Kieran A Wilson Review

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Review

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,

**** 4 Star

” this musical is a must see event”

Inspired by the 2011 television documentary ‘Jamie: Drag Queen at 16’, Everybody’s Talking about Jamie is the life-affirming musical telling the story of Jamie New, who wishes to attend his high school prom in full drag, as a outward statement of his inner self. Following an award winning transfer to the west end, a production which is still running, this year see’s the show receive its first ever UK Tour!

The musical plunges into the story of the 16 year old from Sheffield who dreams of becoming a drag queen; his emotional journey as he overcomes bullying and the prejudices he faces. With a strong cast of performers – many who have transferred straight from the West End cast – the show sparks life and energy throughout, although this is somewhat lacklustre in the first half from Leyton Williams, in the starring role of Jamie New.

Whilst Williams has gorgeous vocals and stand out dance moves, his energy lacks a little in both scene and song throughout the first act. However, his energy levels magnified dramatically in Act Two of the performance; matching those around him. Unfortunately, his overly fast rate of speech and lack of diction continued throughout both Acts, making it a challenge to understand his dialogue at points.

The role of Jamie’s mother, Margaret New, is played by the impeccable Amy Ellen Richardson, who’s stand out performance shone from the second she graced the stage. Her truly heart wrenching performance of ‘He’s My Boy’ shows real emotional connection to text, with impeccable vocals that could take easily her straight to Broadway.

Shobna Gulati is incredibly relatable in the role of Ray, playing both comedy and heartfelt emotion perfectly throughout the show. Alongside the strong principle cast; George Samson proves that he is more than just a dancer in his powerful portrayal of Dean, the story’s villain. The part of Pritti Pasha is fulfilled by Sharan Phull; who stuns the audience with her gorgeous voice in her warming rendition of ‘It Means Beautiful’.

Surprisingly, Shane Richie’s flawless acting and impressive vocals place him as the true star of the show, as he portrays the role of Hugo; allowing him to transcend into drag superstar Loco Chantelle. With a stunning transformation, the incredible Costume team’s work is evident in these scenes.

The set and props throughout the show are flawless, with scene changes carried out seamlessly and innovatively. Directors Jonathan Butterell (Original Director) and Matt Ryan (Tour Director) ensure the stage is always full of life and Kate Prince entices the audience with creative, modern and visually stunning choreography.

In summary, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie keeps the audience engaged with toe-tapping musical numbers, emotionally charged vocal performances and a cast of very talented individuals. With such a strong cast and a story that inspires many, this musical is a must see event for all ages.

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Festival Theatre, Runs until Saturday 7th March for tickets go to:

Tour Visits Glasgow later in the year.

Arts News!, Brett Herriot Review, Kieran A Wilson Review, Mary Woodward Review

2019! Thank you!

Thank you from all of us for an Amazing 2019!

With Hogmanay and the New Year Celebrations just around the corner, We at Scotsgay Arts have just published our 100th and final review for 2019. 2019 has been a epic year across the cultural landscape of Scotland and its as much of an honour and privilege now as it has been since we started to be able to sample the very best of the countries output.

To all 100 hundred productions we reviewed, the many more we previewed, the 100’s of reviews on our sister site  we thank you for sharing your work with us, for being brave and sharing your creative endeavours with the world and for continuing to push the boundaries of the last truly uncensored space known as the theatre.

Personally I am indebted to the hard of work of my fellow writer Mary Woodward and thankful for the guidance and support of Taylor Crockett especially during the biggest arts festival known as The Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. My profound thanks to Kieran A Wilson for his guest writing contributions.

We will be back in 2020 with even more of the very best, News, views, Previews and Reviews from across Scotland. To you and yours thank you for being with us in 2019 we wish you a peaceful and Prosperous New Year.

Brett Herriot


Kieran A Wilson Review

The Rocky Horror Show, Edinburgh Playhouse, Review

The Rocky Horror Show, 

**** 4 Stars

“dancing in the aisles; from start to finish”

After first taking to the stage in 1973, Richard O’Brien’s musical and comedic spoof rocketed to success in London, before transferring over to take the US by storm. Since then, the award winning musical has hit the big screen – along with over 75 professional theatrical productions worldwide. Christopher Luscomb’s take on the musical doesn’t stray too far from the original; whilst adding a modern and unique feel to the production.

The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad (James Darch) and his fiancée Janet (Joanne Clifton) who’s fortune changes when their car breaks down outside an unusual and mysterious mansion; owned by the charismatic Dr Frank-n-Furter (Duncan James).

As cult theatre comes, this is perhaps the world’s most revolutionary and famous of them all; with it’s instantly recognisable show tunes, and not to forget the more noticeable: dressed up fan base. With timeless classics such as Sweet Transvestite and The Time Warp, this production will definitely have you dancing in the aisles; from start to finish.

Luscomb’s direction emphasises the audience’s role in the show; using audience participation to break the 4th wall and spring all the overdressed (or underdressed) butch men to life – as they sit, having emptied their wives (or their own) wardrobes prior to the event. This extra emphasis adds a somewhat pantomime aspect to the show, giving the patron what they expect and more.

The show couldn’t open on a stronger note as The Usherette (Laura Harrison), who also stars as Magenta, opens with a show stopping number – featuring gorgeous vocals and a taste of what’s to come. In fact, these vocals are the first of many impeccable vocals throughout the show – as every cast member brings the musical score to life.

The Narrator (Philip Franks) performs a 2 hour masterclass, taking control of the stage and delivering every line with strong intent. As he strays from the script to lash out at vocal audience members, Franks has truly perfected the comedic value required for this role. It is clear that Darch understands the role of Brad and is able to portray that fully onstage, but he is overshadowed by Clifton as she shines in the role of Janet – allowing the audience to fully follow her character’s transformation. Blue Star, Duncan James, owns the stage as the sensual and playful character ‘Frank-N-Furter’, appearing almost too comfortable in his corset and heels; raising suspicion of his other performance related hobbies.

The role of Rocky falls on the talented, and muscular Callum Evans, as he flies around the stage making use of his award winning acrobatic skills; although this feature is slightly overused – losing its impact within minutes of him entering the stage.

Despite the few technical issues, the sound was of great quality throughout; although deemed rather quiet at points. Nick Richings has created a beautiful and complex lighting design for the show; truly capturing the different dynamics portrayed within the storyline.

Where this production seems to fall short is with the cleanliness of the choreography. With a new innovative set, outstanding costumes and a cast that are more the qualified to play the part; this show has the audience in the palm of their hand. So I urge you to get along to the Edinburgh Playhouse this week to truly experience The Rocky Horror Show first hand.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Edinburgh Playhouse, runs until Saturday 2nd November; for Tickets go to: shows/the-rocky-horror-show/edinburgh-playhouse/