For help with a story or to find an expert: 0114 225 2811
Media centre home > News> University news> Honorary degrees for creators of hit 'Jamie' musical

Issued:23/11/18

The talented creators of hit theatre show Everybody's Talking about Jamie have been presented with honorary doctorates from Sheffield Hallam University.

Jonathan Butterell, Dan Gillespie-Sells and Tom MacRae - the creative team behind the smash hit musical - received their honours from Sheffield Hallam University at the City Hall today.

Speaking before the ceremony, the trio said they were 'surprised', 'excited' and 'amazed' to have been chosen to receive honorary degrees.

Jonathan said: "What's lovely is that we are getting this in Sheffield and the success of Jamie comes from the people of Sheffield. They kind of grabbed it, took it and ran with it. It's a story set here and they own it so although this is a lovely thing that's happened to us, actually it's a complete celebration of Sheffield."

Offering advice to graduating students, Tom said: "You can achieve your dreams but you have to work hard. Work hard, keep going, take the knock backs, keep going and then anything is possible."

Dan added: "Be kind to people, you need people on the way up and on the way back down too."

The musical was inspired by the 2011 BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, which tells the story of a 16-year-old schoolboy living on a Sheffield council estate who harbours dreams of becoming a drag queen.

The show premiered at the Crucible Theatre in February 2017 before transferring to the Apollo Theatre in the West End a year ago.

Since opening, it has received a host of five star reviews as well as being nominated for five Olivier Awards and winning Best New Musical at the WhatsOnStage Awards and the UK Theatre Awards.

In 2019 Sheffield-based Warp Films are making a big screen version of the musical with Jonathan, Dan and Tom as the creative team.

Jamie1.jpg

Click to view the image

The trio said today some of the scenes would be filmed in Sheffield at locations including the Parson Cross estate.

Jonathan said: "There is a line in it where 10,000 people are in the street celebrating Jamie so we are just going to asked Sheffield basically to rock up."