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Theatre / Everybody's Talking About Jamie

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And you don't even know it!

"Out of the darkness
Into the spotlight
There is a new star
Shining so bright"

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a musical written by Tom McRae and composed by Dan Gillespie Sells. It was inspired by the BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16. It premiered in Sheffield in 2017, and transferred to the West End later that year. Plans for a film version were announced in 2018.

The story follows Jamie New, a gay teenage boy growing up in Sheffield. Jamie desperately wants to become a drag queen, and while his mother and his best friend, Pritti, support him, he is also faces scorn and ridicule from his teacher, Miss Hedge, and the school bully, Dean. As prom approaches, Jamie decides he will attend wearing a dress at Pritti's encouragement. In preparation, he befriends the owner of a local drag attire shop, who is all too happy to help him. However, it becomes apparent that the school is less happy about his plans...


The show was nominated for five Laurence Olivier Awards. It is also noteworthy in certain circles for featuring Michelle Visage as a replacement Miss Hedge in late 2018.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie contains examples of:

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Jamie receives this treatment, mostly from Miss Hedge and Dean. However, by the end, it's subverted, with far more people supporting him than opposing him.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Miss Hedge is cynical and jaded, believing that her students need to 'get real'. She becomes more of a Sadist Teacher later in the show, taking delight in trying to shame Jamie for wearing make-up and not allowing him to attend prom in a dress.
  • The Bully: Dean. He taunts Jamie for being gay, as well as Pritti for being Muslim and a virgin.
  • Camp Gay: Jamie is very much this.
  • Color Blind Casting:
    • Jamie was originated by John McCrea, who is white, but in January 2019 was replaced by Layton Williams, who is black.
    • Advertisement:
    • Similarly, Hugo was played by white actors until May 2019, when Bianca Del Rio, who is of Cuban and Honduran descent, took over the role.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • An odd example. After the end of "It Means Beautiful", Jamie thanks her, kisses her on the cheek, and leaves. Pritti then sings a short, sad reprise of the same song that could be taken as implying she has unrequited feelings for Jamie. This is never addressed again.
    • Jamie also gets one of ‘You Don’t Even Know It’ between ‘He’s My Boy’ and ‘My Man, My Boy’. Neither of these reprises are on the cast recording.
  • Drag Queen: Jamie aspires to be this, and encounters many adult drag queens over the course of the story.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: During the prom scene, Sayid, one of Jamie's male classmates, mentions that he finds Jamie attractive in his dress, and would be into him if he didn't know Jamie was male.
  • Gayngst: Some, mostly during "Ugly In This Ugly World", but for the most part Jamie is proud and unapologetic about his sexuality.
  • "I Am Great!" Song: "And You Don't Even Know It", and the second half of "Work of Art".
    • Tragically inverted later on in "Ugly In This Ugly World".
  • I Am Not Pretty: Both Jamie and Pritti suffer from this and discuss it together, each insisting that it isn't true in the case of the other. Makes for some subtle heartwarming moments during the prom scene when their classmates immediately tell both of them how great they look, sincerely and unprompted.
  • Maybe Ever After: Jamie's mother's friend Ray jokes at the end that she and Jamie's mum might get together. Based on their interactions throughout, the idea isn't impossible - it's certainly more likely than any other potential pairing of the show's characters.
  • Parental Love Song: "He's My Boy" sung by Margaret regarding Jamie, and then "My Man, Your Boy" sung by Jamie to Margaret.
  • Pep-Talk Song: "It Means Beautiful".
  • Precision F-Strike: Pritti gets one at the end, to the delight of her classmates.
    Pritti: Are you fucking kidding me?
  • Prom Is for Straight Kids: Played with, as the issue isn't that Jamie is gay, but that he wants to come to prom in drag (with the underlying implication that the objections are due to homophobia).
  • The Something Song: "Prom Song"
  • Teens Are Monsters: Subverted. Dean is cruel, and this is partially blamed on his age, but the rest of the teenage characters are actually quite nice.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Jamie is this to an extent.

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