Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Everybody's Talking About Jamie. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Everybody's Talking About Jamie. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Everybody's Talking About Jamie (Tour), New Victoria Theatre Theatre | Review


Everybody's Talking About Jamie (Tour)
New Victoria Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 15th March 2022
★★★★

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is fast becoming a staple piece of theatre in the UK and indeed across the world. Having had various iterations in many countries including Japan and Italy, as well as the hit film which was released last year; the musical retains its Britishness, strong heart and morals and continues to be an inspiring and entertaining experience.

Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae's show tells the story of an extroverted 15 year old who dreams of being a drag queen. Despite being sure of himself and his abilities, young Jamie New faces a number of hurdles and people who try to dull his sparkle. So, he works to overcome these and to show the close-minded people around him that being true to yourself can get you far. It's a show which delights and inspires in equal measure, and is sure to keep its spot in theatre lover's hearts for a long time.

As the title character, Layton Williams is a treat to watch. He brings Jamie to life truthfully and so glamourously. From the opening of 'And You Don't Even Know It', Layton completely owns the character and shows us the light and shade enveloped in it. At times his vocals get lost but he makes up for this with his incredible wit and larger than life personality that soars on stage.

Playing Jamie's kind and strong mum is Amy Ellen Richardson who's vocal performance is outstanding. 'He's My Boy' is an absolute highlight of the show and her vulnerable performance is incredibly moving. Her chemistry with Layton is great and she also works incredibly well with her best friend Ray (played brilliantly at this performance by Lisa-Marie Holmes).

Another lovely friendship is that of Jamie and Pritti. The pair are both misunderstood and confined in their own ways and it's so sweet to see them discuss this and to support each other without any toxicity. Sharan Phull is endearing and moving as Pritti, especially in her solo moments and fantastic monologue at the end of the show.

Shane Richie as Hugo/Loco Chanelle is fantastically entertaining, giving a really strong vocal performance and also showcasing fabulous comedic timing. Other stand out performances come from George Samson as Dean Paxton and Gary Lee in various roles including Laika Virgin at this performance.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a musical which inspires us all to own what makes us 'different' and is a really heartwarming portrayal of family, friendship and acceptance. It's contemporary and over the top and so much fun. Let's talk about Jamie a bit longer! Go see the show on tour!

Everybody's Talking About Jamie plays at the New Victoria Theatre until 19th March 2022 and then continues its tour

Friday, 17 November 2017

Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Apollo Theatre | Review


Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Apollo Theatre 
Reviewed on Wednesday 15th November 2017 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Everybody's Talking About Jamie has been one of my most highly anticipated shows of 2017 since I heard the rave reviews during it's run at the Sheffield Crucible. Based on real life events, it tells the story of 16 year old Jamie New, who's dreams are a little different to his classmates. Chronicling the struggles of growing up, issues with family and being accepted, it's the warm, British, comedic show the West End has been waiting for.

The real story was adapted for stage by composer Dan Gillespie-Sells and Tom MacRae and is their first foray into the world of musical theatre. 

Dan's soundtrack is sublime with a faultless mix of upbeat, pop numbers such as 'You Don't Even Know It' as well as heart-achingly beautiful ballads, my personal favourite being 'Wall in My Head'.

Tom MacRae's book is equally fantastic; humour is perfectly balanced with drama and pain to make the show ebb and flow seamlessly. Of course the production is camp but it's not over the top or forced and the classroom scenes are just hilarious. Nothing is overdone and despite some comments falling slightly flat, every moment of dialogue is truly realistic- it feels like watching real life play out rather than performers on a stage. 


On the surface this is a show about drag but the real focus is on the relationships between Jamie and his peers and specifically between him and his mum Margaret, played wonderfully by Josie Walker. It's wonderful to see a parent so supportive of their child even though they're not what people may perceive as 'normal', and it's made even more special by the fact that we know it's based on a true mother/son relationship. Whilst Margaret and Jamie's struggles may contrast to others, the story shows just how important mum's, and not just mum's but whoever your supports in life, are. We all fight with and irritate those who are close to us but that's just because we love them and it's so joyous to see this love played out so sweetly and genuinely on stage.

