Teen drag-queen musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie starring Hayley Tamaddon, Rebecca McKinnies and Darren Day has a fierce anti-bullying message

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I went to see the sensational LGBT teen musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie on opening night at Blackpool Winter Gardens.

It’s a show that everyone should be talking about – it’s fierce, fabulous and FUN, but it also has a strong anti-bullying message.

The cast includes some well-known soap stars, and it’s brilliantly acted throughout.

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The story is set in Sheffield, at an inner-city school where 16 year old Jamie (Ivano Turco) is discovering his drag-queen persona.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is touring the UK in 2023/24. Photo: Matt CrockettEverybody's Talking About Jamie is touring the UK in 2023/24. Photo: Matt Crockett
Everybody's Talking About Jamie is touring the UK in 2023/24. Photo: Matt Crockett

He has to deal with bullies, a discouraging teacher, Miss Hedge (brilliantly played by Hayley Tamaddon), and he’s a huge disappointment to his dad.

Despite all this, Jamie thrives - with the help of his supportive mum, Margaret (Rebecca McKinnies) understanding classmates, and a retired drag queen who takes him under their wing.

Turco’s performance as Jamie New is effortless and beautiful – and as a drag queen he is a fierce diva!

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Packed with highly entertaining song and dance numbers, it’s also a powerful drama that shows the gritty reality of life on a Yorkshire housing estate.

The glowing warmth and Northern humour of Margaret and Ray (Shobna Gulati), and the turbulent relationship with Jamie’s father, mirror the complex family dynamics of modern life.

The audience really gets behind young Jamie on his heartwarming journey of personal discovery – applauding his brave back-chat to the class bully, his moments of triumph – and, of course, his prom night!

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Hayley Tamaddon talks about her role in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Darren Day gives a sparkling performance as Loco Chanelle, and I love his earthy and affable portrayal of Hugo.

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And the show is bursting with lively musical numbers and exciting dance routines that makes the classroom look way more fun than real life!

A stand-out moment is when McKinnies belts out the emotional ballad ‘He’s My Boy’ – her voice gives me goosepimples!

I love the film, and the stage musical exceeded expectations. It had me captivated from start to finish – and it showcases some of the best Northern talent!

Everybody's Talking About Jamie is at Blackpool Winter Gardens until Sat 25 November 2023.

To book tickets or for more information visit this link.

Find out more about the show at https://everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk/

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