Everybody's Talking About Jamie: fun, uplifting
| By Harriet Wilson
Jamie is sixteen. He wants to be a drag queen. A career aptitude test tells him to be a forklift driver. Currently strutting across the stage of the Apollo Theatre, Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a fun, uplifting story about finding yourself within the often unforgiving environment of school.
John McCrea is superb in the title role and, as well as being fun and engaging, he brings out the nuances of Jamie's character. Jamie is never portrayed as 'just' somebody who wants to be a drag queen; he's somebody whose dad has left home, who's about to sit GCSEs, and who wants to be himself … but is still working out what that means.
Equally, other characters in the show aren't played down as 'sidekicks'. In particular, Josie Walker plays the role of Jamie's mum with heart-warming sincerity. Mina Anwar is fantastic fun in the role of Ray, and Lucie Shorthouse is instantly likeable as Pritti. I didn't entirely follow the erratic changes in the character of Miss Hedge, but Tamsin Carroll plays the role well.
The songs in Everybody's Talking About Jamie are good but, for me, only a couple stood out. That said, it's indisputable that the show's small band make a big sound, and the music is accompanied by some amazing choreography. The set used is extremely well thought-out and, as well as being visually impressive, it juxtaposes nicely the glamour of Jamie's ambitions.
Everybody's Talking About Jamie is booking at the Apollo Theatre until April 2018.