John McCrea is  faultless as Jamie, even in his ludicrously high stilettos! He is quick witted, sarky and exudes life and joy- I want to be his friend! His voice is great and he just does the most outstanding job every second he's on stage (and he's basically on stage every second.)

His best friend and partner is crime, Pritti is performed fantastically by Lucie Storthouse. 'It Means Beautiful' is sung wonderfully by her and the extremely clever staging adds a magical element to it. It almost becomes a prayer and is a touching scene.


Katie Prince's unique choreography fits the show perfectly and adds a fresh and modern feel. The contemporary dance during 'If I Met Myself Again' is breathtaking and certainly a standout moment of the entire show.

Overall, Everybody's Talking About Jamie is the perfect injection of life, modernity and sass that the West End is craving. It's a story about being yourself no matter what and facing your fears head on. For a contemporary, spectacular piece of British theatre, get yourself along the the Apollo theatre and start talking about Jamie!

For tickets and information about the show, visit https://www.londonboxoffice.co.uk

photo credit: Johan Persson

*disclaimer: this was a preview performance so elements of the show could change*

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Hiba Elchikhe Brings Together West End Performers For A New Musical Theatre Series


In collaboration with Nimax and The Theatre Café, West End performer Hiba Elchikhe is thrilled to announce a brand-new musical theatre based web series: Out Of The Darkness, Into The Spotlight.


Bringing a little bit of glitter to the grey, this three-episode series hopes to not only entertain, but shine a light on the performers who are keeping the West End alive, even during lockdown.


Hiba, who is currently starring in the West End hit Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and who has created the series says “In a time of such uncertainty I am so excited to be able to bring together a spectacular group of freelance artists, that are representative of the UK.”  


Featuring a line up of stellar creatives, each episode shines a “spotlight” on something different: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Musical Theatre and Christmas. The first episode is set to premiere on November 18th, with the next two going live on November 25th and December 9th. Each episode will feature a different line-up of star performers, running at approximately 45 minutes and including a mixture of songs. Performers include: Danny Becker (Prince of Egypt, Aladdin), Courtney Bowman (Six, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Danielle Steers (Six, Bat Out of Hell), Hiba Elchikhe (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Brooklyn), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Les Misérables, Heathers), Sejal Keshwala (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie), Tim Mahendran (& Juliet, Spring Awakening), Grace Mouat (& Juliet, Six), Trevor Dion Nicholas (Hamilton, Aladdin), Liam Tamne (Prince of Egypt) and Noah Thomas (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie).


As well as Maisey Bawden, Paul Bradshaw, Rhiane Drummond, James Gillan, Shanay Holmes, Rob Houchen, Melissa Jacques, Emma Kingston, Carl Man, Frances McCann, Scott Paige, Sharun PhullAmy Trigg and Andrew Patrick Walker, with more to be announced.


Tickets are available from: https://www.thetheatrecafe.co.uk/2020/11/news-out-of-the-darkness-into-the-spotlight/


#IntoTheSpotlightConcert


Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Everybody's Talking About Jamie, Apollo Theatre | Review


Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Apollo Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 21st January 2020 by Olivia Mitchell 
★★★★

Flying into its third year in the West End, Everybody's Talking About Jamie retains its giant heart and remains an inspiring, colourful, hilarious and all round joyous musical. Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae's show tells the story of an extroverted 15 year old who dreams of being a drag queen. Despite being sure of himself and his abilities, young Jamie New has to face those who oppose him and try to pull him down, so he can achieve his dreams and show the people around him that being true to yourself can get you far. It's a show which delights and inspires in equal measure, and is sure to retain its spot in theatre lovers hearts for the foreseeable future.

In his West End and indeed, professional debut, Noah Thomas brings every aspect of leading man, Jamie New, to life with an ease that is truthful to the story but feels just polished enough. Opening with the incredibly catchy 'And You Don't Even Know It', Noah immediately shows us who Jamie is as he transforms the stage into a world of colour and begins the journey which will shape his life. From there on in his entire performance is joyous to experience. With charm in spades and glorious vocals, Noah continually exudes life and never falters throughout his time on stage.

