017 musical with music by Dan Gillespie Sells and book and lyrics by Tom MacRae. The musical is inspired by the 2011 BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16.[1]

Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Everybody's Talking About Jamie.png
MusicDan Gillespie Sells
LyricsTom MacRae
BookTom MacRae
Basis2011 BBC Three Documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 film Directed by Jenny Popplewell
PremiereFebruary 2017: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Productions2017 Sheffield
2017 West End



Act OneEdit

Miss Hedge, a careers teacher, asks her noisy year eleven class what they want to be when they get older. One student of the class, Jamie New, gets teased about his homosexuality, and reveals to the audience all he wants to be is a drag queen ("And You Don't Even Know It"). When prompted, Jamie tells the class he wants to be a performer, but Miss Hedge tells him to get real.

At Jamie's house, his mum Margaret and family friend Ray are preparing for his sixteenth birthday. When Jamie arrives home, Margaret gives him a card from his dad, with a picture of a race car. Margaret then gives Jamie his gift from her - a pair of red high heels. Jamie reveals hesitation about going outside his garden in the shoes ("Wall in My Head").

The next day at school, Jamie shows his best friend Pritti his new heels, and then he is interrupted by Dean, the school bully. He taunts Pritti for being Muslim, and Jamie for being gay. Jamie taunts Dean for his small penis in return. Embarrassed, Dean leaves. Pritti encourages Jamie to go to prom in a dress ("Spotlight"). Jamie then parades around the classroom in his heels ("Spotlight (Reprise) (Star of the Show)").

At his local shop for drag queen attire, Victor's Secret, Jamie befriends the owner Hugo, and learns all about Hugo's past as a drag queen ("The Legend of Loco Chanelle (and the Blood Red Dress)"). Hugo books Jamie's first drag show at the local nightclub, and helps Jamie choose his dress ("The Legend of Loco Chanelle (and the Blood Red Dress) (Reprise)").

Meanwhile, Margaret meets with Jamie's dad, where she reveals she's been lying to Jamie about the activity of his dad, including the fact she has to write a birthday card from him each birthday. Jamie's dad tells Margaret he wants nothing to do with Jamie, claiming he's not a "real boy". Margaret ponders what her life would be like if she never met Jamie's dad ("If I Met Myself Again").

At school, Jamie pulls Pritti into a disabled toilet so she can help with his make-up. They are discovered by Miss Hedge, but Pritti tells her that she is doing Jamie's make-up for an art project. Miss Hedge tells Jamie that he should be proud of being an art project, and walks him around school in the make-up. Jamie, initially embarrassed by the attention, decides to be proud of himself, telling the school that he's doing a drag show at the local nightclub, Legs Eleven, that night ("Work of Art").

Outside Legs Eleven, Jamie bumps into Dean, who calls him a minger. Inside the club, Margaret and Ray have been introduced to a group of drag queens: Laika Virgin, Tray Sophisticay, and Sandra Bollock. Hugo emerges, now dressed as Loco Chanelle, his drag alter-ego. Jamie runs in to tell them all he can't go on because of what Dean said. Jamie finds the dress he admired at Victor's Secret in his dressing room, with a tag on saying "Love Dad" as well as a flower delivery from Jamie's dad. Loco Chanelle, with the help of the other drag queens, encourage Jamie to find his drag self, whom Jamie calls Mimi Me, and get him ready and push him onstage ("Over the Top")

Act TwoEdit

The next day, the school is buzzing with news of Jamie's drag debut ("Everybody's Talking About Jamie"). Jamie comes into school in bright blue eyeshadow and long eyelashes. Miss Hedge once again tells Jamie to "get real", and Dean taunts Jamie, but Jamie kisses him in retaliation. Jamie leaves Dean confused.

At home, Jamie shows Margaret and Ray his new prom dress, now shortened and fitted with working flashing lights. Margaret worries if this is all too much ("Limited Edition Prom Night Special"). The phone rings, and Jamie and Margaret are called to the school.

Jamie, Margaret and Ray go to the school to meet with Miss Hedge, who tells Jamie that there have been rumours that he will be attending prom in drag, and she will not allow it. Jamie is disappointed, and Dean seems to know all about it.

