Everybody's Talking About Jamie to screen at Edinburgh International Film Festival

A film adaptation of an award-winning hit musical from London’s West End is the latest act to be announced for the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF).
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Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, starring Richard E. Grant and Max Harwood, will be screened at the Festival Theatre – a ‘coming home’ of sorts where the stage musical was the last production to play before the pandemic hit in March last year.

Jamie Campbell and his mother Margaret – the subjects of the original documentary that inspired the musical – will be attending the screening.

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Inspired by true events, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is about Jamie New (Max Harwood), a teenager in a blue-collar English town with a dream of life on stage.

The show stars Max Harwood and Richard E. Grant.The show stars Max Harwood and Richard E. Grant.
The show stars Max Harwood and Richard E. Grant.

While his classmates plan their livelihoods after graduation, Jamie contemplates revealing his secret career ambition as a fierce and proud drag queen.

His best friend Pritti (Lauren Patel) and his loving mum (Sarah Lancashire) shower him with endless support while local drag legend Miss Loco Chanelle (Richard E. Grant) mentors him toward his debut stage performance.

But it’s not all glam. The show also follows the youngster’s relationship with his unsupportive father (Ralph Ineson), an uninspired career advisor (Sharon Horgan) and some ignorant school children who attempt to deter him from reaching his dream.

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It is a production centred on inspiring one another to be more accepting, and to see the value in facing adversity and fulfilling one’s dreams.

The show takes places on August 20 and will be preceded by an outdoor event in St Andrew Square involving drag queen entertainment and cocktails and a competition for guests to win prizes for the best outfits.

The tickets for the screening can be ordered through EIFF’s first ‘Pay-What-You-Can’ scheme. Tickets to the St Andrew Square event are free, but must be booked in addition to tickets for the film.

Jonathan Butterell, director of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie said: “I am thrilled to be presenting Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Edinburgh International Film Festival as a Special Preview, a city that early spring last year, just before the national lockdown, embraced the stage musical so enthusiastically.

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"I am also delighted to hear about the plans for Edinburgh’s Talking About Jamie celebrations and cannot wait to see Edinburgh putting its best frock on and get singing.”

The stage production was directed by Jonathan Butterell and the film adaptation’s screenplay and lyrics were written by Tom MacRae.

The show’s songs are by Dan Gillespie Sells and a score featuring in the show was composed by Sells and Anne Dudley.

The film features hit songs from the stage show including ‘And You Don’t Even Know It’, ‘The Wall In My Head’ and ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’, as well as new song ‘This Was Me’, performed by Holly Johnson, lead singer of Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

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Premiering at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, before transferring to London’s Apollo Theatre, the stage production was an overnight success, garnering five Olivier Award nominations.

It was also honoured at the UK Theatre Awards with Best Musical Production, with its star John McCrea named best musical performer.

The full EIFF programme will be announced on July 28.

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