A triumphant return for smash-hit musical

Ivano Turco as Jamie – photo by Matt CrockettIvano Turco as Jamie – photo by Matt Crockett
Ivano Turco as Jamie – photo by Matt Crockett
Sheffield Lyceum, until Saturday, April 20

FOLLOWING a record-breaking three-year West End residency, a sold-out UK and Ireland tour, and an Amazon studios award-winning film, the smash-hit and critically acclaimed musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie has sashayed its sensational way home to Sheffield – in sequinned style.

Set to an original score by Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae, choreographed by Sadler’s Wells associate artist Kate Prince and directed by Matt Ryan, this latest production is funny and feel-good, with an underlying toe-tapping tenderness.

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Stepping into the red stilettos as Jamie New – a 16-year-old living in a council estate in Sheffield who dreams of becoming a drag queen – is Ivano Turco, the fourth to play the title role.

Ivano Turco as Jamie – photo by Matt CrockettIvano Turco as Jamie – photo by Matt Crockett
Ivano Turco as Jamie – photo by Matt Crockett

He is riveting – you cannot take your eyes off him and that's before you get to the pitch-perfect vocals, whether singing solo with pathos during ‘The Wall in My Head’ or duetting delightfully with friend Pritti (charmingly played by understudy Rhiannon Bacchuson) on ‘Spotlight (Reprise) (Star of the Show).’

A special mention must also go to a powerhouse performance of Jamie's mum – the marvellous matriarch Margaret played by alternate Georgina Hagen at this performance.

Hagen's heart-rending rendition of ‘He's My Boy’ cannot have left a dry eye in the house.

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But this is an exemplary ensemble cast, enhanced by the likes of Strictly Come Dancing royalty Kevin Clifton (Hugo / Loco Chanelle) and The X Factor winner Sam Bailey as school teacher Miss Hedge, all accompanying Jamie on his journey to see if he can beat the bullies, don the dress and step out of the shadows.

A terrific tour-de-force.

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