Ever since it opened at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield back in 2017, the stage musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie has become a huge word of mouth hit.
And after a transfer to London’s West End, a UK-wide tour, and several Olivier Award nominations, now the musical has been adapted into a film – with original writer Tom MacRae and composer Dan Gillespie Sells reworking their own show for the big screen.
For the most part, the songs used in the original musical have made their way into the film as well – albeit with a couple of exceptions – while there is also a brand new number written especially for the movie.
That song is titled This Was Me, and helps to provide a detailed backstory for Jamie New’s drag queen mentor Hugo – replacing the track The Legend of Loco Chanelle (and the Blood Red Dress) from the musical.
Explaining the reasons for including the new song, Tom MacRae told RadioTimes.com, “In the stage show when Jamie asks Hugo what happened in the ’80s Hugo tells him this bombastic fantasy fable, and in the stage show that’s good because we’re trying to keep the energy going at that point.
“But in the film, we thought what if when Jamie asks that question Hugo tells him the truth? So we go back in time, we see how wonderful it was but also how terrible it was, how fierce they were and why they had to be so fierce – the loss, the struggle, the pain, the glamour, the beauty, the fierceness.”
He added: “It felt like it was the right time for Jamie as a character and as a product to start acknowledging those stories so Jamie sees that he’s part of this whole history. There is a weight on his shoulders and drag has this fantastic history. Now it’s his turn to figure out what to do with it.”
Max Harwood, who takes on the title role, is a self-confessed music lover and says that when he was first cast in the role the most exciting aspect for him was having the chance to bring some of these numbers to the screen.
And there’s one song, in particular, that he was particularly thrilled to be able to perform.
“When I watched the show, The Wall in My Head, for me, it was like, ‘Oh, well, I have to sing that song!'” he said.
“And I loved… I was speaking to Jonathan [Butterell, director] early on in the process after I’d got the job, about what we were going to do, and he said they would go into this garden, they were going to build this wall, and it looked out on Sheffield and I was gonna walk along this really high wall in the hills – and I was so excited to do it.
“And when I watched it back in the film, I was like, wow, that’s like the moment that we captured that will be like a superpower forever. Because it’s like, this really was the start for me. And I really love the song as well.”
Check out the full soundtrack list for the film below:
(All songs composed by Dan Gillespie Sells with lyrics by Tom MacRae)
Don’t Even Know It – performed by Jamie (Max Harwood) and Year 11
Wall in My Head – performed by Jamie (Max Harwood)
Spotlight – performed by Pritti (Lauren Patel), Jamie (Max Harwood) and Ensemble
This Was Me – performed Hugo (Richard E. Grant) and Holly Johnson
Work of Art – performed by Miss Hedge (Sharon Horgan), Jamie (Max Harwood) and Ensemble
Over the Top – performed by Hugo (Richard E. Grant) and the Legs Eleven Girls
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – performed by Year 11
It Means Beautiful – performed by Pritti (Lauren Patel)
He’s My Boy – performed Margaret (Sarah Lancashire)
My Man, Your Boy – performed by Jamie (Max Harwood) and Margaret (Sarah Lancashire)
Finale – performed by Company
Out of the Darkness (A Place Where We Belong) – performed by Jamie (Max Harwood) and Company
Additional reporting by Simon Button.