The 2017 West End Musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie has moved audiences and critics alike with its heart-warming and joyful capturing of Jamie’s illustrious life. Lucky us: it’s now headed for the big screen.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie stars Max Harwood as 16-year-old Jamie New, who has vivid dreams of becoming a drag queen. The first trailer dropped on 11 October, just in time for National Coming Out day. The film looks set to channel the same celebratory vibes to mark such an occasion.
As Jamie sits in class idolising pictures of drag queens on his phone, his teacher asks Jamie what job he’d like to have after he leaves school. He simply answers: “A performer.” Yet Jamie’s career plans will be a lot more fabulous and they don’t even know it. Later he confides in his best friend: “Do you remember when we was little, we used to play dress up? Well, for me, that’s a game I don’t want to stop playing.” His flamboyant personality is then revealed in putting on a pair of sparkling red heels on the table in front of her, reveling in the glamour.
Right from the offset, Harwood exudes so much charm and self-love as our protagonist, perfectly capturing the hopeful sentiment of standing out from the crowd. Yet this coming-of-age tale will delve into Jamie’s struggle with bullying and discrimination from students and adults.
From the trailer, there seems to be particular emphasis on the rejection Jamie faces from his father (Ralph Ineson), who wonders what is “wrong” with his son. But to counteract that comes the unconditional love and support from his mother Margaret New (Sarah Lancashire), who gives him strength and support to overcome these adversities and encouraging him to pursue his dreams.
Audiences may remember our titular character from the 2011 BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen At 16, which followed Jamie’s decision to wear a dress to prom, and the fall out when his teachers tried to ban him. It delved into the rejection from an unsupportive father, his insecurities about his lavish plans for prom and upsetting dealings with homophobia. Yet after overcoming this adversity, Jamie’s coming out story was an uplifting one after his peers and many other students greeted him with cheers in breaking such rigid gender norms.
And with such a moving yet all-together dazzling trailer, here’s to hoping that Everybody’s Talking About Jamie will channel that vibe of celebrating being different in full. With the film due for release on 26 February 2021, I think we can safely say this will be an awing spectacle of a musical, which will leave glitter in its wake.
Words by Katie Heyes
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