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Meet the new star of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie who’s making history

Meet the new star of Everybody's Talking About Jamie who's making history

For Layton Williams, his casting in main British musical Everyone’s Talking About Jamie is greater than only a job. His main man standing will see a task that’s historically performed by a white actor undertaken by an individual of color for the first time.

However extra than simply seeing a unique face on stage, Layton is hopeful that his time as Jamie New – the lead position in the present – will encourage a new era of younger queer teenagers of color to know that the world actually is theirs for the taking.

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“For it to be somebody that looks like them to be represented is special. It really is a big deal,” Layton tells us once we caught up as he begins rehearsals mid-December. Nevertheless, what maybe makes this selection a fair larger choice was that his pores and skin color performed no direct relation to him snatching the gig. His choice was right down to expertise, a selection and choice he’s longed for all through his profession.

Gabriel Mokake / Homosexual Occasions

“We need to get one black person in? No. It’s not like that. It’s not been a thought that they [the casting team behind the show] needed to do this, it just worked. It just happened. They thought I was great for the part and that’s it,” he says proudly, hopeful that others will comply with in the coming time. “I don’t think they ever thought about the colour situation which I’m so glad and I wish that more of this could happen for more people. As time goes on, I think it will.”

Together with his script in hand and heels polished and able to be donned, we speak the energy of illustration, racism inside the business, and why Drag Race decide Todrick Corridor higher watch his again, as Layton Williams is comin’ for his crown.

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Are you excited for everyone to be speaking about Layton?
I really like that ring to be however I don’t need to annoy the producers! I’m so gaged. I really feel like I’ve been ready for this for a really very long time. I need to be that main man that I really feel that I might be and I need to rise up there and slay London. Like, come on. Let’s go!

Let’s return to the first time you noticed the musical. I presume you noticed it earlier than you auditioned, so what was that have like going to see a queer present like this?
Once I noticed it I used to be actually emotional, particularly the elements with the mum. It made me so appreciative of every thing my mum has finished for me and the way accepting she’s been. I additionally considered how fortunate I’m to have a dad that helps me, and my entire household actually. It takes you on that journey and you may relate. There’s so many issues that Jamie says that I assumed was me at 16. It’s a particular present and for individuals to see themselves represented, and being a faculty child, it’s so essential. I used to be overwhelmed once I noticed it in the West Finish. I got here out of the finale and I couldn’t speak. I used to be in floods and floods of tears. Goodness is aware of what I’m going to be like on my opening night time.

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Even now, a present like this that has a connection to the queer group being on the West Finish is such an enormous factor, and audiences have taken to it so nicely.
Precisely. You’re very probably altering any person’s life. The best way some of the followers have created associates by way of the present. They’ve made a group by means of it and the reality it might do this and create these relationships in addition to entertain individuals is
serving to others. I really feel so fortunate.

Gabriel Mokake / Homosexual Occasions

It’s additionally not a present that presents a homosexual individual as an ‘other’, underdog or making an attempt to make the femme homosexual child totally different. Distinction is his energy and that feels necessary politically for in the present day, proper?
It’s a celebration. We activate the information or look on our Fb feeds and also you’ve obtained a lot craziness happening – it’s infinite. It by no means stops. To have this beacon of mild the place he’s continuously being celebrated up there in lights on the marquee subsequent to
Michael Jackson, I imply, come on!

What’s it going to be like for a younger queer child of color to see somebody such as you dwelling an expertise that they in all probability of their coronary heart didn’t assume was potential for them?
It’s going to be slightly bit totally different and we will’t deny that, and that’s one other factor the staff have supported. It’s a bit of a bounce to make their new Jamie an individual of color – and why shouldn’t they? It’s going to assist these individuals of color as a result of for it to be any person that appears like them to be represented is particular. It truly is an enormous deal.

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Eager about the relationships on stage, it feels thrilling to see a new British musical that tells the story of a younger queer child, that’s additionally a younger black homosexual child, who’s then greatest pals with a younger Muslim woman…
Get them packing containers ticked! It’s lovely, and I couldn’t inform you one other present the place a younger woman sporting a hijab is represented like that. It truly is altering issues however it’s what we’re seeing in our streets, particularly dwelling in London. That’s the actuality of our
lives, so why not see it represented up there on stage?

Gabriel Mokake / Homosexual Occasions

I do know you joked about ticking bins however your casting doesn’t really feel like a field ticking train. It feels genuine.
We have to get one black individual in? No. It’s not like that. It’s not been a thought that they wanted to do that, it simply labored. It simply occurred. They thought I used to be nice for the half and that’s it. I don’t assume they ever considered the color state of affairs which I’m so glad and I want that extra of this might occur for extra individuals. As time goes on, I feel it’ll.

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Out of your expertise, do you assume it’s more durable for younger homosexual black actors to get roles in the business?
I discover that it’s more durable. We will get typecast into sure issues. I really feel like I’ve been fairly fortunate to do totally different roles, particularly on stage, and to do ‘white roles’ you wouldn’t assume you’d be capable of play. I discover myself in casting rooms the place it’s white individuals, black individuals, individuals of color; there’s everyone there. I really feel we’re all being much more open in the business however I feel as an individual of color you do need to see your self there and go and seize it. I really feel like the alternatives are there and, sure, of course there isn’t as a lot for us, however it’s a sure factor in my mind the place I say, ‘Listen, nobody is stopping me from going and grabbing these dreams. Let’s do it!’

Gabriel Mokake / Homosexual Occasions

Michelle Visage is in the present presently however she could have left earlier than you are available, so we could exchange Michelle with RuPaul upon your arrival?
Oh, God! I can’t inform you how unhappy I’m that she shall be leaving the stage earlier than I begin. I’ve met her a pair of occasions and she or he’s tremendous pretty, however I’m identical to, come on. We’d be such cute pals. She will introduce me to Ru after which Ru could make me a decide on the UK model of Drag Race. I really feel like I could possibly be the UK model of Todrick Corridor after which some. Change it up on each one.

Not that you simply’ve considered this or something…
Not that I’ve considered it! It’s not even in my head or something. I adore it. I really like her.

Associated: Stars of Dreamgirls on why the present will endlessly be an anthem for the queer group

And eventually, what would you like audiences to take from seeing you in Everyone’s Talking About Jamie?
I would like them to know that not everyone has their shit labored out all the time – it doesn’t matter what journey you’re happening. He’s a queer boy and I really feel like everybody can relate to his journey indirectly as a result of we’re following a narrative the place he’s making an attempt to battle obstacles, and his are his father which he must recover from as a result of his father is totally over him. He’s not conscious of that and as quickly as he accepts that, he’s free. It’s about acceptance, being free, being unapologetically you. I would like individuals to return into the present and depart feeling like they will slay the world and get on the market and do their rattling factor! I’m right here for celebrating your self, dwelling your true fantasy, and I really feel that’s actually what Jamie does. I hope that may be a little bit of what I do in my life and I hope I can unfold that to different individuals. I would like individuals to go away with that bit of confidence that they will do this. Depart with a bit bit of Jamie and slightly bit of fabulousness throughout the West Finish. Each time you activate the information, there’s rather a lot of shit taking place, so come to the theatre, come to the present, cry, giggle, smile and be fierce!

Extra info on Everyone’s Talking About Jamie might be discovered right here. 

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