In Pritti's bedroom, Jamie rants to Pritti about how he's not allowed to go to prom in drag. Pritti tells Jamie to go in a dress - not in drag. Jamie says that without Mimi Me, he's ugly. Pritti reassures Jamie that he is far from ugly ("It Means Beautiful"). Jamie reveals that when he was eight, his dad found him in a dress and was angry. He's then confused as to why he paid for the dress and bought flowers if he's not supportive of him as a drag queen. Pritti suggests Jamie should go to his house and speak to him. Before he leaves, Jamie kisses Pritti on the cheek ("It Means Beautiful (Reprise)").

At the house of Jamie's dad, Jamie's dad reveals that he didn't know about Mimi Me and calls Jamie disgusting. He tells Jamie he didn't pay for the dress or flowers. Jamie figures out that it was his mother doing all of this in his dad's place ("Ugly in This Ugly World").

At home, Jamie argues with Margaret over why she has been lying over all these years. Jamie screams in Margaret's face and storms out. Margaret, left alone, sings about how she will always love Jamie no matter what ("He's My Boy").

Jamie wanders the streets drunk on cider. He is approached by three local boys, and is beaten up as they shout homophobic remarks about him. ("And You Don't Even Know It (Bus Station Reprise)"). Jamie is defended by Hugo, who urges Jamie to go home and apologise to his mum.

Jamie takes Hugo's advice and Margaret and Jamie apologise to each other ("My Man, Your Boy").

At the prom, all of the kids are super excited ("Prom Song"). Pritti enters, wearing makeup and a prom dress. All the girls love it, but Dean decides to bully her. She finally stands up to Dean, and then reveals Jamie, in a white prom dress. Miss Hedge comes out of the school and refuses Jamie's admission to the prom. All the kids stand outside and chant Jamie's name until Miss Hedge gives in and lets him in. Jamie waits until everyone's gone in, and then calls Dean out from off-stage. Jamie encourages Dean to be nice just for one night, to which Dean agrees, and they walk into prom hand-in-hand ("Finale").

As an encore, the cast perform "Out of the Darkness (A Place Where We Belong)".


The musical premiered at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield on 13 February 2017, following previews from 8 February, it finished its short run on 25 February, directed by Jonathan Butterell. The musical transferred to the West End at the Apollo Theatre from 6 November 2017 with most of the Crucible Theatre cast returning.

The production was set to be broadcast live by More2Screen in cinemas across the UK on 5 July 2018, and internationally in the autumn.[2] On 30 May 2018, it was announced that Warp Films will produce a movie version of the musical.[3]

Musical numbersEdit

Original West End ProductionEdit


Character Sheffield (2017)[4] West End (2017)[5]
Jamie New John McCrea
Margaret New Josie Walker
Pritti Pasha Lucie Shorthouse
Leigh/Ray† Mina Anwar
Hugo Charles Dale Phil Nichol
Miss Hedge Tamsin Carroll
Dean Paxton Luke Baker
Becca Gabrielle Brooks Lauran Rae
Bex Harriet Payne
Fatimah Courtney Bowman
Vicki Kirstie Skivington
Mickey Barney Hudson Ryan Hughes
Sayid Kush Khanna Jordan Cunningham
Cy Shiv Rabheru
Levi Daniel Davids
Sandra Bollock Raj Ghatak Daniel Jacob
Tray Sophisticay James Gillan
Laika Virgin Spencer Stafford Alex Anstey
Jamie's Dad Ken Christiansen

†The character Leigh in the Sheffield production was renamed Ray for the West End transfer.

Notable West End replacementsEdit

Critical receptionEdit

The musical received generally positive reviews.

Ann Treneman of The Times, commenting after its West End run had been confirmed, exclaimed "I gave it a very rare five stars. The moment it ended the entire audience rose up as one. I think that it has such an impact for the same reason that Dear Evan Hansen, the musical that just cleaned up the Tony Awards in New York City, is such a success." Later stating that "This is hit material and it so deserved a chance to strut its stuff in Shaftesbury Avenue. Now its got it." [17]

Clare Brennan of The Observer stated that "the drama lacks oomph but sheer exuberance carries this coming-of-age tale...That said, this is still a touching, funny and joyous production."[18] Dominic Cavendish, in his four-star review in The Daily Telegraph, stated "I can't think of a musical that has set me spinning right round (like a record, baby) quite as much as this funny, outrageous, touching but oh-my-word PC flag-waving show...The show sends you out on a feel-good bubble of happiness. Think about it too much, though, and the bubble gets pricked."[19]

Mark Shenton of The Stage thought highly of the show, commenting "Everybody should soon be talking about Everybody's Talking About Jamie. This new British musical is by turns courageous and outrageous."[20]

Awards and nominationsEdit

In 2017, the musical won the Attitude Culture Award.

