Tag Archives: Dan Gillespie Sells

Dan’s Talking About Jamie


‘Out of the darkness, into the spotlight, a teenage sensation is coming …’

A coming-of-age story with a twist, with catchy new songs by lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling Dan Gillespie Sells and writer Tom MacRae, this brand new musical will have everybody talking about Jamie for years to come.
We asked the dapper and thoroughly charming Dan Gillespie Sells about Jamie, the future of The Feeling and his thoughts on Donald Trump …

The show is based on ‘Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 ‘ the BBC3 documentary about a teenager in the north east. How much of the show is biographical and based on the real character?

That’s right, we were inspired by the documentary. The basic story is the same but for a full scale stage show we needed to create more. We needed to introduce new characters and show the world of the school, which didn’t appear in the original documentary.

And why the decision to open the show and base the story in Sheffield instead of Tyneside?

The Director of the show Jonathan Butterell brought this idea to Tom and myself. He is a Sheffield lad and wanted to do a piece specifically about and for Sheffield. We are delighted to be at the Crucible, a theatre with such a wonderful reputation.

What can the audience expect from ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’?

Something unexpected and joyful.

 Your previous forays into theatre, ‘The Bad, The Sad & The Broken Hearted’ and ‘3 With D’ (part of ‘Men in Motion’), were both  one night shows – how do you feel about going from those experiences to writing a whole musical that has an initial run of 19 shows?

 This is a much bigger undertaking than pretty much anything I have done before but it is also the first project I have done where I don’t perform myself. It is nice to see these amazing performers do their work and bring our ideas to life.

How long has it taken from the idea of a musical for it to all come about?

Around 3 years from the initial idea to being staged.

Were you involved in the casting process at all ?

Completely. We needed very specific kinds of singers for this score.

So will there be a soundtrack of the show available?

The ‘concept’ album that accompanies the show will be available on CD at the theatre and also on iTunes at some point!

Click here for an update on the concept album

Who do you think the show will appeal to?

I think it’s a show for everyone.

It really is just a bloody good night out!

If you had to describe the show in three words?




(not in that order)

Last year’s The Feeling tour was signalled as a hiatus for the group until at least 2018. Is that the case or can we expect to hear more from the group before then?

We felt we needed to have a break after 10 years of solid touring. 2018 will come round pretty quickly!

What do the rest of the band think about your new direction?

They have been very supportive and they have all helped loads with the project in different ways.

I’m very grateful to them all. 

Your ideal scenario for the play once the run finishes in Sheffield?

I want as many people to get a chance to see it as possible. That’s all.

Any thoughts of treading the boards yourself or are you firmly staying on the creatives’ side?

One day, maybe.

Other than ‘Jamie’ do you have any other favourite musicals?

West Side Story


Little Shop of Horrors

And finally, what with his outspoken views, any thoughts on the new US president?

I’m horrified, obviously.

I wish I could do more about it but at least we get to create a piece of theatre that speaks back to bigotry.

It’s not enough but it’s something.

Many thanks to Dan for sparing the time to talk to us. Break a leg with the show and we look forward to seeing it soon.



9 – 25 February 2017

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 A Sheffield Theatres Production 

From an idea by Jonathan Butterell

8 – 25 February 2017

‘Out of the darkness,

Into the spotlight,

A teenage sensation is coming.’

Jamie New is sixteen. He’s from Sheffield. And he has a secret.

He doesn’t quite fit in at school. His Dad’s left home. He’s about to sit his GCSEs. The future is terrifying. 

With his brilliant mum behind him, will Jamie be brave enough to stand up for who he really wants to be?

A coming-of-age story with a twist, with catchy new songs by lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells and writer Tom MacRae, this brand new musical will have everybody talking about Jamie for years to come.

Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres Robert Hastie announces the cast for the world première of Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae’s new musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie. Jonathan Butterell directs Daniel Anthony (Levi), Mina Anwar (Leigh), Luke Baker (Dean), Courtney Bowman (Fatimah), Tamsin Carroll (Miss Hedge), Charles Dale (Hugo), Raj Ghatak (Sandra Bollock), Barney Hudson (Mickey), Gabrielle Brooks (Becca), James Gillan (Tray Sophisticay), Kush Khanna (Salah), John McCrea (Jamie), Harriet Payne (Bex), Shiv Rabheru (Callum), Lucie Shorthouse (Pritti), Kirstie Skivington (Vicki and Dance Captain), Spencer Stafford (Laika Virgin / Jamie’s Dad) and Josie Walker (Margaret).
The production opens on 13 February, with previews from 8 February, and runs until 25 February.   


