Review: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a fabulously, fearless and funny journey of courage

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This smash hit and critically acclaimed musical, has hit the Milton Keynes Theatre this week and plays until Sat 15th Jun as part of its UK Tour.

An amazingly creative team put this show together. On entering the auditorium, I was struck by the stunningly crisp and clean lines of the stage design (Anna Fleischle). It evoked the image of a modern apartment block, with a minimalistic yet captivating aesthetic. Box-like, it opened up and moved in various directions, with streamlined sets descending from above and from the sides, as the cast seamlessly choreographed them on and off stage, which enhanced the overall slickness and enjoyment of the spectacle before our eyes. The set was multifaceted as it became the backdrop for the stunning and powerful visual effects and projections (Luke Halls) which evoked the bleakness of some forgotten northern towns and the lighting used to superb effect (Lucy Carter). The musicians rarely get the recognition they deserve so it was great to see them on set silhouetted on the top level where they were visible at various times throughout the show, for me, their presence made the piece truly an ensemble.

This was a great story with a clever and intelligent script which was fast, humorous, witty and sharp (Theo Jamieson) with music and lyrics (Dan Gillespie Sells) deliveredto perfection (Theo Jamieson).

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Jamie New, a 16-year-old resident of an estate in Sheffield, finds himself feeling like an outsider. He is filled with fear and uncertainty about what lies ahead. However, with the unwavering support of his loving and exceptional mother, as well as the presence of loyal friends, Jamie manages to defy prejudice, conquer bullying, and step into the limelight from the shadows.

Everybody's Talking about Jamie.Everybody's Talking about Jamie.
Everybody's Talking about Jamie.

The show exploded with the energetic and vibrant ensemble opening number which gave us a sense of what was to come. The diverse cast was hugely talented, each performer with immense presence who gave it their all.

The exciting Choreography was wonderfully executed with vigour and precision, I thought the fight scene although short was excellent, sharp, and punchy, (excuse the pun) but very realistic (Kate Prince.)

Ivano Turco (Jamie) shone, an excellent actor, singer, and dancer, he had it all, a truly great all-rounder and extra points for the shoes, how on earth did he manage those seven-inch heels let alone dance in them?

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Rebecca McKinnis, Jamie’s mum Margaretwas the other star of the evening, her acting was stunning, subtle and very real, and she had great command over her wonderful voice which really caught my emotions in the inspired song ‘He’s my Boy’.

There were also some additional outstanding performances by Sejal Keshwala as Ray, Talia Palamathanan as Pritti and Kevin Clifton as Hugo/Loco Chanelle.

My only gripe and it’s the one I so often make, was that I lost so many song lyrics probably through the sound mix but also sometimes through diction and lack of projection. However, everyone fell in love with the show, and we all left the theatre totally buzzing. This is an absolute must-see, so get your tickets fast people, as they will fly out the door.

Tickets are available at MK Box Office