Layton Williams and Roy Haylock (also known as Bianca Del Rio, winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”) will reprise their roles in the hit West End musical “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” when it makes its North American premiere at the Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre January 16 through February 20, 2022. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

Center (L – R) Roy Haylock as ‘Hugo/Loco Chanelle’ and Layton Williams as ‘Jamie New’ with the cast of the West End production of “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.” Photo by Johan Persson.

Inspired by a true story, winner of three WhatsOnStage Awards including Best New Musical, and nominated for five Olivier Awards, this funny, fabulous musical sensation has thrilled audiences and critics alike since opening in 2017. Fresh and contemporary with an extraordinary mother and son relationship at its center, “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” celebrates acceptance, belonging, the power of unconditional love of a mother for her child, and how good life is when everybody is the best they can be.

Jamie New (played by Williams) is sixteen and lives in public housing in Sheffield, England. Jamie doesn’t quite fit in, he’s terrified about the future and he’s going to be a sensation. Supported by his loving mum; inspired by local legend Hugo and his alter ego Loco Chanelle (played by Haylock); and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight. “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” features catchy songs by Dan Gillespie Sells, lead singer-songwriter of UK rock band The Feeling with book and lyrics by writer Tom MacRae.

Director Jonathan Butterell saw the Firecracker documentary film “Jamie: Drag Queen at 16” the true story of Jamie Campbell and his mother, Margaret. This inspired him to create this musical which is a dramatized portrayal of a period in Jamie’s life but is not a faithful account. Certain events and characters have been fictionalized.

“Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” features design by Anna Fleischle, choreography by Kate Prince, lighting design by Lucy Carter, sound design by Paul Groothuis, casting by Will Burton, and video design by Luke Hall. The musical supervisor is Theo Jamieson.

The Sheffield Theatres production of “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” is produced in the West End by Nica Burns, Ian Osborne, Paula Marie Black, Teresa, and Craig Beech. “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” opened at the Sheffield Crucible in 2017 before moving to the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End. In addition to receiving five-star reviews, “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” has won eight major theatre awards including the UK Theatre and WhatsOnStage Awards for Best New Musical and the Attitude Culture Award 2017, and was nominated for five Olivier Awards. Most recently the show won Best Original Cast Recording at the 2019 WhatsOnStage Awards.

“Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” was screened live from the Apollo Theatre into over 500 cinemas across the UK, Ireland, and select European territories on July 5, 2018, it was screened in cinemas across the US, Canada, and Australia in November of 2018 and there was an encore cinema screening across the UK on January 29, 2019. “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” won the Event Cinema Campaign of the Year at the Screen Awards 2018. The official West End cast recording was released digitally worldwide and on CD in the UK on April 27, 2018.

“Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” has been made into a major film by New Regency, Film4 and Sheffield based production company Warp Films starring Max Harwood, Sarah Lancashire, Lauren Patel, Shobna Gulati, Ralph Ineson, Adeel Akhtar, Samuel Bottomley, with Sharon Horgan and Richard E. Grant. The stage production’s director, Jonathan Butterell, makes his feature-film debut as director. “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” will be released globally on Amazon Prime on September 17, 2021. 

Layton Williams as ‘Jamie New’ in the West End production of “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.”Photo by Johan Persson.

Layton Williams (Jamie New) was born in Bury, Manchester and he began his career at the age of 12 playing the title role of Billy in the West End production of “Billy Elliot.” He made his debut TV appearance as Kylie in the BBC comedy “Beautiful People.” He went on to train at Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts which was documented on CBBC’s “School for Stars.” Layton will be returning to the title role of Jamie in “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” on the UK/International Tour of the show in Autumn 2021. Over lockdown, Layton shot “The Bremmer Files” for Shiny Button and was recently announced to be starring in Greg Davies’ new BBC One comedy “The Cleaner” alongside Helena Bonham-Carter and David Mitchell. Theatre credits include Jamie in “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” (Apollo Theatre and UK Tour); Paul in “Kiss Me Kate” (Sheffield Crucible); Seaweed in “Hairspray!” (2018 UK Tour); Angel in “Rent” (London/UK Tour); “The Car Man” (Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures); Simon in “The Lord of the Flie” (Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures) and Young Michael in “Thriller Live!” (West End). TV/Film credits include “Rocketman” (Paramount); Larry in “Benidorm” (ITV). Layton played series regular Stephen in the BBC Comedy “Bad Education” and reprised his role in the “Bad Education” feature film. Layton is the director of Pros from The Shows which provides high-quality workshops for young performers. They have reached thousands of students across the country hoping to inspire the next generation and nurture talent. A regular supporter of the charities Stonewall and Ditch the Label, Layton regularly visits schools and makes speeches at events to raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues and bullying. This year, Layton won the LGBTQIA+ Champion Award at the Black British Theatre Awards.

Roy Haylock as ‘Hugo/Loco Chanelle’ in the West End production of “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.” Photo by Johan Persson.

