Simon Jamie Biography & Facts
Everybody's Talking About Jamie is a coming-of-age stage musical with music by Dan Gillespie Sells and book and lyrics by Tom MacRae. The musical is inspired by the 2011 television documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 directed by Jenny Popplewell. The musical follows a 16-year-old teenager as he overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness to become a drag queen.
Miss Hedge, a careers teacher, asks her noisy year eleven class what they want to be when they get older. One student of the class, Jamie New, gets teased about his homosexuality and reveals to the audience all he wants to be is a drag queen ("And You Don't Even Know It"). When prompted, Jamie tells the class he wants to be a performer, but Miss Hedge tells him to get real.
At Jamie's house, his mum Margaret and family friend Ray are preparing for his sixteenth birthday. When Jamie arrives home, Margaret gives him a card from his dad, with a picture of a race car. Margaret then gives Jamie his gift from her - a pair of red high heels from Meadowhall. Jamie reveals hesitation about going outside his garden in the shoes ("Wall in My Head").
The next day at school, Jamie shows his best friend Pritti his new heels, and then he is interrupted by Dean, the school bully. He taunts Pritti for being Muslim, and Jamie for being gay. Jamie taunts Dean for his small penis in return. Embarrassed, Dean leaves. Pritti encourages Jamie to go to prom in a dress ("Spotlight"). Jamie then parades around the classroom in his heels ("Spotlight (Reprise) (Star of the Show)").
At his local shop for drag queen attire, Victor's Secret, Jamie befriends the owner Hugo, and learns all about Hugo's past as a drag queen ("The Legend of Loco Chanelle (and the Blood Red Dress)"). Hugo books Jamie's first drag show at the local nightclub, and helps Jamie choose his dress ("The Legend of Loco Chanelle (and the Blood Red Dress) (Reprise)").
Meanwhile, Margaret meets with Jamie's dad, where she reveals she has been lying to Jamie about the activity of his dad, including the fact she has to write a birthday card from him each birthday. Jamie's dad tells Margaret he wants nothing to do with Jamie, claiming he is not a "real boy". Margaret ponders what her life would be like if she never met Jamie's dad ("If I Met Myself Again").
At school, Jamie pulls Pritti into a disabled toilet so she can help with his make-up. They are discovered by Miss Hedge, but Pritti tells her that she is doing Jamie's make-up for an art project. Miss Hedge tells Jamie that he should be proud of being an art project, and walks him around school in the make-up. Jamie, initially embarrassed by the attention, decides to be proud of himself, telling the school that he is doing a drag show at the local nightclub, Legs Eleven, that night ("Work of Art").
Outside Legs Eleven, Jamie bumps into Dean, who calls him a minger. Inside the club, Margaret and Ray have been introduced to a group of drag queens: Laika Virgin, Tray Sophisticay, and Sandra Bollock. Hugo emerges, now dressed as Loco Chanelle, his drag alter-ego. Jamie runs in to tell them all he cannot go on because of what Dean said. Jamie finds the dress he admired at Victor's Secret in his dressing room, with a tag on saying "Love Dad" as well as a flower delivery from Jamie's dad. Loco Chanelle, with the help of the other drag queens, encourage Jamie to find his drag self, whom Jamie calls Mimi Me, and get him ready and push him onstage ("Over the Top")
The next day, the school is buzzing with news of Jamie's drag debut ("Everybody's Talking About Jamie"). Jamie comes into school in bright blue eyeshadow and long eyelashes. Miss Hedge once again tells Jamie to "get real", and Dean taunts Jamie, but Jamie kisses him in retaliation, leaving Dean confused.
At home, Jamie shows Margaret and Ray his new prom dress, now shortened and fitted with working flashing lights. Margaret worries if this is all too much ("Limited Edition Prom Night Special"). The phone rings, and Jamie and Margaret are called to the school.
Jamie, Margaret and Ray go to the school to meet with Miss Hedge, who tells Jamie that there have been rumours that he will be attending prom in drag, and she will not allow it. Jamie is disappointed, and Dean seems to know all about it.
In Pritti's bedroom, Jamie rants to Pritti about how he is not allowed to go to prom in drag. Pritti tells Jamie to go in a dress - not in drag. Jamie says that without Mimi Me, he is ugly. Pritti reassures Jamie that he is far from ugly ("It Means Beautiful"). Jamie reveals that when he was eight, his dad found him in a dress and was angry. He is then confused as to why he paid for the dress and bought flowers if he is not supportive of him as a drag queen. Pritti suggests Jamie should go to his house and speak to him. Before he leaves, Jamie kisses Pritti on the cheek ("It Means Beautiful (Reprise)").
At the house of Jamie's dad, Jamie's dad reveals that he did not know about Mimi Me and calls Jamie disgusting. He tells Jamie he did not pay for the dress or flowers. Jamie figures out that it was his mother doing all of this in his dad's place ("Ugly in This Ugly World").
At home, Jamie argues with Margaret over why she has been lying over all these years. Jamie screams in Margaret's face and storms out. Margaret, left alone, sings about how she will always love Jamie no matter what ("He's My Boy").
Jamie wanders the streets drunk on cider. He is approached by three local boys, and is beaten up as they shout homophobic remarks about him. ("And You Don't Even Know It (Bus Station Reprise)"). Jamie is defended by Hugo, who urges Jamie to go home and apologise to his mum.
Jamie takes Hugo's advice and Margaret and Jamie apologise to each other ("My Man, Your Boy").
At the prom, all of the kids are super excited ("Prom Song"). Pritti enters, wearing makeup and a prom dress. All the girls love it, but Dean decides to bully her. She finally stands up to Dean, and then reveals Jamie, in a white prom dress. Miss Hedge comes out of the school and refuses Jamie's admission to the prom. All the kids stand outside and chant Jamie's name until Miss Hedge gives in and lets him in. Jamie waits until everyone's gone in, and then calls Dean out from off-stage. Jamie encourages Dean to be nice just for one night, to which Dean agrees, and they walk into prom hand-in-hand ("Finale").
As an encore, the cast perform "Out of the Darkness (A Place Where We Belong)".
Roles and principal casts
†The character Leigh in the Sheffield production was renamed Ray for the West End transfer.
The character of ‘Wayne New’, is not given a name in the stage production; an artistic decision was made to credit actors as ‘Jamie’s Dad’.
Notable West End replacements
Jamie: Layton Williams
Ray: Shobna Gulati
Hugo: Lee Ross, Shane Richie, Bianca Del Rio, Bill Ward, Rufus Hound
Miss Hedge: Michelle Visage, Hayley Tamaddon, Faye Tozer, Rita Simons, Preeya Kalidas.... Discover the Simon Jamie popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Simon Jamie books.