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. 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.
The story follows Jamie New, a gay teenager growing up in Sheffield. Jamie desperately wants to become a drag queen, and, while his mother Margaret and his best friend Pritti, support him, he 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 than happy about his plans...
Plans for a film adaptation, initially set to be released by 20th Century Studios, were announced in 2018; the theatrical release was canceled in early 2021 with the rights sold to Amazon Studios and new plans to debut globally on Prime Video; the film released in select theaters on 10 September 2021 and on Prime 17 September.
Everybody's talking about these tropes:
- 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.
- The Cameo:
- Camp Gay: Jamie. Very much so.
- Color Blind Casting:
- Jamie was originated by John McCrea, who is white, but, in January 2019, was replaced by Layton Williams, who is Black.
- Similarly, Hugo was played by Caucasian actors until May 2019, when Bianca Del Rio, of Cuban and Honduran descent, took over.
- Crowd Song: A number of the songs are performed with Year 11 as backup.
- Dark Reprise:
- An odd example. After "It Means Beautiful", Jamie thanks Pritti, kisses her on the cheek and leaves. Pritti then sings a short, sad reprise of the same song that could be interpreted as her having unrequited feelings for Jamie. This is never revisited.
- Jamie has one of "And You Dont Even Know It" between "Hes My Boy" and "My Man, My Boy". Neither of these reprises are on the cast recording.
- Deadpan Snarker: Everyone has shades of this at one point, but the standouts are Jamie, Pritti and Margaret.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The film uses this during "Work of Art".
- Disappeared Dad / I Have No Son!: While Wayne is still around, he wants nothing to do with his son.
- Drag Queen: Jamie aspires to be this, and encounters many adult drag queens over the course of the story.
- Easily Forgiven: For all of his bullying, Dean's forgiven by Jamie and Pritti at the prom with little to no hard feelings.
- 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.
- Honor Thy Abuser: At the prom, Jamie shows kindness to Dean, who's been nothing short of an asshole the entire time. Dean reluctantly accepts.
- "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, each insisting that it isn't true in the case of the other. Makes for some subtle heartwarming moments at the prom when their classmates immediately tell both of them how great they look, sincerely and unprompted.
- Maybe Ever After: Margaret's friend Ray jokes at the end that they 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.
- Movie Bonus Song: "This Was Me" is a solo for Hugo (performed by Richard E. Grant and Holly Johnson), reminiscing about his early drag career and the impact of the AIDS epidemic and Freddie Mercury's death. It replaces "The Legend of Loco Chanelle (and the Blood Red Dress)".
- Parental Abandonment: Wayne gave up on Jamie at some point (it's never specified exactly when) and has moved on with a new wife and a kid on the way.
- 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 Reason You Suck" Speech: Pritti delivers a heavy one to Dean outside the prom.
- Remake Cameo: John McCrea, the original Jamie from the Sheffield and West End productions, portrays the young Loco Chanelle in the film adaptation.
- 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.