Sheffield Steps into the Spotlight

In the past few weeks, Sheffield has been buzzing with anticipation for the release of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. And for good reason: the coming-of-age musical comedy-drama film is released at the Showroom on Friday 17 September, and is being supported by some special events. Friday night will see the Showroom and Live Cinema UK host a drag celebration, where drag queens The Funky Beavers and Emma Maezin will deliver a night of lip-syncing, games, DJ sets and more. On Saturday 18 September, audiences will have the chance to catch a very special film screening, followed by an in-person Q&A with the cast and crew.

The film tells the story of Sheffield teen Jamie New. Unsure what his future holds, Jamie is only certain of one thing, he’s determined to become a star. With the support of his mum and close friends, he overcomes bullies and prejudice to follow his dream of becoming a drag queen. Most importantly to Jamie, he wants to attend his school prom in drag. A fun-filled story of self-acceptance, Jamie includes an ensemble cast, introducing Max Harwood and starring Sarah Lancashire, Ralph Ineson, Lauren Patel, and Richard E. Grant in a scene-stealing role.

In recent years, Jamie has become something of a Sheffield institution. The true story of Jamie Campbell, a 16-year old aspiring drag queen from a mining town in County Durham, first found its way to audiences in 2011 in a BBC Three documentary. It was then adapted in 2017 by Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae for a critically acclaimed stage musical titled Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. The musical premiered at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre before beginning a successful UK and international tour. Now, the story finds its way to the big screen in a film directed by Jonathan Butterell. Shot in and around Sheffield, and with the involvement of Sheffield-based production company Warp Films, the film retains much of the creative crew involved with the stage production.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie follows in the tradition of working-class northern stories like Brassed Off (1996), Billy Elliot (2001) and The Full Monty (1997), updating the formula to include catchy musical numbers. A life-affirming celebration of drag culture and individuality, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a crowd-pleasing, coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of Sheffield.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is screening at Showroom Cinema from Friday 17 September. Tickets are on sale now.

This article first featured in the Sheffield Telegraph on Thursday 16 September 2021.


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