As Jamie's mum, Melissa Jacques is beautifully vulnerable, and draws huge amounts of empathy from the audience as she does all she can to be the best mum to her beloved son. Jacques' vocal performance is that of a powerhouse, with 'He's My Boy' providing an emotional high-point that wows the audience. The chemistry between Jamie and his mum is lovely to see, as is the truthful friendship of Jamie and and his best friend, Pritti. 

Both misunderstood and outsiders in their own ways, the pair continually find common ground and support one another. It's wonderful to see such a supportive and non-toxic friendship played out on stage. As Pritti, Hiba Elchikhe is delightfully moving and vocally exceptional, especially in the act two ballad, 'It Means Beautiful'. Just as Pritti's bedroom sparkles, Hiba gives a glittering performance and makes a sensational West End debut.


Roy Haylock/Bianca Del Rio as Hugo/Loco Chanelle is highly entertaining. Compared to the rest of the cast, his vocals are not consistently top notch but the energy and commitment he performs with mostly make up for that and it's a real treat to see such a widely recognised drag star on a West End stage.

As the rapping teacher Miss Hedge, Preeya Kalidas is vocally strong. The character herself is a little jarring at times as she flits between being an enforcer of reality and a restricter of freedom. It's sometimes confusing as it's unclear whether she's a villain or just someone trying to help. Perhaps that's the whole point! 

Sejal Keshwala is completely ballsy in her performance as Ray and wins over the audience in a matter of moments. Also giving a hugely strong and highly assured performance is Jordan Ricketts as the school bully and Jamie's tormentor Dean Paxton. The entire cast are the embodiment of joy and perfectly evoke the feelings of school life. Katie Prince's choreography excellently brings to life the often frenetic atmosphere of Jamie's life and is fresh and exciting to watch.

This is a musical which inspires us all to own what makes us 'different' and is just a lovely portrayal of family, friendship and acceptance. Contemporary, sassy and so very British, lets keep talking about Jamie!

photo credit: Matt Crockett


Sunday, 3 May 2020

The Return of the Movie Musical


During the Golden Age of Hollywood, movie musicals were abundant and arguably the most popular genre. However, with the move towards pop culture in the 1960s, their popularity dwindled and gave way to a more rebellious style and tone, which meant the all-singing, all-dancing, wholesome stories fell to the side.

Since then, aside from animated films, there have been a handful of live action musicals, with a few big hits such as Hairspray, Chicago and Mamma Mia!, but these have been largely hard to come by and a rare feature at the cinema. However, it seems that things are changing and we are in the midst of musicals coming back into the mainstream!

In some ways, the huge success of La La Land in 2016, a film which combined Old Hollywood with contemporary vibes, marked the return of movie musicals, with A Star is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman following in its footsteps and taking the box offices by storm. Disney's live action adaptations have also proved massive hits with Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King making huge profits. Of course there's also been the occasional flop... Cats.... (which I actually enjoyed) but on the whole, each release has highlighted the demand and appreciation for musical theatre.  

It seems that Hollywood are finally taking note of the power of theatre people and are giving us the sweet, sweet, high quality films we deserve. There are a whole host of movie musicals in the works which are hugely exciting. Some that I'm most looking forward to are:

In The Heights: This is my all time favourite musical and I just can't wait for the summer vibes, incredible music and general wonder of Heights to be played out on the big screen. The film was originally set for release next month but thanks to Miss Rona it's been pushed back to June 2021.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie: This brilliantly British musical is set for release in October and is sure to thrill as it tells the real-life story of Jamie New, the 17 year old drag queen who wants to go against the norm and be true to himself. We'll also get the chance to see wonderful Max Harwood take on the lead role which will be a real treat.

West Side Story: In what's sure to be another 'Star is Born' performance, Rachel Zegler will be starring as Maria in this Stephen Spielberg adaptation. The production photos that have been released so far look amazing and I cannot wait to see this sumptuous film.

The Prom: I saw this show on Broadway so it'll be wonderful and interesting to see a film version. I think this will transfer brilliantly; plus, Meryl Streep is set to star in it so it's already a win in my eyes.

Matilda: The original Matilda film is a complete classic that will always be a heartwarming treat and the musical evokes the same magical and wondrous vibes. Tim Minchin's music is so clever and will no doubt get us all tapping our feet in the cinema!

