Have you ever been distracted by bare feet at your arm rest at the theatre?
Everything happens! I do hope it only happens once, because I already had it that one time. I’ve seen it on the plane, on the train, but still have to say, a bit unexpected at the theatre!
Apollo is in the Nimax Theatres Group covered in my Lyric Theatre post.
Apollo is a freehold building specifically designed for musical theatre and named after the Greek god of the arts and leader of the muses. It opened in 1901 and presented musical comedies. After an unsuccessful season the management and the lease of the building was taken by the theatre impresario, Tom Davis in 1902. Theatre was renovated in 1932. Although initially built to receive musical comedies, mostly plays occupied the Apollo Theatre during the Great War. Between the two wars, it became the house of few comedies and revues. Control of the theatre was transferred to impresario Prince Littler in 1944 and the next 40 years Apollo presented long-running light comedies. Stoll Moss Group purchased the theatre in 1975, selling it to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and Bridgepoint Capital in 2000. Nimax acquired Apollo in 2005 and has managed it since.
Play begins in a classroom in Sheffield, where career teacher, Miss Hedge is asking year eleven students to be realistic about their future and think about their professions. Amongst the students is Jamie, who dreams of becoming the drag queen. It’s his 16th birthday and his mom prepared a surprise for him together with her friend, Ray. Jamie is excited about the box he gets from his mother, Margaret and finds high-heel shoes in it. He also gets a lousy card from his dad and a £20 note. The card came from Margaret, but she sent it under Jamie’s father’s name as she is trying to keep his ghost in Jamie’s life. Jamie, inspired by the shoes and encouraged by his friend, Pretti decides to go to the prom as a drag queen. While shopping for his dress he meets shop owner, Hugo, who is also an ex-drag queen, Loco Channel. Hugo inspires Jamie and also, books the first performance for him at the local Club Eleven. Jamie’s performance at the club becomes a local sensation and everybody starts talking about Jamie, or Mimi Me, as his stage name. Next day, Jamie goes to school wearing long and colourful eyelashes. Miss Hedge warns Jamie about what to come and tells him once again to be realistic. Miss Hedge goes further and calls in Margaret to school. On a meeting with Margaret, Jamie and Ray Miss Hedge says that some parents have complained about Jamie and find Mimi Me disgusting; she also warns Jamie to not come as Mimi Me at the prom. Jamie upset by being called “disgusting” goes to speak with his father to discover that he is also disgusted by Jamie. Jamie realises he was fed lies by his mother about his father sending the birthday cards, flowers to his performance and even paying for the first dress. Jamie storms in his house and has a row with his mother, insults her and goes roaming in the streets. He is bitten by local bullies, but Hugo comes to his rescue. Hugo calms him down saying that he is still very young and should find his real self in life. Jamie goes back home and apologises to his mother. On the prom day all the students turn up looking fabulous. Jamie goes as Jamie, but wearing a dress. Miss Hedge refuses to let him in. Jamie protests as he did not go as Mimi Me, but went as himself only wearing a dress. Other students refuse to attend the prom unless Jamie is admitted. Miss Hedge gives in and they all celebrate Prom together.
The musical premiered at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield on 13 February 2017 and was transferred to West End in November, 2017 with most of the original cast.
Director: Jonathan Butterell
Producers: Nica Burns, The Sheffield Theatres
Casting: Will Burton for DGA
07980 535 523
Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 5AY
Bought my ticket from Nimax Theatres website. £25 for the middle back seat in the stalls. The seat had a perfect view on the stage, definitely good value for money.
Running time is 2 hours 40 minutes.
The Theatre Rat