Award Winning and west end Musical comes to Norwich Theatre! Based on the 2011 real-life based drama ‘Jamie: Drag Queen at 16’ this musical is big, bold, colourful, fun, emotional and tells a heartfelt tale of Jamie’s coming out story.
Jamie came out to his mum when he was 14, but mum knew already, as mum’s do. Dad couldn’t handle how Jamie was different and left, single mum Margaret had to do the best job she could.
School was always hard however after confiding in his best mate Pritti, and support from his mum it gave him the courage to not give up on his dreams. He meets Hugo aka Loco Channel, in his dress shop and is more inspired. Hugo sets him up his first Drag Queen gig which Jamie is almost beside himself with both excitement and fear.
He reluctantly tells his class at school and invites them to see him perform, of course there are the bullies he has to deal with. The performance is a success and he is an overnight sensation with his class. However, with the school prom around the corner he wants to go in a dress but this causes all kinds of controversy.
It’s a growing up, coming out and believing in the things you want to do and having the courage to do them story. Along the way, he finds inspiration and encouragement from all kinds, except his dad who constantly rejects him.
It’s a wonderful story and it’s an outstanding musical. The cast were utterly superb, a big shout out to the two main stars Shane Richie who plays Hugo/Loco Chanel – he was fantastic, and Layton Williams, who played Jamie, was superbly over the top fabulous!
The standout performances were from Amy Ellen Richardson (Margaret New) who’s song made all the mothers in the audience sob their hearts out, and from Sharan Phull (Pritti Pasha) who’s voice was magical. The drag queens were perfect and the costumes wonderful.
The songs were all brilliant and with a live band almost hidden in the set, the music came alive while being modern, funky and emotional. I enjoyed there were plenty of acting and talking rather than back to back songs as this only enhanced depth of the storyline.
A long show, however due to the storyline you really would not want it shorter and in all honesty, it was so much fun, so much to watch and with great music you didn’t actually feel it was long as you were gripped from the start.
A standing ovation at the end, I’ve never heard such a roar and cheer from the crowd at the end of a show. Full marks for everyone!
This review first appeared on GrapevineLIVE