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With Mother’s Day approaching (it’s Sunday 31 March in case you’ve forgotten), West End smash Everybody’s Talking About Jamie invited real-life inspiration Jamie Campbell and his mum Margaret to the theatre to find out more about their iconic relationship.
The musical, with music by Dan Gillespie Sells, tells the tale of Jamie New, who defies convention by living his best life as a drag queen. In the show, he’s supported by his ever-loving mum, played by Rebecca McKinnis. Jamie, played by an equally talented Layton Williams, battles with bullies, insecurity and a troubled family, learning the values of unconditional love from his mother.
Although not a direct retelling, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is based on the life of Jamie Campbell. Jamie came to national attention through the documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, which followed his life around his school prom. Looking to assert his individuality and challenge the bullies, Campbell attended his end of school prom in drag. The musical follows a similar trajectory, seeing the title character grow, discovering the shared ground between himself and his drag character.
The musical becomes most remarkable when detailing the relationship between Jamie New and his mum. Arguably the most touching moment arrives when McKinnis belts out the stunning He’s My Boy, a demonstration of her unbreakable love for her son. It’s one of the most heartfelt representations of familial love the West End stage has seen.
Based on the true relationship between Jamie Campbell and his mother Margaret, watch five short videos of the real-life inspirations opening up about their love, support, and shared admiration.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is running at London’s Apollo Theatre. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.co.uk.