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Everybody’s been talking about Everybody’s Talking About Jamie since its Sheffield Crucible debut earlier this year. It’s unusual to see a musical come steaming into the West End based on word on mouth – not star casting, or association with an existing franchise. Instead, inspired by humble BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, Jonathan Butterell’s production is, in every sense of the word, refreshing: a genuine homegrown hit.
Well, this wasn’t exactly a vintage Blackpool Week. Alexandra was pretty much the only celebrity to rise to the heights of breathless “Mecca of Ballroom” hyperbole, and even then she had the ever-irritating Human Props to contend with.
- Pick of the month: By George Pablo Bronstein explores our abiding love of Georgian architecture in a new RIBA exhibition
- Don’t miss: Rebel rebel Tate Britain views London through the eyes of the Impressionists
- Commuter corner Matthew Weiner’s Heather, The Totality and Ed Miliband’s new podcast
News as showbiz, entire networks and even a reality TV President fuelled by articulating popular rage, and gradual corporate dehumanisation: we are now living Paddy Chayefsky’s satirical dystopia. Lee Hall’s astute adaptation recognises that the 1976 movie needs little updating to feel like a searing indictment of 2017.
Pre-Blackpool Week saw many couples in something of a dilemma: do we go easier and hope to win over the audience with a fun performance, or risk tougher routines to impress the judges? Actually, I think voters also appreciate growth, particularly at this stage, but the majority’s adherence to technique yielded distinctly mixed results.