-“Stop waiting for permission for you to be you.”
The smash-hit, critically acclaimed musical ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ is taking to the stage once again at the Wales Millennium Centre and I was lucky enough to be invited to come and review it.
I’d heard a lot of good things about this show but had not yet seen it, so I was unsure of what to expect. The story follows young 16-year-old Jamie New, who lives on a council estate in Sheffield with his mum. Unlike many kids his age, Jamie knows exactly what he wants to do, to be a Drag Queen. But wanting to shine bright and be his true self proves a lot harder than he ever expected. Jamie must overcome prejudice, bullies and rejection in order to finally discover what we all struggled to understand…who we really are.
This show was brilliantly heart-warming and the way the story is told is a great reflection of the struggles certain young people face growing up. As well as an exploration of sexuality, it also shines a light on the difficulties of trying to understand who you are at such a young age. Shrouded by hilarious quips, the deeper meaning behind the story will tug at your heart strings.
With non-stop high energy throughout, Ivano Turco as Jamie was incredible to watch, owning the stage with his version of this beloved character. Having only graduated from the Urdang Academy in 2020, he is already causing quite the storm on stage and after seeing him perform, it’s no surprise as to why. He is a true talent. And the relationships we see on stage are perfectly crafted, taking the audience on a rollercoaster of emotion. John Partridge as Hugo/Loco Chanelle was touching, John took on the role of inspiring mentor and fierce Drag Queen, and the audience fell in love with him. And the remarkable performance by Georgina Hagen as Margaret New had the audience stunned. Her rendition of ‘He’s My Boy’ had me in tears. An incredibly moving performance. And of course, we can’t not talk about the fabulous performance of Ky Kelly (Anthony Gyde) as Laika Virgin, David McNair as Tray Sophisticay and Akshay St Clair as Sandra Bollock (and Jamie’s Dad), as the fierce Drag Queens. Their dynamic on stage was hilarious, and watching their caring treatment of Jamie was inspiring to watch
And the rest of the cast, Hayley Tamaddon as Miss Hedge, Shobna Gulati as Ray, Talia Palamathana as Pritti Pasha, Jordan Rickets as Dean, Liv Ashman as Vicki, Rhiannon Bacchus as Fatimah, Geoff Berrisford as Sayid, Jessica Daugirda as Bex, Annabelle Laing as Becca, Finton Flynn as Young Loco, Luca Moscardini as Levi, Joshian Angelo Omaña as Cy and Thomas Walton as Mickey, all created a powerful energy on stage and brought the story to life. An outstanding performance!
Overall, this show can be loved by everyone, with a dynamic score with upbeat songs like ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’, ‘And You Don’t Even Know It’ and ‘Prom Song’, coupled with powerful ballads such as ‘It Means Beautiful’, ‘If I Met Myself Again’, and a personal favourite of mine, ‘The Wall In My Head’. Along with a beautiful story of love, acceptance and perseverance, and a show-stopping cast, this is a must-see show for everyone!
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie will be at the Wales Millennium Centre until 28th October and tickets are selling out fast, so go get yours now!
All photo credits to Matt Crockett