Everybody's Talking About Jamie review: All-star cast are utterly fabulous

Everybody's Talking About Jamie stars Layton Williams and Shane Richie. 

Everybody's Talking About Jamie stars Layton Williams and Shane Richie. - Credit: Johan Persson

West End smash-hit Everybody's Talking About Jamie has come to Norwich Theatre Royal on its UK tour and it was the escapism everyone needed.

The show was originally meant to come to the city in June 2020, but due to the pandemic was delayed by almost two years.

It was well worth the wait and from start to end it was a fabulous celebration of individuality and friendship, packed with sass and sequins. 

Layton Williams stars as Jamie New in Everybody's Talking About Jamie. 

Layton Williams stars as Jamie New in Everybody's Talking About Jamie. - Credit: Johan Persson

It is based on a true story, with a film adaptation released in 2021, and follows schoolboy Jamie New from Sheffield who dreams of being a drag queen.

He decides to make the ultimate statement and go to prom in a dress, though his boundary breaking decision doesn't please everyone.

Layton Williams, best known for playing Stephen in Jack Whitehall's Bad Education, was born to play the lead role.

Layton Williams with the drag queens in Everybody's Talking About Jamie. 

Layton Williams with the drag queens in Everybody's Talking About Jamie. - Credit: Johan Persson

He held the audience in the palm of his nail-varnished hand with quick wit and his awe-inspiring ability to walk perfectly in six-inch heels. 

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Amy Ellen Richardson as his mum Margaret was his ultimate cheerleader and had standout vocals, particularly on ballad He's My Boy. 

Her best friend Ray (Sasha Latoya) provided great comedy moments and EastEnders legend Shane Richie brought his natural charisma to the role of Hugo and drag alter ego Loco Chanelle.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie ensemble. 

Everybody's Talking About Jamie ensemble. - Credit: Johan Persson

But this was very much an ensemble piece, with drag queens and all Jamie's classmates creating a truly inclusive and diverse show. 

It was fantastic to see two of the characters wearing hijabs and you saw Pritti (Sharan Phull) also go on a journey of self acceptance. 

Sharan Phull as Pritti and Layton Williams as Jamie in Everybody's Talking About Jamie. 

Sharan Phull as Pritti and Layton Williams as Jamie in Everybody's Talking About Jamie. - Credit: Johan Persson

George Sampson, who won Britain's Got Talent in 2008, played bully Dean and he really is as talented an actor as a dancer.

Though to the delight of the audience he still busted out some breakdancing moves. 

The set was very clever as a classroom backdrop seamlessly folded out into Jamie's house. 

George Sampson stars as bully Dean in Everybody's Talking About Jamie. 

George Sampson stars as bully Dean in Everybody's Talking About Jamie. - Credit: Johan Persson

Theatres should be safe spaces welcome to all and that was no more true than for this show.

There were people of all ages and drag queens in the audience, with everyone coming together for an evening of pure joy. 

Everybody's Talking About Jamie runs until March 5, book tickets at norwichtheatre.org