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The word in theatre was...


Don’t miss this fun vibrant show with inclusive realness at its heart.

This is a super musical. It is based on the true story of a 16 year old boy growing up in a small former mining village in the north of England who wants to become a drag queen, and, attend his school prom in a dress. 

As you can imagine this meets with ridicule, bigotry and worse from school classmates, family members and others. Yet there are also good people around Jamie who encourage him to be himself. 

It’s a wonderful and heartwarming coming-of-age tale as Jamie matures into the person he should be. The journey for others around him is revealing too.

If that sounds way too heavy, it is anything but! The musical has wonderful catchy tunes for all the cast with special solos for the leads, some melancholic, some hilarious, and some real belters.

I was impressed with the production. The scenes are all slickly choreographed and well rehearsed. The cast move the scenery about seamlessly as part of the choreography. I loved the set and the use of lighting from all around, plus the video projections onto the set to help form each scene. Very clever. 

The only thing I wasn’t entirely sure about was why the live band were on the stage inside the set as we didn’t see them until the finale. Oh well. No matter.

There are plenty of fabulous performances, especially the lead Ivano Turco as Jamie and Rebecca McKinnis as his mother who both sung well with beautiful tones and carried the story. 

Helping the story along were Sejal Keshwala as Ray, best friend to Jamie’s mum, and Thalia Palamathanan (also dance captain of the show) as Jamie’s best friend Pritti.

Kevin Clifton, of Strictly Ballroom fame, nearly stole the show with his fabulous numbers in the dual role of Hugo / Loco Chanelle. 

Of course, the actors playing the professional drag queens of Legs Eleven brought hoots of laughter and encouragement from the audience.  A delight!

Other well-played characters were class bigot and bully Dean played by Jordan Ricketts, and the much put-upon senior teacher at the school, Miss Hedge, played by X-Factor star Sam Bailey.

The cast is full of energy and the show littered with hilarious one-liners (lots of swear words too) but it’s all part of the situational vernacular.  

You will have a good time and come away feeling better about humanity.  Jamie did!

Everybody's Talking About Jamie runs until Saturday, March 30, at the Bristol Hippodrome.

For online tickets from £13 plus booking fee go to

Running time is 2hrs 40mins.

Fiona Erleigh

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