REVIEW: Everybody’s Talking about Jamie – Lyceum Theatre – Sheffield


In the vibrant tapestry of Sheffield’s theatrical landscape, “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” emerges as a radiant gem, returning to its birthplace at the Lyceum Theatre with a renewed fervor and a narrative that pulses with life. This musical, which first ignited hearts at the Crucible Theatre in 2017, has evolved into a cultural phenomenon, captivating audiences with its empowering message of self-discovery and its kaleidoscope of talent.

Central to the production’s resplendence is the magnetic performance of Finton Flynn, who steps into the shoes of Jamie New with a charisma and authenticity that are simply captivating. As the titular character, Flynn navigates Jamie’s tumultuous journey with a nuanced portrayal that encompasses both vulnerability and resilience. His presence on stage is magnetic, drawing the audience into Jamie’s world and eliciting a spectrum of emotions with every nuanced expression and gesture. Supporting his spectacular performance are his phenomenal vocals which demonstrate an exceptional level of skill.

Opposite Flynn stands Rebecca McKinnis, a luminary in her own right, whose portrayal of Margaret New, Jamie’s unwaveringly supportive mother, is a testament to the power of maternal love. McKinnis infuses Margaret with a blend of strength and tenderness, embodying the complexities of motherhood with grace and conviction. Her vocals soar with emotive depth, carrying the audience through a symphony of emotions as she navigates the highs and lows of Jamie’s journey.

Complementing Flynn and McKinnis are a constellation of stars who illuminate the stage with their talent and passion. Sejal Keshwala embodies Ray with a warmth, humour and sincerity that endear her to audiences, while Rhiannon Bacchus infuses Pritti with a quiet strength and resilience that resonate long after the show ends. Sam Bailey commands attention as Miss Hedge, infusing the character with sass and soul, while Kevin Clifton dazzles as Hugo/Loco Chanelle, exuding flamboyance and charm with every strut and flourish and some exceptional vocals.

Yet, it is not only the principal cast members who shine in this dazzling constellation of talent. The ensemble, a collective force of energy and artistry, delivers performances that are nothing short of mesmerising. Each member contributes to the rich tapestry of the production, imbuing every scene with a vitality and vibrancy that are palpable.  There are some exceptional drag talents with the likes of KY Kelly (aka Anthony Gyde), Garry Lee (Sandra Bollock), and David McNair (Tray Sophisticay), each member of the ensemble brought their unique talents to the stage, creating a rich tapestry of characters and experiences. From Akshay St Clair’s heartfelt portrayal of Dad to Jordan Ricketts’ deeply believable portrayal as the bully, Dean, every member of the ensemble showcased their versatility and skill. Liv Ashman, Takayiah Bailey, and Geoff Berrisford added depth and authenticity to the ensemble with their nuanced performances, while Jessica Daugirda, Annabelle Laing, and Luca Moscardini captivated audiences with their presence and charisma. Joshian Omana and Thomas Walton rounded out the ensemble with their memorable performances, contributing to the overall magic of the production. Together, the ensemble delivered a stellar performance that was as captivating as it was inspiring, leaving a lasting impression on all who had the privilege of witnessing their talent onstage.

Behind the scenes, the creative team works tirelessly to craft a visual and auditory feast for the senses. Kate Prince’s choreography is a spectacle of movement and expression, while the lighting design casts a mesmerising spell, shifting seamlessly between moments of intimacy and grandeur. Dan Gillespie Sells’ original score provides the heartbeat of the production, its infectious melodies serving as a backdrop for Jamie’s journey of self-discovery and acceptance.

While the production is a triumph in many respects, there are moments where the narrative could benefit from a tighter focus and more seamless transitions. However, this minor critique does little to diminish the overall impact of the show, which radiates with warmth, authenticity, and a profound sense of hope.

In conclusion, “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” is more than a musical—it is a testament to the power of resilience, acceptance, and the unwavering belief in oneself. With its stellar cast, breathtaking performances, and uplifting message, it is no wonder that everybody is indeed talking about Jamie.

Everybody’s Talking about Jamie plays at the Lyceum until Saturday 20th April 2024 where it will continue its UK tour.

Photography throughout from Matt Crockett.






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