It's Christmas Day, and we're adding more goodwill to your day by taking a closer look at musical adaptation Everybody's Talking About Jamie.
This is set to be an inspirational, feel-good hit when it arrives in 2021 (release dates permitting). Scroll down to find out more.
1. What is the story of Everybody's Talking About Jamie?
Inspired by true events, movie musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie is the story of an ordinary schoolboy who's determined to follow his dream. The titular Jamie is stewing in his ordinary, undemanding existence at a boring comprehensive school.
The 16-year-old has long harboured a desire to become a drag queen, and following support from his mother, he takes off to London to make it big on the stage. There, he meets an assortment of new faces, including veteran drag artist Loco Chanelle, and completes his transformation into a show-stopping artiste capable of taking the crowds by storm.
2. When did the musical of Everybody's Talking About Jamie begin?
Everybody's Talking About Jamie premiered in 2017 at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre. The musical was inspired by the BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, which brought us the inspirational story of Jamie Campbell, a Bishop Auckland teen who felt compelled to come out as gay at a young age. Bullied at school and banned from his prom for appearing in drag, Jamie was finally accepted for who he was on the London drag artist scene.
The Feeling's Dan Gillespie Sells collaborated with Doctor Who writer Tom MacRae for the musical, which played to sell-out audiences across the country. Following an Australian tour and two successful album recordings, the production was nominated for five Olivier Awards in 2018, including Best New Musical.
3. Who stars in the movie of Everybody's Talking About Jamie?
John McCrea initiated the role of Jamie in the 2017 Sheffield production, later giving way to Bad Education's Layton Williams during the 2020 UK tour. In the movie, Jamie is played by screen newcomer Max Harwood, with the role of Loco Chanelle taken by Withnail and I scene-stealer Richard E. Grant.
The supporting cast, meanwhile, lines up an assortment of popular British faces. Happy Valley's Sarah Lancashire plays Jamie's devoted mother Margaret, Catastrophe's Sharon Horgan is Miss Hedge, The Office's Ralph Ineson plays his father Wayne and Four Lions' Adeel Akhtar is Iman Masood.
4. Who directs Everybody's Talking About Jamie?
Ensuring consistency from stage to screen, the movie is directed by Jonathan Butterell who helped to develop the original musical. A West End, Broadway and Off-Broadway veteran, Butterell's credits include Into the Woods and Sweeney Todd (both of which were turned into successful movies).
The movie adaptation of Everybody's Talking About Jamie belongs to a tradition of feel-good British dramas that juxtapose gritty northern environments with vibrant inner lives. One only has to look at the Oscar-winning The Full Monty as an example, the story of unemployed Sheffield steel workers who become male strippers. (Interestingly, that movie experienced an inverse trajectory, from big screen drama to musical adaptation). Will Everybody's Talking About Jamie honour the infectious spirit of these past Brit hits?