STAGE Every­body’s Talk­ing About Jamie

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - REVIEWS - SH­EFFIELD CRU­CIBLE NICK AHAD

York­shire is be­com­ing quite the place for new Bri­tish mu­si­cals. Now comes the best of the lot. A mu­si­cal for a new generation and a show that will go to the West End and run and run: Every­body’s Talk­ing About Jamie.

I was surely not alone in feel­ing re­lief that I could stand up for the richly de­served ova­tion, purely for some­thing phys­i­cal to do other than be­ing on the verge of or in the full flood of tears; the state I found my­self for the fi­nal half hour of this show.

Per­haps it’s the cur­rent cli­mate where a daily diet of hate is be­ing spread around the globe, but a story about peo­ple ac­cept­ing, em­brac­ing and sim­ply al­low­ing dif­fer­ence felt like such a pos­i­tive an­ti­dote.

Based on the true story of Jamie Camp­bell, the mu­si­cal tells the story of a teenage boy who wants to go to his prom in a dress, to un­leash his true in­ner self, his in­ner self be­ing a boy who wants to wear a dress.

It feels at times like a mu­si­cal plun­der­ing the very best of Grease and Blood Brothers (and it cheek­ily bor­rows a re­frain from Chicago – yes, at the top of Act 2 it does open up like Cell Block Tango) but in do­ing so has cre­ated some­thing new, fresh and daz­zling. Teenagers look­ing for ac­cep­tance is a story that’s been told by peo­ple as var­ied as James Dean to Sue Townsend but it has surely not been put to such in­fec­tious mu­sic be­fore thanks to Dan Gille­spie Sells, who pro­vides the tunes for the story writ­ten by Tom MacRae.

As the epony­mous hero, wil­lowy John McCrae is born to the role. As


TOP OF THE CLASS: Janelle Monáe as Mary Jack­son in Hid­den Fig­ures is out in cin­e­mas now.

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