Roy Haylock (Hugo/Loco Chanelle), is also known as Bianca Del Rio and was the season six winner of the hit TV series “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” A self-proclaimed “clown in a gown,” received the Best New Television Personality Award from NewNowNext in 2014 and made Variety magazine’s list of Top 10 Comics To Watch for 2015. The New York Times called Haylock the “Joan Rivers of the Drag World,” and Joan Rivers herself referred to him as “So funny! So sharp!” Since winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Haylock has completed four solo stand-up tours to sold-out audiences around the world, starred in two feature films (“Hurricane Bianca” and “Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate”), and wrote his first book: “Blame It On Bianca Del Rio: The Expert on Nothing With an Opinion on Everything.” As Bianca, he made guest appearances on MTV’s “Mardi Gras” with Britney Spears and Carson Daly and “In Bed With Joan” starring Joan Rivers, as well as starred in the LogoTV Christmas special “Not Today Bianca.” On stage Haylock has had theatrical starring roles that include Angel in “Rent,” the Emcee in “Cabaret,” Miss Industrial Northeast in “Pageant,” and Miss Mazeppa in “Gypsy.” Roy also made his West End debut in “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” in 2019 in the role of Hugo/Loco Chanelle. 

Dan Gillespie Sells (Music) is best known for being the lead vocalist and principal songwriter in The Feeling. Their debut album, “Twelve Stops And Home” sold over a million copies, whilst their second album, “Join With Us,” reached the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts. The band’s fifth album was released in March 2016. Before The Feeling, Dan worked as a session musician. Theatrical credits include: “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” (Crucible Theatre with Tom MacRae and Jonathan Butterell), “The Bad, The Sad and The Broken Hearted” (Performed originally at the Soho Theatre and then at The Steve Allen Theatre in Los Angeles. It is currently being developed as a series in America), “3WithD” (Colosseum in London and at the Stuttgart Ballet, a collaboration with Javier De Frutos and Ed Watson), “Beautiful People” (a TV Series Theme Music). Dan was the recipient of the 2015 Stonewall award for Entertainer of the Decade for his work in the LGBT community and the 2007 Ivor Novello Award for Songwriter of the Year.

Tom MacRae (Book and Lyrics) is brand new to theatre, although he has written a lot of TV shows, including “Doctor Who,” the Comedy Central sitcom “Threesome” (which he also created), and Sky 1’s “Fungus The Bogeyman” which he developed from Raymond Briggs’ classic story. He currently lives in Los Angeles where he is working as a writer and producer on US TV drama “The Librarians.” Tom is also a children’s author and has had three picture books published, including the award-winning “The Opposite.” “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” marks Tom’s debut as a playwright and lyricist and is his first professional collaboration with long-time friend Dan Gillespie Sells.

Jonathan Butterell (Director). Theatre includes: “Love Musik” (La Plaza, Buenos Aires), “Second Chance” (The Public Theater, New York), “Whida Peru, Resurrection Tangle” and “Tres Niñas” (Inner Voices for Premier Stages New York), “Giant” (Signature Theatre), “The Sound of Music” (Opera Theatre, Buenos Aires), “Orpheus Descending” and “Creditors” (Theatre Project, Tokyo). Broadway credits include musical staging for the 2005 Tony Award-winning “Nine,” “Fiddler On The Roof,” “Assassins,” “Light In The Piazza.” Other New York work: musical staging for the original workshop of Sondheim’s “Wise Guys” (New York Theatre Workshop), “A Man of No Importance” (Lincoln Center Theater), and staged the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Public Theater titled “Public Sings!” New York City Center). UK theatre credits include musical staging and movement direction for Donmar Warehouse productions of “Company” (West End transfer), “Habeas Corpus,” “Into The Woods” (co-directed with John Crowley), “How I Learned To Drive,” “Electra” (Broadway transfer) and “The Maids.” He devised and directed Michael Ball; “Alone Together – Divas at the Donmar” (also at the Royal Haymarket Theatre, London). Co-directing credits include: “Sweeney Todd” (Opera North/Sadlers Wells) and “Peter Pan” (Royal Festival Hall). Film includes choreography for “Finding Neverland.”

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, Managing Director / CEO Meghan Pressman, and Producing Director Douglas C. Baker, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2100-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics, and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Bank of America is Center Theatre Group’s 2021 – 2022 Season Sponsor. Bank of America believes in the power of the arts to help economies thrive, to educate and enrich societies, and to create greater cultural understanding. For more than 20 years, the company has supported Center Theatre Group’s innovative Education and Community Partnerships programs as well as world-class productions. Bank of America is also an instrumental supporter in accelerating Center Theatre Group’s commitment to becoming an anti-racist, equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization. 

American Express is the official credit card for Center Theatre Group and the presenting sponsor of the Digital Stage.

While performances of “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” does not begin until 2022, Center Theatre Group currently plans to require all audience members to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of attendance. CTG will be announcing further details, including methods of confirming vaccination records or negative test results closer to Ahmanson’s re-opening date in November 2021. These health and safety measures are subject to change, at Center Theatre Group’s sole discretion and based on evolving health and safety guidance and conditions. CTG will continue working closely with The Music Center and L.A. County officials to ensure they are following all applicable health and safety protocols. Additional information about The Music Center’s safety plans, including its recent upgrades to all HVAC systems, is available at MusicCenter.org.

Tickets are currently available by subscription only. For more information call the exclusive subscription hotline at (213) 972-4444 or visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/Ahmanson. Groups of 10 or more may reserve tickets by calling (213) 972-7231. The on-sale date for individual tickets will be announced at a later date.

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