The last show I saw on my 3 day trip to London was Everybody’s Talking About Jamie -One of my favourites. It is the story of Jamie New a 16-year-old boy who wants to be a drag queen. its a lovely story about being true to yourself and acceptance. I had recently watched the documentary on Jamie Campbell, the inspiration behind the musical – check it out on BBC Iplayer (Jamie: Drag Queen at 16). I found it really interesting, watching the show after seeing the documentary you could notice the little inspirations behind some of the scenes that were taken from the real-life documentary. I love this feel-good musical, if you want a musical you can completely escape into, this is it! You won’t be able to stop talking about Jamie!
First up is the incredible Layton Williams as Jamie New, this was my second time seeing Layton in the role and I loved him again! He is perfect for the role! It just seems like it comes naturally to him. Jamie is partially a comedic role and Layton succeeds with it, he made me laugh so many times within the two and a half-hour musical. Not only was he good at the comedic scenes he was also able to move the audience in more down to earth serious scenes such as the song Wall in my Head. Speaking of Layton is an incredible singer, I loved any time we got to hear him sing, he just seemed like he was having the time of his life on the stage. His vocals were insane especially in songs like ‘Ugly in this Ugly World’ and ‘Wall in my Head’ which were the less choreographed songs where he could really belt it out, his riffs could give Mariah Carey a run for her money! But don’t think he can’t sing incredibly whilst dancing because he can! When I say dancing I mean DANCING! Layton is an amazing dancer! Your eyes were drawn to him in the group numbers. Not only does he dance amazingly he does it in gorgeous red 8-inch heels most of the time! I can’t even dance like that barefoot so how he was dancing like that in heels was beyond me! I loved his relationship with Melissa who was playing his mum! It felt natural and not at all forced either, I also really liked his friendship with Sabrina who plays Pritti (Jamies best friend), it was another great representation and I felt their friendship radiate off the both of them. Overall I loved Layton as Jamie! He is leaving Jamie at the Apollo at the start of January but is taking the role on the UK tour – if you get a chance to see him, do it, you won’t regret it.
Next up we have Melissa Jacques who was playing Jamie’s mum, Margret New. I really liked Melissa in this role; she had been the Margaret understudy for a year and recently got promoted to full-time Margaret and I can see why – she was great! She gave such a warm motherly vibe from the moment that we saw her and it radiated throughout the show. I thought her and Layton had a fantastic onstage bond and at times I forgot that they weren’t actually related, they seemed so close. Margaret’s protective mode also really shone through with Melissa. Melissa also had great vocals which were showcased in the songs If I Met Myself Again and He’s My Boy. If I Met Myself Again is one of my favourites and Melissa certainly did it justice!
Moving onto Rita Simons as Miss Hedge, I thought Rita did a really good job with this role. Miss Hedge is Jamie’s teacher who desperately tries to keep him down to earth. She has one main song called ‘Work of Art’ where she is almost taunting Jamie. Whilst it isn’t one of my favourites from the soundtrack I thought Rita did a really good job at performing the song, same goes for her rap verse in the opening song ‘You Don’t Even Know It’. I also thought Rita did a really good job acting this role – the teacher who is strict but also deep down means well, her acting reminded me of some of the teachers I used to have!
Following Rita, we have Sabrina Sandhu who plays the role of Pritti Pasha – Jamie’s best friend in the musical. I loved her as Pritti, I thought her and Layton had a really good onstage friendship which made me smile throughout. Sabrina had these lovely vocals that where highlighted in her songs ‘Spotlight’ and ‘It Means Beautiful’, they were sung so smoothly and I could have listened to them for hours, I love everything about Pritti’s character, she is positive and always there for Jamie. I thought Sabrina was amazing and did a really good job at portraying the lovely and supportive friend.
The next character I want to mention is Ray, played by Sejal Keshwala. Ray is Margaret’s closest friend, I thought she and Melissa had a really strong friendship which made me smile whenever they were in scenes together. Everyone has an ‘aunt’ who isn’t really their aunt, and that’s exactly what Ray is. Sejal has one big vocal moment during a song in act 2 called ‘Limited Edition Prom Night Special’ which she sings with Layton, it is a song that Sejal proved is 100% better live! She sang it greatly! Her and Layton also had a really great supportive friendship which was lovely to watch! Love this character!
Last but not least is Phil Nichol as Hugo/ Loco Chanel, I really enjoyed Phil as Hugo I thought he had a great mentor/friendship with Layton’s Jamie and he had great banter with the other drag queens. Phil is reprising his role as Hugo/Loco after originating the role in the West End Production. I loved his version of ‘The Legend of Loco Chanel’ I thought vocally he was amazing and sang all of his material really well. He played Loco perfectly and he made me laugh so much throughout the show! I am so glad I got to see the OG Loco Chanel!!
My top 5 Favourite Moments:
Wall in my Head: I love this song, I think everyone has been in a situation where they could relate to this song and Layton sounded amazing whilst singing it!
You Don’t Even Know It: This is such an upbeat feel-good song that really sets the pace for how fun this musical is going to be! It’s a great way to open the show!
The ‘If I Met Myself Again’ Dance duet: Whilst it’s only a small section of the song, I really enjoyed the duet that Emily Kenwright and Alexander Archer danced so gracefully.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: I love this song, it is so feel good and funny and everyone is having the time of their life up there whilst they were performing, their happiness is contagious – a great way to start the second act!
Spotlight: Sabrina sang Pritti’s big song so well and I really enjoy the lyrics of the song which Sabrina was projecting perfectly and I had a big smile throughout the song.
You have to go and see this musical, whether it’s in London or whether you see their upcoming tour. It’s a lovely story, a lovely message, a great soundtrack and it will leave you smiling for the rest of the week! I’d recommend it to anyone!
If you like the sound of this musical and would like to book tickets to see the London production you can book them below! – There is currently a deal where you can save £54 on tickets!
Get your tickets here!
Layton may be leaving but Noah Thomas looks like he’ll be just as incredible when he takes to the stage in January! On top of that Ru Paul’s Drag Race season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio will be returning to the role of Loco Chanelle for 12 weeks from the 9th of December!