Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

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A review from 5D Music & Theatre writer Maria Robertson.

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Teenagers have a hard enough life without being a 16 year old male in Sheffield with dreams of being a drag queen.  It just doesn’t quite fit in with the manly persona of the local steelworks. However Jamie has the support of his incredibly loving Mum, and a chance encounter with a former drag queen star gives him the chance he needs to make his dreams come true.

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I had heard that this musical was good but somehow it blew that reputation out of the water!  The production side had an amazing set, with the orchestra above the action.  The backdrop flips open to be Jamie’s house, and the school and the drag queen clothes shop, and anything else that is needed.  Also included was a recurring theme of a door, whether it was closing on Loco Chanelle’s bloodied hand, on Meme Me going to the prom or Jamie’s Dad slamming the door in his face.  Doors do close when we try and meet our dreams but other doors can open and sometimes we can find ourselves on the right side of the door.  Jamie kept persevering trying to identify, and then be, who he wanted to be.  He proved that if you want something hard enough you can make it happen.

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So many of the songs are already known to any of us that listen to songlists from musicals, such as And You Don’t Even Know It, and it was fabulous to finally experience in the context they were written for.  So many of the performers had amazing voices, not just Ivano Turco playing Jamie.  It cannot be an easy roll to play but he fully did it justice.  His mother was played by Rebecca McKinnis who had a fabulous voice and almost stole the show for me with her song He’s My Boy.  As the mother of an only child teenager her love and devotion for him really struck a chord with me, we really would do anything for our boys. Jamie’s best friend Pritti played by Talia Palmathanan, was also an incredible actress, with a bit of an awkward part.  Every part was very well played, its a truly amazing cast.

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Every teenager goes through identity questions of who they are and why they are the way that they are, and this story really dives into that quite deeply. I’m sure all of us could find some comparison in at least one of the characters, or one of the issues that they were facing.  Whether it was the bully funny boy who was soon going to leave the safe confines of school and maybe find that his bullying tactics would not go down so well in the workplace, or the girl just trying to meet the requirements of her culture and religion, or of course Jamie trying to be a boy in a dress, and go to his school prom with his mates.

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Before seeing this show it was in my head as a musical that I should probably see at some point as I’d heard a lot of good things about it, now I cannot emphasise enough just how good it is and I would encourage everyone to see it.  Amazing acting, fantastic set, brilliant musicians and a story that will strike a chord with anyone.  Now I understand why Everybody’s Talking About Jamie!!

Further information: https://everybodystalkingaboutjamie.co.uk/

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Maria Robertson is the Chief Music & Theatre Writer for the 5D Pop Culture Website and provides reviews & coverage of local Aberdeen music & theatre gigs. She’s an experienced writer for numerous sources and is a self-confessed live gig addict ever since seeing The Counting Crows at the Barrowlands in 1994.

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