29 November 2019

“Don't wait for tomorrow, be happy today and all of those stupid people who cares what they say.

I know it's not easy, but I know you're strong and I know that somewhere they're playing your song”  (Everybody’s talking about Jamie)

Report by Miss Howell, Lead Teacher for Drama 

Students took a trip to the Apollo Theatre, London, on Wednesday and for a workshop at the prestigious Pineapple Studios to meet Layton Williams who plays Jamie New.

The morning started early with students tired but extremely excited. In fact I think a certain member of staff may have been a tad more excited! We had a fun train journey down and a very detailed conversation amongst students about Skinny Pigs, yes you read that right, Skinny Pigs!

Once arriving in London, it was a quick tube ride to the world famous ‘Pineapple Studios’. Unfortunately, there had been an issue with the workshop, and it didn’t go ahead so we headed for a much-needed bite to eat. Obviously the students were very disappointed, but all was not lost. We then received a telephone call from Layton Williams who came and met the students and took them to a studio where they ate and had a Q&A with him. 

The students asked lots of questions about the performing arts sector and how he got where he is today; this really inspired the students especially those thinking about a career in the performing arts.

We then made our way to the Apollo Theatre with smiles on our faces, and slightly star struck. 

The musical, ‘Everybody’s talking about Jamie’ is full of dancing, singing and emotion. Based on the true story of Jamie New, the musical follows sixteen-year old Jamie living on a Sheffield council estate. Terrified about the near future and struggling to find his feet after his dad rejects him, Jamie finds it increasingly difficult to fit in at school. But Jamie is destined for something better, brighter and utterly sensational. With the help of his ever-supportive Mum and friends, Jamie finds a way to overcome the prejudice and battle the bullies to step into the spotlight. 

After lots of clapping, whooping and tears (not just me but the students too!) the curtains came down and Layton Williams and two other cast members, Jordan Laviniere (Cy) and Sabrina Sandhu (Pritti Pasha) came to see the students and had a picture taken with them.

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It was then time to head to the station and get on the train home (which was cancelled!). On the journey back the students critiqued the musical in minute detail, it was nice to see such passion and knowledge in the students. 

With all these twists and turns throughout the day the students were remarkable. They are an absolute credit to the school but also to their parents and both Mr Faulkner and I were so unbelievably proud of them. I personally want to thank them for being so understanding, polite and above all being themselves. If there is one thing, we all took away from this inspirational musical, it is that we are all unique and despite facing adversity we all deserve to step out of the darkness and into the spotlight and be ourselves.

I would like to thank English teacher, Mr Faulkner, for coming along and putting up with us musical theatre boffins - couldn’t have done it with him! I would also like to thank Mr Watters for organising the tickets.

Bring on the next trip!!!