West End CastEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
2018 WhatsOnStage Awards Best New Musical Won [21]
Best Actor in a Musical John McCrea Won
Best Actress in a Musical Josie Walker Nominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical Lucie Shorthouse Won
Laurence Olivier Awards Best New Musical Nominated [22]
Best Actress in a Musical Josie Walker Nominated
Best Actor in a Musical John McCrea Nominated
Best Theatre Choreographer Kate Prince Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Music Music and Orchestrations by Dan Gillespie Sells, his debut as a musical theatre composer and orchestrator Nominated
2019 WhatsOnStage Awards Best West End show Nominated [23]
Best Original Cast Recording Won


A concept album was released in 2017, featuring John McCrea from the Sheffield production. It also included vocals from Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Betty Boo, Dan Gillespie Sells, and Josie Walker.[24]

1."Don't Even Know it" (Betty Boo)4:23
2."Wall in My Head"4:06
4."The Legend of Loco Chanel (And the Blood Red Dress)"4:12
5."If I Met Myself Again" (Josie Walker)3:26
6."Work of Art" (Sophie Ellis Bextor)2:20
7."Over the Top"3:07
8."Everybody's Talking About Jamie"3:36
9."At 16"2:44
10."It Means Beautiful"2:32
11."He's My Boy" (Josie Walker)5:08
12."My Man, Your Boy" (Josie Walker & John McCrea)2:30
Total length:41:01

In April 2018 The Original Cast Recording featuring all West End cast members and tracks from the musical, became available to purchase in CD format at The Apollo Theatre and online. It became available as a digital download on April 27, 2018.


  1. ^ Billington, Michael (14 February 2017). "Everybody's Talking About Jamie review – drag musical from the Feeling frontman". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  2. ^ "The Stage".
  3. ^ "LondonTheatre".
  4. ^ "Sheffield Theatres: Everybody's Talking About Jamie – Cast Announced".
  5. ^ "Cast - Everybody's Talking About Jamie". Everybody's Talking About Jamie.
  6. ^ "Hayley Tamaddon replaces Michelle Visage in Everybody's Talking About Jamie in the West End". WhatsOnStage. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  7. ^ "JamieMusical on Twitter". twitter. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Shane Richie joins Everybody's Talking About Jamie musical".
  9. ^ "Everybody's Talking About… Bianca Del Rio!". Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Coronation Street star Bill Ward to join Everybody's Talking About Jamie". Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Michelle Visage joins cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie in the West End". WhatsOnStage. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Everybody's Talking About…the NEW Jamie cast!". Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Faye Tozer joins Everybody's Talking About Jamie West End cast". WhatsOnStage. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Everybody's Talking About… Faye Tozer!". Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  15. ^ "JamieMusical on Twitter". twitter. Retrieved 28 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Everybody's Talking About… the NEW Jamie New". Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  17. ^ Treneman, Ann (24 June 2017). "Everybody's Talking About Jamie" – via
  18. ^ Brennan, Clare (19 February 2017). "Everybody's Talking About Jamie review – joyous teen drag musical". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  19. ^ "Sends you out on a feel-good bubble of happiness - Everybody's Talking About Jamie review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Everybody's Talking About Jamie review at Sheffield Crucible". The Stage. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  21. ^ "Winners of the 18th Annual WhatsOnStage Awards announced: David Tennant and Olivia Colman win".
  22. ^ HAMILTON Breaks Olivier Nomination Record; Audra McDonald, Andrew Garfield, and More Nominated; Full List!
  23. ^ Masso, Giverny (5 December 2018). "WhatsOnStage Awards 2018: the nominations in full". The Stage. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae's New Musical EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE Gets Concept Album". Retrieved 20 April 2017.

External linksEdit