Everybody’s talking about George
Clapham-based director George Richmond-Scott lifts the curtain on life on the hit musical and what’s coming next…
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is one of the biggest musical hits in decades and associate director George Richmond-Scott has been with the show since the beginning. “It’s an absolutely stunning success and we are all so incredibly proud of it,” George says of the multi-award winning musical based on a real-life story of a 16-year-old boy who doesn’t fit in and overcomes homophobic bullying at school.
All the more exciting for the Clapham resident, is that Jamie is George’s first big career move out of college. Having enrolled as a mature student at Birkbeck College to train as a director, George magnanimously claims it was luck that got him on the Jamie team. “It was serendipity – the second year of my course is basically a job in a theatre. I wanted more than anything to go to the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield because I knew what a great reputation it had so applied and I got it. Jamie happened to be one of the projects I was assigned and straight away I realised I was getting involved in something that was a lot bigger and greater than I was used to.”
The show was a roaring success and was later brought to London. “Even now after 250-plus shows, if I go away and come back after a week and watch it again I think oh my goodness, this really is special. It’s been such a rush and the whole experience just gets better and better. We’ve had such a great reception from everyone,” George says.
The musical has extended its run well into 2019 and is also being made into a film.
“The film is being made with Warp Films, a superb Sheffield production company that really supports British talent,” George explains.
“Even now after 250-plus shows, if I go away and come back after a week and watch it again I think oh my goodness, this really is special. It’s been such a rush and the whole experience just gets better and better.”
Home to Clapham
George’s next project, which he is working on alongside the musical, is quite the departure from the glittery world of Jamie. His adaptation of Spanish dramatist Federico García Lorca’s brooding folk tragedy Blood Wedding begins a three-week run at Clapham’s Omnibus Theatre on 4 September.
“When I was a kid we spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s house in Spain. It was idyllic and beautiful and I have such strong memories of Spain; the pine trees, the light coming through the shutters, the people, the olive grove workers – it all really stayed with me. I first encountered Lorca at college aged 16 and I absolutely loved it. I found the world so seductive, and beautiful and weird. I love that I’m coming full circle and my first major solo project is Blood Wedding.”
George’s adaptation is re-imagined in the Spanish and British communities of South London and explores cultural divisions using a bold physical style. “It made sense to me to bring the story to what I knew, which is today’s South London. Although I’m not Spanish I have a lot of Spanish influences. And particularly if you’re European and living in the city right now there is so much on the landscape to talk about. One of the things that really kind of got me thinking about it all was a conversation with a Spanish guy I know who was saying he perceived a change in attitude towards him now as an non-British person living in London.”
“The show includes fantastic original music, which is also performed live in the interval. I think audiences can expect a dark, surreal, funny, disturbing, exciting new take on a brilliant, beautiful classic story,” George adds.