Theatre / News

New cast announced for Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Preeya Kalidas to star as Miss Hedge, as Bianca Del Rio returns.

Roy Haylock, best known as RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio, will return to the cast of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie as Loco Chanelle/Hugo from 9 December 2019.

The news comes as the BAFTA and Olivier nominated Preeya Kalidas prepares to join the cast as Miss Hedge from 17 November 2019.

Kalidas is best known for playing Amira Masood in BBC’s EastEnders, as well as starring in the acclaimed Bend It Like Beckham, East Is East, and Four Lions.

Her stage credits include originating the role of Pinky in the stage musical version of Bend It Like Beckham, receiving a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the Olivier Awards. Other stage appearances include Chiaroscuro, Bombay Dreams, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and School of Rock.

“I am extremely excited to be part of a show that makes the audience feel so elated, and reminds us all that being unafraid to do and be whoever you want to be can be extremely powerful,” Kalidas says of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

Roy Haylock adds: “I’m honored and beyond grateful to have the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented cast and crew once again!”

Winning the sixth season of the increasingly iconic RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bianca Del Rio has gone on to receive numerous accolades including being named as one of Variety magazine’s Top 10 Comics to Watch.

Following her appearance on the TV series, Del Rio has completed global stand-up tours, starred in two Hurricane Bianca films, and – as Roy Haylock – has written his first book.

With music by The Feeling’s Dan Gillespie Sells, and a book and lyrics by Tom MacRae, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie first premiered at the Sheffield Crucible and is based on the BBC documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 and tells the story of a teenager who aspires to be a drag queen.

With Bianca Del Rio returning to the cast alongside Preeya Kalidas as Miss Hedge, here’s what you need to know about the show.

What is Everybody’s Talking About Jamie?

Inspired by a true story, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie tells the story of schoolboy Jamie New, who at 16 years of age lives on a council estate in Sheffield and dreams of becoming a drag queen. Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight.

Who stars in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie?

Leyton Williams (Bad Education, Beautiful People) stars in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie as the title character, Jamie New. He last appeared on the West End stage at Billy Elliot in the musical of the same name.

He’s joined by Melissa Jaques as his loving and supportive mother, Margaret New.

Preeya Kalidas will star as Miss Hedge from 17 November 2019, with Roy Haylock (better known as Bianca Del Rio) joining the cast from 9 December 2019 as Loco Chanelle/Hugo.

The full West End cast also includes Alex Anstey (Laika Virgin), Alexander Archer (Mickey), Luke Baker (Dean Paxton), Marvyn Charles (Swing), Daniel Davids (Levi), Marlon G Day (Dad), Momar Diagne, Melissa Jacques (Margaret), Zahra Jones (Becca), James Gillan (Tray Sophisticay), Daniel Jacob (Sandra Bollock), Emily Kenwright (Vicki), Sejal Keshwala (Ray), Luke Latchman (Sayid), Jordan Laviniere (Cy), Harriet Payne (Bex), Sabrina Sandhu (Pritti Pasha), Rachel Seirian (Swing), Biancha Szynal (Swing), Adam Taylor (Swing) and Tilly La Belle Yengo (Fatimah).

What can audiences expect from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie?

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie really shines with modernity and originality. With songs by lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells, and a zinger of a script by writer Tom MacRae, it’s a funny, feel-good musical that’s doesn’t hold any punches.

What are the critics saying?

“This fizzling musical is a blast of fresh air” ★★★★★ – The Times

★★★★★ “ A burst of joy!” – Time Out

★★★★★ – Financial Times

★★★★★ – The Independent

What else do I need to know?

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is now showing at Apollo Theatre until 29 August 2020.

Tickets are on sale now. Get yours at Ticketmaster.co.uk.

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