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Making queer stories universal: 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' premieres in London

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LONDON, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Stars and cast members walked the pink carpet in London on Monday for the premiere of the film adaptation of the musical "Everybody's Talking About Jamie."

The musical is based on the true story of Jamie Campbell, a 16-year-old boy from the small British town of Sheffield who dreams of becoming a drag queen. Central to the storyline is Jamie's strong relationship with his mother.

Newcomer Max Harwood plays the titular role and told Reuters he felt it was important for queer representation that the story be told around the world.

"It's important that queer stories also become universal and that they don't become sidelined as queer films," Harwood said. "Everyone can relate to growing up and trying to find their place in the world."

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Attendees pose as they arrive at the world premiere of "Everybody's Talking About Jamie", in London, Britain September 13, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The musical opened at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield in 2017 and was taken to London's West End in the same year. The UK tour began in 2020, and the musical is due to make its American premiere in Los Angeles next year.

Real-life Jamie, who first told his story in a television documentary in 2011, said he was thrilled it would now reach more people through the film.

"As gay characters usually, you may be a secondary character or something in the background or put in for jokes, whereas this film and show is about putting Jamie at the centre of it all and that doesn't happen very often," said Campbell.

The film and stage productions are directed by Jonathan Butterell and written by John MacRae, with music by The Feeling rock band's frontman Dan Gillespie Sells. This is the first movie for all three and was the first theatre show for MacRae and Gillespie Sells.

Shobna Gulati reprises her on-stage role as parental figure Ray, while actress Lauren Patel plays Jamie's best friend, Pritti Pasha.

Reporting by Mindy Burrows; Editing by Karishma Singh

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