It’s one of the biggest and most demanding roles in the West End and Mountview student Noah Thomas is going to be making his professional debut playing it. Yes, Noah will play Jamie New in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at London’s Apollo Theatre from 6 January 2020. Everybody’s going to be talking about it.
Producer Nica Burns said: “Noah was the 211th and final performer we auditioned for Jamie. After he’d sung the opening number and read the first scene, I was tingling with excitement. We had found our Jamie.
“Noah is making his professional debut in one of the biggest and most demanding roles in musical theatre: it needs a really good actor who can also sing and dance to the highest level. We never imagined we would be casting a 20-year-old drama school student at the start of his career. Noah is going to be a fantastic Jamie and the possibilities for his future are boundless.”
Noah Thomas, cast as Jamie New, said: “What a whirlwind! Only two weeks ago I was studying at Mountview and had very little time to prepare for the audition, which I saw as a chance to gain some experience in the industry. I was asked back the next day, not expecting anything, and they asked me if I would like to play Jamie. I couldn’t believe it.
“Nica told me to go outside the theatre and look up. It was then I realised that my face would be in lights on Shaftesbury Avenue. This is so surreal and I am so ready for whatever this experience holds.”
Stephen Jameson, principal and artistic director of Mountview drama school, said: “Noah was performing in our production of Guys and Dolls when he auditioned for the Jamie creative team and we are delighted they recognised Noah’s incredible talent. Their decision to cast him in this amazing West End role before he had even finished training at Mountview is testament to his dedication and flair. Staff and students wish him well in this exciting start to his professional career.”
Noah was born and brought up in South London. His first experiences of theatre came at the age of five when he saw the shows Annie and The Lion King and seeing children like himself on stage inspired him to want to become a performer. His parents, both civil servants, actively encouraged his interest and with the guidance of a theatre loving neighbour he enrolled in Stagecoach and the ABC Ballet School. He was cast in Oliver! at Theatre Royal Drury Lane aged 11 giving him a taste for the profession.
Aged 14 he successfully auditioned for the BRIT School where he further honed his skills in acting, singing and dancing leading to him getting a place at Mountview in 2017, where he recently started his final year and was the Student Union’s Gender Relations Officer.
Casting Jamie was a long process with the producers and creatives of the show embarking on a national search to find the next Jamie New. Noah initially missed the open auditions at the Apollo Theatre in June as his Mum was receiving an MBE at Buckingham Palace that same day. He told her: “There will be many auditions in the future but you will only go to the Palace once. I need to be with you, Dad and Grace [his sister].” However, he was offered a second opportunity to audition and following a call back the next day was offered the role there and then.
Noah Thomas takes over from Layton Williams who, with Shane Richie, will be leading the first UK tour of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie opening in Sheffield in February 2020. Thomas is the third actor to play the title role in the musical, also following John McCrea who originated the role at Sheffield Crucible Theatre in February 2017 and opened the production in the West End.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie recently celebrated its second birthday in the West End and is currently booking until 29 August 2020. Further casting for January 2020 is to be announced.
Inspired by a true story, the show has songs by lead singer-songwriter of The Feeling, Dan Gillespie Sells and book and lyrics by writer Tom MacRae, from an idea by Jonathan Butterell who also directs.