To read our interview with Dan Gillespie Sells – Click Here

Director – Jonathan Butterell
Designer – Anna Fleischle;
Choreographer – Kate Prince;
Musical Director – Tom Brady;
Lighting Designer – Joshua Carr;
Sound Designer – Paul Groothuis;
Casting Director – Will Burton CDG;
Assistant Choreographer – Kirstie Skivington
Dan Gillespie Sells is best known for being the lead vocalist and principal songwriter in The Feeling. Their debut album, ‘Twelve Stops And Home’ sold over a million copies, whilst their second album, ‘Join With Us’ reached the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts. The band’s 5th album is to be released in March 2017. His theatre credits include The Bad, The Sad, And The Broken Hearted (Soho Theatre and The Steve Allen Theatre, Los Angeles), 3WITHD (London Coliseum and Stuttgart Ballet). He wrote the theme music for television series Beautiful People. Gillespie Sells won the Ivor Novello award for Song Writer of the Year in 2007.
Tom MacRae’s theatre credits include Crash Of The Elysium (Manchester International Festival). His television credits include The Librarians, Bulldog Drummond, Fungus The Bogeyman, Threesome, Overboard, The Store, Uniform, Snake Tattoo, Pulse, Escape, Money Can Buy You Love, School’s Out, Doctor Who, Bonekickers, Lewis, Mayo, No Angels As If, U Get Me, Mile High. 
Mina Anwar returns to Sheffield Theatres to play Leigh – she previously appeared in King Lear.  Her other theatre work includes Oats (RSC), Birth International Theatre Festival (Royal Exchange), The Infidel – The Musical (Theatre Royal Stratford East) and The Iron Man (Young Vic). Her work for television includes Damned, The A Word, In the Club, Upstart Crow, Cuffs, Marley’s Ghosts, Scott and Bailey, Moving On, Happy Valley, House of Anubis, A Passionate Woman, Scoop, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Shameless and Love Soup; and for film, The Infidel and Maybe Baby. 
Tamsin Carroll plays Miss Hedge. For theatre, her work includes Strictly Ballroom, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Miss Saigon, Oliver! (West End), Barnum (Chichester Festival Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s DreamRagtime (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), The Magistrate (National Theatre), Dusty – The Original Pop Diva (Australian Tour) and Measure for Measure (Australia). For television, her work includes A Difficult Woman, Above the Law, All Saints, Heartbreak High and The Three Stooges; and for film, Goddess, Holy Smoke and Ms Understanding.
Charles Dale plays Hugo. For theatre, his work includes The Wars of the Roses, The Comedy of Errors, Coriolanus and The Winter’s Tale (English Shakespeare Company), Cyrano de Bergerac (Haymarket Theatre, London), Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Dealer’s Choice (West Yorkshire Playhouse).  His television work includes series regular roles in Casualty, Where the Heart Is, Rocket Man, The Eustace Man, Paradise Heights, Coronation Street, At Home With the Braithwaites and The Lakes. Other television work includes Belonging, The Royal, Robin Hood, Vincent, Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire and Touching Evil. 
John McCrea plays Jamie. His theatre work includes The Busker’s Opera (Park Theatre), Streets (Hackney Empire), Rent! (Cockpit Theatre), Spring Awakening (Bull Theatre), The Sound of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium). For television, his work includes Documental, The Catherine Tate Show, Kerching!, New Tricks and Bleak House; and for film God’s Own Country. 
Lucie Shorthouse plays Pritti. Her theatre work includes The House of In Between (Theatre Royal Stratford East), The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare’s Globe), Spring Awakening (The Space, 2014 Edinburgh Festival), Jumpers for Goalposts (The Sheridan Studio) and Liola (The Avondale Theatre). For television, her work includes Line of Duty and The Sound of Music Live.
Josie Walker plays Margaret. Her theatre work for the National Theatre incudes The Plough and the Stars, Husbands and Sons, 3 Winters, Silver Tassie, War Horse (West End and NT Live). Other theatre includes Matilda The Musical (Royal Shakespeare Company and also West End), Enjoy, Side by Side by Sondheim, The Beautiful Game, The Phantom of the Opera, Cats (West End). For television, her work includes Midwinter of the Spirit, Call the Midwife, Waterloo Road, Psychoville and Blessed; and for film, Where Hands Touch, Fishbowl and Sleeping Beauty.
Jonathan Butterell directs. His recent directing credits include Love Musik (La Plaza, Buenos Aires), Second Chance (The Public Theatre, New York). Other work includes Whida Peru, Resurrection Tangle, Tres Niñas (Inner Voices for Premier Stages), Giant (Signature Theatre), Soho Cinders (Soho Theatre), Alone TogetherDivas at the Donmar (Donmar Warehouse and Royal Haymarket Theatre). His international directing credits include Orpheus Descending and Creditors (Theatre Project Tokyo), The Sound of Music (Opera Theatre, Buenos Aires). Butterell co-directed Sweeney Todd (Opera North and Sadlers Wells) with David McVicker. He also co-directed Peter Pan (Royal Festival Hall) with Julia McKenzie and Into The Woods with John Crowley (Donmar Warehouse). His musical staging credits include Passion (West End), The Light In The Piazza, Assassins, Fiddler On The Roof (Broadway), Wise Guys (Off-Broadway), Public Sings! The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Public Theatre (New York City Center). He choreographed Nine (Donmar Warehouse, Buenos Aires and Tokyo), How I Learned To Drive, Company (Donmar Warehouse and West End) and Habeas Corpus (Donmar Warehouse), A Man Of No Importance (Lincoln Center Theatre) and was movement director for Electra (Donmar Warehouse and Broadway). His film credits include film for Finding Neverland and Stay.

Crucible Lyceum Studio

55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA

Box Office 0114 249 6000 – Mon – Sat 10.00am to 8.00pm

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