Merrily We Roll Along: Ben Platt. Beanie Feldstein. Filmed over 20 years. Okay so this isn't going to be out in the near future but I just can't wait to eventually see this movie. The whole concept sounds so exciting and the cast are absolutely stellar.

As well as these there are more live action adaptations in the works as well as a number of current Broadway musicals being transferred from stage to screen. These include Dear Evan Hansen, Tick, Tick... Boom! and Come From Away. All in all, it seems that we can expect a whole lot more musicals in the mainstream and I cannot wait! What upcoming movie musical are you excited to see?

Post by Olivia Mitchell

Thursday, 17 March 2022

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre Announces Principle Cast for Legally Blonde


Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre have today announced principal casting for their forthcoming production of Legally Blonde (13 May-2 July), along with the full creative team.

Courtney Bowman takes the central role of Elle Woods. Courtney previously appeared in SIX (Arts Theatre/Lyric), Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Apollo/Sheffield Crucible), Blondel (Union) and The Wind in the Willows (UK Tour). Courtney can currently be seen as Small in the hit children’s CBeebies show Big Cook Little Cook.

Directed by Lucy Moss, co-director and co-writer of SIXLegally Blonde is written by Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin (music and lyrics), Heather Hach (book) and is based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture.

Also joining the cast are Michael Ahomka-Lindsay (Emmett), Lauren Drew (Brooke), Vanessa Fisher (Vivienne), Isaac Hesketh (Margot), Nadine Higgin (Paulette), Alžbeta Matyšáková (Enid), Eugene McCoy (Callahan), Grace Mouat (Pilar), Alistair Toovey (Warner), and Hannah Yun Chamberlain (Serena).

Full casting will be announced in due course.

Legally Blonde is created by Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong (dramaturg), Cat Beveridge (musical supervisor), Jean Chan (costume designer), Shanaé Chisholm (casting assistant), Natalie Gallacher CDG for Pippa Ailion Casting (casting director), Tony Gayle (sound designer), Phillip Gladwell (lighting designer), Ainsley Hall Ricketts (assistant choreographer), Laura Hopkins (set designer), Barbara Houseman (voice & text and season associate director), Majella Hurley (dialect coach), Ellen Kane (choreographer), Ingrid Mackinnon (season associate: intimacy support), Lucy Moss (director), Priya Patel Appleby (associate director), Chris Poon (assistant musical director), Alexzandra Sarmiento (assistant choreographer), Amber Sinclair-Case (associate director) and Katharine Woolley (musical director).

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s 90th Anniversary season also includes 101 Dalmatians (12 Jul – 28 Aug), a newly commissioned musical written by Douglas Hodge (music and lyrics) and Johnny McKnight (book), from a stage adaptation by Zinnie Harris, based on the book by Dodie SmithAntigone (3 – 24 September) by Barber Shop Chronicles writer Inua Ellams after Sophocles, is the second commission from the theatre in 2022, directed by Max Webster and co-directed by Jo Tyabji.
 

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Full Cast and Creative Team Announced for Billy Elliot the Musical


Curve has announced the cast and creative team for its upcoming Made at Curve production of Billy Elliot the Musical.

The first new UK production is directed by Nikolai Foster (A Chorus Line, Sunset Boulevard – At Home, West Side Story) and will run at the Leicester theatre for six weeks only from Thursday 7 July to Sunday 14 August. Press night will take place on Thursday 14 July.

The titular role of Billy Elliot, the miner’s son with a passion for ballet, will be performed by Leo Hollingsworth from Nottinghamshire, Alfie Napolitano from Northamptonshire, Samuel Newby from Hertfordshire and Jaden Shentall-Lee, whose family live in Leicestershire.

Billy’s dance teacher Mrs. Wilkinson will be played by West End and Broadway legend Sally Ann Triplett, whose iconic roles include Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes (National Theatre and Theatre Royal Drury Lane) and Young Phyllis in Follies (Shaftesbury Theatre), as well as Martha in the recent Made at Curve UK tour of White Christmas.

Michael, Billy’s best friend will be performed by Bobby Donald, Lucas Haywood, Ethan Shimwell and Leicester’s Prem Masani, who will make his stage debut in the production.

