A complete guide to all the songs in 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie'
Learn more about the songs in Everybody's Talking About Jamie, including "Out of the Darkness," "Work of Art," "Over the Top," and "The Wall in My Head."
Being a teenager is never easy, especially if you’re “different.” Based on the documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae’s musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie was a runaway hit when it was first performed at the Sheffield Crucible in 2017. Now it's back in the West End at London's Peacock Theatre.
The musical, which won the WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Musical and was nominated for five Olivier Awards, became a feature film in 2021.
This coming-of-age musical tells the story of 16-year-old Sheffield schoolboy Jamie New, who aspires to become a drag queen. With the support of his wonderful single mother Margaret and best friend Pritti, he overcomes prejudice and bullying and learns how to unashamedly be himself in order to take his place in the spotlight.
The production is led by West End talent Ivano Turco (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Get Up! Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical) as Jamie, with Rebecca McKinnis (Dear Evan Hansen) as Margaret. They are joined by Shobna Gulati, Talia Palamathanan, Giovanna Fletcher, and John Partridge.
Sells (music) is the former frontman of the band The Feeling and has worked with Sophie Ellis-Bexter. MacRae (lyrics and book) is a TV writer whose credits include Doctor Who.
To get into the mood, you can listen to the Original West End Cast recording led by John McCrea, Josie Walker, and Lucie Shorthouse. There’s also the film soundtrack with Max Harwood, Sarah Lancashire, and Richard E. Grant (with a few differences to the stage musical). Learn more about their infectiously uplifting score here.
The current UK tour arrives at London’s Peacock Theatre on 8 February and runs until 23 March.
Book Everybody's Talking About Jamie tickets on London Theatre.
“… And You Don’t Even Know It”
Teacher Miss Hedge is fed up as her students refuse to take their future prospects seriously when she tries to guide them towards realistic career goals. Jamie fantasises about his dream job – being a drag queen (“I’ve got the dreams, I’ve got the style / I’ve got the moves to make you smile…”). When he’s called on, Jamie tells his classmates that he wants to be a performer. The class erupts into pandemonium and Miss Hedge breaks into a rap of frustration. Just another day at Mayfield School!
“The Wall in My Head”
It’s Jamie’s birthday and he’s celebrating with his mum Margaret and her friend Ray. Margaret presents him with the red high heels he’s had his eye on. Delighted at first, he’s suddenly self-conscious about wearing them in public. He remembers his estranged father’s taunts: "Just one tiny thought / It started so small / The thought made a brick / The bricks made a wall.”
After Jamie and his best friend Pritti (who is regularly bullied for being a Muslim) are taunted by school bully Dean, she encourages him to go to prom wearing a dress because he is meant to shine in the spotlight, and lift others up too.
“The Legend of Loco Chanel (And the Blood Red Dress)”
Introducing Jamie’s drag mentor Hugo, owner of local drag attire store Victor’s Secrets. In this torch song, he tells Jamie his former character’s origin story: Loco Chanelle was a young ingenue who, after shooting her cheating lover and agent, swapped virginal white for the deepest red; gave the performance of her life, and then disappeared. Jamie can’t afford to buy a dress but Hugo takes him under his wing nevertheless.
“If I Met Myself Again”
Margaret meets with her ex-husband, Jamie’s dad, who tells her that he wants nothing to do with their son, whom he doesn’t consider a “real boy”. Margaret contemplates what her life would have been been like if she’d never met this man – but if she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have her beloved Jamie.
“Work of Art”
Pritti is helping Jamie with his make-up when they’re discovered by Miss Hedge – they explain it’s for an art project. Miss Hedge makes him parade around the school because “a work of art is nothing if it's not put on show.” Jamie is self-conscious but invites everyone to his performance at local club Legs 11: “A boy in a dress is something to be laughed at. But a drag queen is something to be feared. And I am a drag queen!”
“Over the Top”
Backstage, Jamie meets sister drag queens Laika Virgin, Sandra Bollock and Tray Sophisticray, who help him to prepare for battle. Jamie decides to name his character Mimi Mi.
“Out of the Darkness”
We see Jamie in drag for the first time, looking fabulous in the dress he’d previously admired at Hugo’s shop. He holds flowers and a note that reads “Love, Dad.”
“Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”
The triumphant and earworm-ish title number. At school the next day, everyone is amazed by the drag spectacle that they saw in the club – and especially Jamie’s performance. Gossip spreads quickly and it’s easy for details to become exaggerated. Jamie arrives at school in stage make-up and a new-found attitude – has his success gone to his head?
“Limited Edition Prom Night Special”
Jamie models his prom dress for Margaret and Ray. The phone rings and they are called into school by Miss Hedge, who refuses to allow Jamie to attend the prom in drag.
“It Means Beautiful”
The preternaturally wise Pritti encourages Jamie to go to the prom wearing a dress as himself, not as Mimi Mi. Jamie explains that he feels ugly without his drag persona. Pritti assures him that nothing could be further from the truth.
“Ugly in this Ugly World”
Jamie goes to his dad’s house, who calls him “disgusting.” He realises that his mum provided the dress and flowers and, in his devastation, lashes out at her for lying to him.
“He’s My Boy”
An emotional ballad in which Margaret sings about her enduring love for her son – the love of her life – and everything he has taught her.
“My Man, Your Boy”
Jamie wanders the street drunk and is beaten up – Hugo comes to the rescue and Jamie returns home to Margaret. They reconcile and sing about what a special team they are.
All the kids are excited about the prom, decked out in all their finery. Pritti stands up to Dean and Jamie makes a grand entrance.
Miss Hedge refuses Jamie entry but his classmates chant his name until she relents. The drag queens and the kids celebrate the gift of individuality, and Loco Chanelle confirms Jamie as a new hero.
“Out of the Darkness (A Place Where We Belong)”
A special encore encapsulating the themes of the show. Jamie sings: “Every day's a chance / Every day's a choice / Even losers sometimes end up winning / So go and find your dance / Go and find your voice / 'Cause the party's only just beginning.”
Other songs in Everybody's Talking About Jamie
The score includes reprises of “Spotlight,” “The Legend of Loco Chanelle (and the Blood Red Dress),” “It Means Beautiful,” and “And You Don’t Even Know It.” The film adaptation cut several songs but added the poignant new number “This Was Me” for Hugo, in which he remembers his drag family that was torn apart by the AIDS epidemic.
Book Everybody's Talking About Jamie tickets on London Theatre.
Photo credit: Ivano Turco in Everybody's Talking About Jamie. (Photo courtesy of production)
Originally published on