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A reviews round-up for new musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

The Feelings’ Tom Gillespie Sells first foray into musical theatre has opened to rave reviews at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a fun, fearless, witty coming of age musical, about a boy who’s sometimes wants to strut his stuff in six-inch heels.

Inspired by the story of Jamie Campbell, a 16-year-old boy from a mining village in County Durham. After coming out as gay to his family at 14, Jamie wants to be a drag queen and plans on attending his school prom in drag.

Directed by Jonathan Butterell, the music is by Dan Gillespie Sells, the lead singer-songwriter of British rock band The Feeling, and the book and lyrics are by Tom MacRae, who has written for Doctor Who.

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Everyone’s Talking about Jamie will run from 6 November 2017 until 28 April 2018 at the Apollo Theatre.

REVIEWS ROUND-UP

STAR RATING The Guardian

“Dan Gillespie Sells has a lot to offer musical theatre, but this Billy Elliot-style story about a northern teen drag queen lacks drama”

“The strength of the show lies in the songs, and Sells reveals an exceptional talent for writing for the female voice”

“The show is lively and engaging but, like its transvestite hero, demands a fair amount of padding”

Michael Billington, The Guardian

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STAR RATING The Times

“This is quite a special piece of theatre. It is a coming-of-age story but it is not about being gay. Jamie knows he’s gay and so does everyone else. It’s about a boy who also sometimes wants to be a girl, in six-inch red heels, strutting his stuff.”

“John McCrea gives a career-making performance as the gangly kid in his school uniform who yearns to shimmy in a dress at his school prom.”

“The key here is that this show is not about drag queens but about finding out, and accepting, who you are. It’s also about the power of family.”

Ann Treneman, The Times

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STAR RATING Financial Times

“A joyous new musical”

“The publicity describes this new musical as “a coming-of-age story with a twist”

“This witty, melodic show follows a 16-year-old with ambitions to be a drag queen”

Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times

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STAR RATING The Stage

“Based on an idea by director Jonathan Butterell, the particular pleasure of this vibrant and moving production is how deeply it also contextualises Jamie’s life inside the classroom as well as outside”

“Heartwarming new British musical that tells a true story with power and poignancy – this is another winner about someone who refuses to be a loser.”

Mark Shenton, The Stage

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STAR RATING The Observer

“John McCrea’s Jamie, trying to uncover the self he feels he could become, is a butterfly fighting free of its chrysalis – fragility tempered by toughness, possibility struggling towards actualisation. It’s a masterly performance.”

“Jonathan Butterell’s direction seamlessly intermingles robust humour with insightful sensitivity. If the drama occasionally flags, the performances certainly don’t.”

Clare Brennan, Observer

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