All hailing from the East Midlands, Pearl Ball, Caitlin Cole, Lola Johnstone and Ellie Copping – who returns to Curve’s stage having previously appeared as Susan Waverly in the 2018 Made at Curve production of White Christmas - will share the role of Debbie, Mrs. Wilkinson’s daughter.

Joe Caffrey, who previously performed in the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical, will join the cast as Billy’s Dad Jackie, while Broadway and West End sensation Rachel Izen will play Billy’s Grandma Edna. Luke Baker (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the Made at Curve UK tour of Grease) will play Billy’s older brother Tony and Jessica Daley (recently seen in Made at Curve productions of White Christmas and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber) will play Billy’s Mum.

The adult company will be completed by Craig Armstrong as George, Minal Patel as Big Davey, Cameron Johnson as Mr. Braithwaite, Micky Cochrane as Scab, Robin Paley Yorke as Lesley, Christopher Wright as Mr. Wilkinson, Michael Lin as Pit Supervisor, Jonathan Dryden Taylor as Posh Dad, William Atkinson as Older Billy and ensemble, and Steph Asamoah, Tori McDougall, Anna Rossa and Louie Wood as members of the ensemble.

The young company of ballet dancers and boxers, most of which are Midlands-based or have local family connections, will feature Willow Adamson, Maddie Seren Ashley, Oliver Back, Aneeka Kaur Bains, Ella-Rose Blackburn Price, Harvey Clarridge, Lily Corkill, Miley Dalton, Matisse Didier, Isabelle Francis, Ethan Galeotti, Rahul Gandabhai, Isla Granville, Uzziah Gray, Orlaith Rae Hunt, Ava Rose Johnson, Ava Mia Komisarczuk, Kyrelle Lammy, Lienna-Jean Langdon, Tahlia Maddox, Lorcan Murphy, Nesisa Mhindu, Sophia Pirie, Hayden Polanco, Gopal Thacker and Mirabelle Varakantam.

The Made at Curve production of Billy Elliot the Musical will by choreographed by Lucy Hind, with Musical Supervisor and Musical Director George Dyer. The set will be designed by Michael Taylor with costumes designed by Edd Lindley. Also joining the creative team are Lighting Designer and Curve Associate Ben Cracknell, Sound Designer Adam Fisher, Props Supervisor Lizzie Frankl, RYTDS Resident Assistant Director Lilac Yosiphon, Birkbeck Trainee Director Thyrza Abrahams, Associate Choreographer James Berkery, Dialect Coach Elspeth Morrison, Fight Director Kev McCurdy and Head Chaperone Helen ‘H’ Mclaren-Frost.

Children’s casting is managed by Jo Hawes, with adult casting led by Curve Associate Kay Magson CDG.

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:

“We are beyond excited to share our extraordinary cast for Lee Hall and Elton John’s astonishing musical Billy Elliot, ensuring this summer in Leicester is truly memorable.
“Billy Elliot is a musical filled with incredible characters, epic ideas and at its heart, the story of a young boy who has the passion and courage to dance down a different path from the one prescribed for him. We are thrilled to be working with our four Billys - Alfie, Leo, Jaden and Sam - and the entire young company - all hugely talented, brimming with energy and representing the very best young talent in the UK today.
“And leading the entire company, theatre legend Sally Ann Triplett takes on the role of the inspirational teacher we all need in our lives, Mrs. Wilkinson. Joining Sally, we are proud to welcome a first-class company to Curve, totally 55 performers! This is by far the most ambitious show we have staged at Curve and there is no better time to present this musical which recognises the value of culture in our society, the importance of expressing your truest self and gives a voice to the courageous working-class communities who are depicted in Lee Hall’s astonishing play. All beautifully framed by Elton John’s electrifying score.”

Based on Stephen Daldry’s BAFTA-winning 2000 film starring Jamie Bell and Julie WaltersBilly Elliot the Musical features music from Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall. The musical first premiered at London’s Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005 and went on to win a host of international awards, including four Olivier Awards and ten Tony Awards.

Tickets for Billy Elliot the Musical at Curve be purchased on Curve’s website www.curveonline.co.uk, over the phone by calling 0116 242 3595 or in-person at Curve’s Box Office.

photo credit: Marc Brenner