Everybody's Talking About Jamie: Sheffield actress Melissa Jacques to star in show in Los Angeles
Starring on the West End stage fulfilled a big dream for Sheffield actress Melissa Jacques – imagine what heading to Los Angeles feels like!
Melissa, who grew up in Heeley and went to Newfield School, is off to the Ahmanson Theatre in LA in January to star as mum Margaret in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, the Crucible’s smash-hit musical that is fast becoming an international phenomenon.
She plays the woman who is determined that her boy Jamie should fulfil his dreams of becoming a drag artist and going to his school prom in a dress.
The show – based on a real story with the action transferred to Sheffield – premiered at the city’s Crucible Theatre in 2017 before transferring to the London stage, going on national tours and being made into a feature film.
She will co-star with Layton Williams, who played Jamie on stage in Sheffield when the show toured to the Lyceum and in the West End.
Melissa said: “I saw that Layton had posted a picture on social media of posters of the show with his face on them that are up on Sunset Boulevard! That’s pretty iconic, really. It’s crazy, it’s the North American premiere.”
Melissa regularly understudied the role of Margaret on stage at the Apollo Theatre in London before taking it over in October 2019. Everything was going well – then Covid struck.
Melissa said everyone thought they’d be back in a few weeks. The show eventually reopened to full houses but had to be paused at the end of September.
During Covid Melissa picked up some online work and home schooled her two daughters.
Now the sister of ex-Owls player Ritchie Humphreys will be performing her own one-woman show and doing pantomime before heading straight to Southampton for Jamie rehearsals in January ahead of the show’s five-week LA run.
She said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. In my industry, Broadway is the wildest dream but Los Angeles is something completely different. It had never even come on my radar.
“I really hope my parents and family do come out. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them as well. I want us all to share it.”