Everybody’s Talking About Jamie has become one of the most-popular British musicals in recent years since opening at the Apollo Theatre in 2017. Based on a true story, the musical follows Jamie New, a sixteen year old who defiantly decides to wear a dress to his high school prom.
In 2019, RuPaul’s Drag Race star and tour-de-force drag queen Bianca Del Rio made their West End debut as Hugo/Loco Chanelle. They were no stranger to performing, having toured the world with their comedy shows, including shows at Wembley Arena. Bianca Del Rio is the drag persona of Roy Haylock, with Haylock’s previous theatre credits including Cabaret, Grease, and Rent.
Bianca Del Rio played Hugo/Loco Chanelle from 6 May - 29 Jun. 2019, returning for a second stint from 9 Dec. 2019 to 29 Feb. 2020.
After competing in the 2018 series of Strictly Come Dancing, Faye Tozer returned to the West End the following year. She took over the role of schoolteacher Miss Hedge in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, performing from 6 May - 3 Aug. 2019. The pop star made her musical theatre debut in 2004, starring in Tell Me On A Sunday, with further credits including Me and My Girl and The Tailor-Made Man.
Perhaps best known for appearing in British soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street, Hayley Tamaddon made her Jamie debut as Miss Hedge in 2019. Prior to playing Miss Hedge, she’d starred in numerous musicals including Fame, The Rocky Horror Show, Spamalot, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Tamaddon began performances on 28 Jan. 2019, continuing in the role until 4 May 2019, when Faye Tozer took over the role.
Best known as a judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Michelle Visage made her West End debut as Miss Hedge. Although she’d never starred in a musical, Visage made her name as one-third of 1990s pop group Seduction. Visage only appeared in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie from 18 Oct. 2018 - 26 Jan. 2019. However, she was lured into a life of dancing, competing in the 2019 series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Richard E. Grant
Although he’s never taken part in the stage production, Richard E. Grant will star as Hugo/Loco Chanelle in the film adaptation of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. He’s appeared in live theatre though, starring in an Australian production of My Fair Lady and the Tony-winning play God of Carnage. We’d love to see Richard E. Grant at the Apollo Theatre one day.
Perhaps best known as Roxy Mitchell in Eastenders, Rita Simons made her West End debut as Miss Hedge, playing the role from 5 August - 15 Nov. 2019. 2017 marked her professional theatre debut, starring as Paulette in a national tour of Legally Blonde. In 2021, Simons will return to the West End as Velma von Tussle in Hairspray at the London Coliseum.
The Olivier Award-nominated actress is perhaps best known on stage for appearing in Betty Blue Eyes. Continuing her theatrical career, Lancashire plays Margaret New in the Everybody’s Talking About Jamie film. She’s a prominent television personality too, recently starring in Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax.
Shane Richie returned to the West End as Hugo/Loco Chanelle from 28 January to 4 May 2019, after a long stage hiatus. In the 1990s, Richie starred in Grease and Boogie Nights, with more recent credits including One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and The Perfect Murder opposite Eastenders co-star Jessie Wallace. Richie is a well-recognised television star, including an on-off tenure as Alfie Moon since 2002. Richie will reprise his performance from 20 May 2021 for a limited engagement.
The Irish actress and comedian will make her Jamie debut as Miss Hedge in the upcoming film adaptation. She's only appeared in one London production — Terrible Advice at the Menier Chocolate Factory. But, she's starred in numerous groundbreaking television shows, including Pulling, Catastrophe, and This Way Up.
Television actress Shobna Gulati made her West End debut as Ray in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. She took over the role from Mina Anwar, staying with the show from 7 May 2018 - 26 Jan. 2019. Gulati’s television career includes stints in Dinnerladies, Coronation Street and River City. If you missed Gulati’s performance at the Apollo Theatre, there’s no need to worry. She plays Ray in the film adaptation, in cinemas from February 2021.
Photo credit: Everybody's Talking About Jamie cast (Photo courtesy of Everybody's Talking About Jamie)