Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham – until Saturday 18 September.
Reviewed by Nadia Dodd
I have always loved a good musical and this production was really something else – just what we all need in the world right now! Hilariously funny with a strong message running throughout the show.
Based in Sheffield Jamie is a 16-year-old gay lad who dreams of becoming a drag queen. When his careers teacher is asking the rest of the class what their ambitions are he is too worried and fearful to admit to this.
Jamie’s mom (played by Amy Ellen Richardson) and her best friend Ray (played by Shobna Gulati) are his number one fans, their strong and powerful relationship that you see later on in the show is actually quite touching. Jamie’s mom and Ray know of Jamies dreams so they support and encourage him in every way that they can. His best friend at school Pritti Pasha is also wonderfully supportive of Jamie, knowing that she herself is different in many eyes, being Asian, not wearing make up and wanting to be a Doctor.
His father (played by Cameron Johnson) is a completely different kettle of fish – he is embarrassed by his gay son and tells his ex-partner that he no longer wants anything to do with Jamie. He wants out of his life.
Jamie is set to be a drag queen, he also wants to attend the school prom in a dress and along the way comes across Hugo – also a drag queen years ago ‘Loco Chanelle’ who is played by the fabulous Shane Richie. Hugo also encourages Jamie to achieve his dream and also over come the bully at school Dean (played by George Sampson). Jamie stands up to the awful, hurtful remarks that Dean verbally throws at him, all Jamie wants to be is himself, its simple really.
Such a powerful message throughout the production is to be yourself, believe in your dream and you will achieve what ever you want to achieve.
So many upbeat feel-good songs in the show, the first one being ‘And you don’t even know it’ gets the audience toe tapping and clapping right from the top. The finale had the audience on their feet, clapping away and not wanting it to end – a joyous and explosive performance with a lot of sequins and glitter thrown in for good measure.
It’s a Work of Art !