EastEnders actor Shane Richie will join the cast of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie in London in the role of Hugo/Loco Chanelle beginning January 28, 2019. Richie, who will succeed Lee Ross, joins the show the same time Layton Williams takes over the title role.
Currently led by John McCrea as Jamie, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie tells the story of a teenager who finds his confidence through the art of drag. The show premiered at Sheffield Theatres in 2017 before a transfer to London’s Apollo Theatre, where it is currently scheduled to play through May 2019.
"Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a terrific show so I jumped at the chance," says Richie, who has also been seen in the West End in Grease, among other shows. "It’s so different to any role I’ve played before and too good an opportunity to miss. I started my career in night clubs and cabaret pubs—the kind of world Hugo inhabits—where I met some wonderful characters. So in a sense I feel like I’ve met Hugo/Loco Chanelle before. I’ve had lots of ideas about how to portray the character and sing the songs. As for my dress and heels, hang onto your handbags!"
The cast is currently completed by Shobna Gulati as Ray, Michelle Visage as Miss Hedge, Lucie Shorthouse as Pritti Pasha, Alex Anstey as Laika Virgin, Luke Baker as Dean Paxton, Luke Bayer, Courtney Bowman as Fatimah, Marvyn Charles (swing), Ken Christiansen as Jamie’s Dad, Jordan Cunningham as Sayid, Daniel Davids as Levi, James Gillan as Tray Sophisticay, Ryan Hughes as Mickey, Daniel Jacob as Sandra Bollock, Cherelle Jay, Harriet Payne as Bex, Chloe Pole, Jordan Laviniere as Cy, Lauran Rae as Becca, and Emily Kenwright as Vicki.
Inspired by a BBC Three documentary about Jamie Campbell, the musical follows a 16-year-old who, still grappling with coming out as gay, embraces drag to overcome bullying and taunts about his sexuality. Supported by his loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies, and steps out into the spotlight.
The Olivier-nominated musical features music by Dan Gillespie Sells, book and lyrics by Tom MacRae, from an idea by Jonathan Butterell, and direction by Butterell.
The production features design by Anna Fleischle, choreography by Kate Prince, lighting design by Lucy Carter, sound design by Paul Groothuis, musical direction by Theo Jamieson, and casting by Will Burton.