Theatre News

Bianca Del Rio and Preeya Kalidas join West End cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Del Rio is returning to the show as Hugo/Loco Chanelle

Bianca Del Rio and Preeya Kalidas
Bianca Del Rio and Preeya Kalidas
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Bianca Del Rio will return to the West End cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie in December, reprising the role of Hugo/Loco Chanelle. Preeya Kalidas is joining the company at the same time in the role of Miss Hedge.

Del Rio, the drag name of Roy Haylock, will be back with the WhatsOnStage Award-winning show from 9 December until 29 February. The former winner of RuPaul's Drag Race was previously in the show earlier this year.

Haylock said: "I'm so thrilled and excited to be re-joining the cast of Everybody's Talking About Jamie in the West End. I had such a blast playing Hugo/Loco Chanelle earlier this year. I'm honored and beyond grateful to have the opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented cast and crew once again."

Kalidas is best known for playing Amira Masood in BBC's EastEnders. She also starred in the British hit film Bend it Like Beckham and then later originated the role of Pinky in the original West End musical cast, for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Olivier Awards. She said: "I fell in love with Everybody's Talking About Jamie from the first time I saw it. The music is contagious, the diversity of talent being represented on a West End stage is incredible. So to be joining the cast as Miss Hedge, I am extremely excited to be part of a show that makes the audience feel so elated, and reminds us all that being unafraid to do and be whoever you want to be can be extremely powerful."

Bianca Del Rio
Bianca Del Rio

The musical first opened at Sheffield Crucible in spring 2017, transferring to the Apollo Theatre later that year, where it won a number of WhatsOnStage Awards including Best New Musical.

The show, which recently celebrated its second year in the West End, is inspired by a documentary about Jamie Campbell, who wanted to be a drag queen at the age of 16. It continues its run at the Apollo Theatre, with a tour opening in February starring Layton Williams.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie has music by The Feeling's Dan Gillespie Sells, book and lyrics by Tom McRae, direction by Jonathan Butterell, set and costumes by Anna Fleischle, choreography by Kate Prince, lighting by Lucy Carter, sound by Paul Groothuis and video by Luke Halls. Theo Jamieson is the musical supervisor, Richard Weeden the musical director, Will Burton the casting director and George Richmond-Scott the associate director.

The film adaptation of Everybody's Talking About Jamie will open in cinemas on 23 October, where Jamie will be played by newcomer Max Harwood. Richard E Grant will take on the role of Hugo/Loco Chanel, with Sarah Lancashire playing Margaret New, Sharon Horgan as Miss Hedge and Shobna Gulati playing Ray after having taken on the role in the West End. The film is directed by Butterell, with MacRae writing the screenplay.